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Resolve to reduce energy, save money, and improve your buildings in 2019

12 resolutions from 12 IMEG experts

 

 

Here’s a list of 12 resolutions for 2019, provided by 12 subject matter experts at IMEG. The resolutions provide a variety of actions you can take in the new year, including reducing energy use, saving money, improving facility operations, upgrading security, and discovering your own strengths. For more information on any topic, use the email hyperlink to contact the expert.

 

  1. Get involved and encourage your state, municipality, etc., to adopt the latest ASHRAE or IECC code to save energy and carbon consumption. If your state or local jurisdiction is progressive, suggest adopting the 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which adds all the types of requirements that are in LEED – including a major acoustics update. “I got in contact with my state representative, who is very receptive to moving to a more modern energy code and promised to present the idea to our newly-elected governor. I believe that if we reach out to the right persons in government, we can get great results that will improve the built environment and the world.” Jeff Boldt, PE, HBDP, LEED AP, FASHRAE, FPE, IMEG Director of Innovation and Quality
  2. Reduce your building’s power consumption by 10%. Relatively simple and inexpensive energy-saving technologies and other actions can be taken that, added together, can achieve this goal. Set back thermostats at night, and install occupancy sensors in conference rooms, break rooms, and other spaces that experience fluctuations of use during the day. Reduce plug loads by using Energy Star appliances in breakrooms and reducing the number of coffee pots, printers, and other devices that draw "phantom loads." “Also, since occupant behavior has a huge impact on building energy use, be sure building users know how the infrastructure is intended to operate, and how their actions can support or undermine the energy goals.” Andy Thielen, PE, LEED AP, IMEG Client Executive
  3. Explore new luminaire forms and optics. Enhance architectural elements, illuminate surfaces, and create new aesthetic experiences by utilizing one of the many new luminaire forms on the market today. Pair this with improved user experience through careful selection of one of the many new optical choices to shape and bend light. This will create more uniform surfaces while mitigating glare and eye strain. It may even reduce luminaire quantity and thus overall installed cost. Shanna Olson, LC, MIES Affiliate IIDA, IMEG Architectural Lighting Leader
  4. Know what you’re using, what you have, and what you need. If you’ve put off investigating your energy usage, assessing your current infrastructure, or planning for your future facility needs, make 2019 the year you quit procrastinating. “Whether you need to conduct an energy audit, an arc flash hazard assessment on your electrical system, a comprehensive facility assessment, or long-range master plan, there is no time like the present to do so.” Paul Parry, PE, LEED AP, IMEG Vice President of Engineering
  5. Assess yourself. Just like buildings, we are all designed to operate in certain ways. Understanding how we’re programmed is important for maximizing our performance as individuals and as members of a team. Several proven and time-tested guides and online assessments are available to help, including Gallup’s updated StrengthsFinder 2.0, DiSC, and the Kolbe Index. Recognizing our own and others’ strengths and problem-solving styles fosters better understanding, improved communication and collaboration, and leads to a more productive and creative practice. Patrice Accola, IMEG Education Director
  6. Include an EUI goal within the RFP for your new building. Energy use intensity (EUI) is a building’s annual energy use per unit area, typically measured in thousands of BTU per square foot per year. EUI usually refers to “site” energy use and is useful for comparing performance of buildings across sizes, types, and locations. “By setting an EUI goal at the beginning of their project – and measuring it at the end – owners can help ensure the design of their building results in lower energy use and operating costs.” Adam McMillen, PE, LEED AP BD+C, IMEG Director of Sustainability
  7. Step up your security. If your planned or existing building’s security consists of only key locks, card readers, cameras, and other typical security system devices supported by security guards, you may not be providing the level of safety your occupants need. “Physical components of security should evolve from a holistic security plan developed through application of industry-accepted concepts and strategies. The most comprehensive and cost-effective building security results from including security consultants early in the design phase. This will allow consideration of the multiple factors that impact security, including the building site and architecture, operations, permitting, life safety, lobby, and other spaces’ unique requirements.” Charles LeBlanc, PE, ASIS Board Certified Protection Professional, IMEG Project Executive
  8. Fine-tune or tune-up. Building commissioning ensures that new building systems are operating optimally as designed and meet the owner’s project requirements. Retro-commissioning of existing buildings is equally important and just as likely to identify and correct energy- and money-wasting operating inefficiencies. According to a study by Berkley Lab of the U.S. Department of Energy, commissioning and retro-commissioning result in median whole building energy savings of 13 percent and 16 percent, respectively, with median payback times of just 4.2 and 1.1 years, respectively. Noelle Thornton, IMEG Senior Commissioning Engineer
  9. Use 3D BIM for review and creating steel shop drawings. Review your project’s steel fabrication package directly in a 3D BIM model without resorting to 2D drawings. This will allow the design team to comment on steel sizes and connection welds and communicate these items to the steel fabrication team immediately, providing significant savings in labor cost and reduction in schedule time. “Providing steel fabrication shop drawings modeled in 3D by the structural team will help to reduce the steel fabricator’s effort and time needed for creating shop drawings prior to their engagement.” Edwin Najarian, SE, IMEG Client Executive
  10. Tear down your technology silos. The era of the Internet of Buildings (IoB) that we are entering holds much promise for clients. However, affording IoB requires owners and designers to leverage every available economy of scale that the technology provides. Leveraging those opportunities can’t be achieved in the traditional technology silos such as IT, building security, A/V, building automation, and telephony – different systems managed by different groups, incompatible with today’s technology and resulting in confusion, overlaps, gaps, and increased costs. Eliminate these technology and design silos, however, and you will benefit your project over its entire life. Jeff Carpenter, PE, RCDD, IMEG Technology Team Leader
  11. Go virtual. Immerse yourself in your next building project by utilizing virtual reality to truly visualize your design as you would experience it after it’s complete. The experience will help building owners and users understand the design intent, particularly those who are not adept at reading two-dimensional drawings. Shortcomings of design can be seen and changed early, avoiding much more costly changes later in design or during construction. Sarah Garthaus, IMEG Director of Virtual Design and Construction
  12. Adopt a sustainability policy. Join the growing group of designers, contractors, and building owners who have established a sustainability policy for their office or firm. By integrating environmentally-friendly policies you can enrich your workspace, become a steward of the planet, and set an example for others. “We all have an unbelievable opportunity to implement sustainable strategies within our built environment and daily business operations. Even small changes can have a BIG impact.” Taylor Gawthorp, IMEG Sustainability Plan Coordinator

