Posts Tagged Retrofits
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Anyone who read the times article yesterday and from their own web site saw that these guys are putting a wrapper around Retrofits , from the engineering to the financing that can be sold as bonds with a 7% return mainly paid from the savings incurred from the retrofit projects, has to love this approach. It puts people back to work, it saves energy and dollars, and it provides a return on capital for those invest in it, awesome. One has to imagine that more financial institutions looking to bundle, promote, sell new products is going to love this. From ‘green’ investors down the line. There’s a job recovery program for you.
Excerpts for the release below:
“The initiatives announced today are putting the Recovery Through Retrofit report’s recommendations into action – giving American families the tools they need to invest in home energy upgrades.” said Vice President Biden. “Together, these programs will grow the home retrofit industry and help middle class families save money and energy.”
“The Home Energy Score will help make energy efficiency easy and accessible to America’s families by providing them with straightforward and reliable information about their homes’ energy performance and specific, cost-effective energy efficiency improvements that will save them money on their monthly energy bills,” said Secretary Chu.
Under this voluntary program, trained and certified contractors will use a standardized assessment tool developed by DOE and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to quickly evaluate a home and generate useful, actionable information for homeowners or prospective homebuyers. With only about 40 inputs required, the Home Energy Scoring Tool lets a contractor evaluate a home’s energy assets, like its heating and cooling systems, insulation levels and more, in generally less than an hour. That means a homeowner can see how their home’s systems score, regardless of whether a particular homeowner takes long or short showers or keeps their thermostat set high or low.
The following states and municipalities are participating in the pilot program: Charlottesville, Virginia; Allegheny County, Pennsylvania; Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts; Minnesota; Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Indiana; Portland, Oregon; South Carolina; Texas; and Eagle County, Colorado. Learn more about each of the testing locations along with details on how to participate in the Home Energy Score program.
Consumers can apply for up to $25,000 in PowerSaver loans through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which expects that 24,000 homes will qualify during a two-year pilot program, according to USA Today.
This home energy retrofit program follows a $5 billion weatherization investment that was part of the stimulus package last year. Another effort is Home Star, nicknamed Cash for Caulkers, which would provide rebates to consumers for investing in energy efficiency retrofits.
How does this effect BIM users/developers, etc.?
Commercial deployment will be huge and has more robust documentation and reporting needs, plus these firms getting into it will need to have better tools, etc as the race begins to fill these needs and to differentiate themselves from competition, imagine a 3D BIM model with all the reporting built into it. I have to imagine the plug ins are already under development. Additionally, did you notice the certification needs recommended for this. Strap it on, let’s get back to work.
As reported recently in the Wall Street Journal, ‘Turning Consumers Green‘ the best tactic is peer pressure. From reducing plastic bag use to turning off the shower. You might ask, who’s going to pressure me in the shower. Fair enough, but this is in a locker room setting where they stated when a sign was posted to turn off the shower when soaping there was 6% compliance but if there was a plant, as in a person who they planted there to turn off water when they soaped, compliance rocketed to 47%. (Sidebar: How do they advertise this job and who applies or volunteers for that particular task.) But how does this impact you rather than reemphasizing people are sheep? Well if you can identity a trend that gains this kind of traction because of the peer pressure you don’t have to look far out into our industry before you find BIM and the emerging strength of Green BIM and rapid energy modeling. In a recent MCGraw Hill Smart Market Report, Green BIM the cited the growth of sustainable retrofits that are green will increase from 5-9% currently to 20-30% in 2014. Huge growth in energy simulation is expected in this market with the top 3 being:
- Whole Building Energy Use
- Lighting and Day Lighting
- Energy Code Compliance
This type of analysis is right in BIM’s wheelhouse as seen in Revit CEA. However, one of the biggest issues still remains software integration, that is one model, many uses rather than everyone building their own model for their own uses. So look for more companies trying to either build functionality on top of existing platforms or creating translation or integration tools.
Look for Green to expand. It’s not for just Organic Folks eating Birkenstocks at their local markets as it is starting to make too much sense. For example, Casa Feliz Apartments in San Jose and as reported by Robbie Whelan in the Wall Street Journal, ‘utilized bamboo floors, linseed oil based linoleum and ergonomic chairs in the lobby made from sustainability farmed wood.’ Addtionally,
Casa Feliz is one of a growing number of affordable-housing projects nationwide that have been built “green”—that is, with nontoxic materials, highly energy-efficient appliances, and features such as green roofs and solar panels. Thanks to tax credits designed to attract private capital and aggressive cost-cutting on other construction features, affordable-housing developers are embracing eco-friendly building features that were once the purview of high-minded designers and wealthy developers with money to spare.
MetLife Inc., the big New York-based insurance company, is one of those investors. Matt Sheedy, who invests funds from MetLife’s $325 billion general account, says MetLife and other large institutional investors are eager to invest in green affordable-housing projects because they have a safer risk profile than more traditional housing projects.
So either get caught by the wave, or build your boat out of sustainable wood, hoist your hemp sail and get going. Your firm needs a Green BIM strategy.