 

  1. Get involved and encourage your state, municipality, etc., to adopt the latest ASHRAE or IECC code to save energy and carbon consumption. If your state or local jurisdiction is progressive, suggest adopting the 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which adds all the types of requirements that are in LEED – including a major acoustics update. “I got in contact with my state representative, who is very receptive to moving to a more modern energy code and promised to present the idea to our newly-elected governor. I believe that if we reach out to the right persons in government, we can get great results that will improve the built environment and the world.” Jeff Boldt, PE, HBDP, LEED AP, FASHRAE, FPE, IMEG Director of Innovation and Quality
  2. Reduce your building’s power consumption by 10%. Relatively simple and inexpensive energy-saving technologies and other actions can be taken that, added together, can achieve this goal. Set back thermostats at night, and install occupancy sensors in conference rooms, break rooms, and other spaces that experience fluctuations of use during the day. Reduce plug loads by using Energy Star appliances in breakrooms and reducing the number of coffee pots, printers, and other devices that draw "phantom loads." “Also, since occupant behavior has a huge impact on building energy use, be sure building users know how the infrastructure is intended to operate, and how their actions can support or undermine the energy goals.” Andy Thielen, PE, LEED AP, IMEG Client Executive
  3. Explore new luminaire forms and optics. Enhance architectural elements, illuminate surfaces, and create new aesthetic experiences by utilizing one of the many new luminaire forms on the market today. Pair this with improved user experience through careful selection of one of the many new optical choices to shape and bend light. This will create more uniform surfaces while mitigating glare and eye strain. It may even reduce luminaire quantity and thus overall installed cost. Shanna Olson, LC, MIES Affiliate IIDA, IMEG Architectural Lighting Leader
  4. Know what you’re using, what you have, and what you need. If you’ve put off investigating your energy usage, assessing your current infrastructure, or planning for your future facility needs, make 2019 the year you quit procrastinating. “Whether you need to conduct an energy audit, an arc flash hazard assessment on your electrical system, a comprehensive facility assessment, or long-range master plan, there is no time like the present to do so.” Paul Parry, PE, LEED AP, IMEG Vice President of Engineering
  5. Assess yourself. Just like buildings, we are all designed to operate in certain ways. Understanding how we’re programmed is important for maximizing our performance as individuals and as members of a team. Several proven and time-tested guides and online assessments are available to help, including Gallup’s updated StrengthsFinder 2.0, DiSC, and the Kolbe Index. Recognizing our own and others’ strengths and problem-solving styles fosters better understanding, improved communication and collaboration, and leads to a more productive and creative practice. Patrice Accola, IMEG Education Director
  6. Include an EUI goal within the RFP for your new building. Energy use intensity (EUI) is a building’s annual energy use per unit area, typically measured in thousands of BTU per square foot per year. EUI usually refers to “site” energy use and is useful for comparing performance of buildings across sizes, types, and locations. “By setting an EUI goal at the beginning of their project – and measuring it at the end – owners can help ensure the design of their building results in lower energy use and operating costs.” Adam McMillen, PE, LEED AP BD+C, IMEG Director of Sustainability
  7. Step up your security. If your planned or existing building’s security consists of only key locks, card readers, cameras, and other typical security system devices supported by security guards, you may not be providing the level of safety your occupants need. “Physical components of security should evolve from a holistic security plan developed through application of industry-accepted concepts and strategies. The most comprehensive and cost-effective building security results from including security consultants early in the design phase. This will allow consideration of the multiple factors that impact security, including the building site and architecture, operations, permitting, life safety, lobby, and other spaces’ unique requirements.” Charles LeBlanc, PE, ASIS Board Certified Protection Professional, IMEG Project Executive
  8. Fine-tune or tune-up. Building commissioning ensures that new building systems are operating optimally as designed and meet the owner’s project requirements. Retro-commissioning of existing buildings is equally important and just as likely to identify and correct energy- and money-wasting operating inefficiencies. According to a study by Berkley Lab of the U.S. Department of Energy, commissioning and retro-commissioning result in median whole building energy savings of 13 percent and 16 percent, respectively, with median payback times of just 4.2 and 1.1 years, respectively. Noelle Thornton, IMEG Senior Commissioning Engineer
  9. Use 3D BIM for review and creating steel shop drawings. Review your project’s steel fabrication package directly in a 3D BIM model without resorting to 2D drawings. This will allow the design team to comment on steel sizes and connection welds and communicate these items to the steel fabrication team immediately, providing significant savings in labor cost and reduction in schedule time. “Providing steel fabrication shop drawings modeled in 3D by the structural team will help to reduce the steel fabricator’s effort and time needed for creating shop drawings prior to their engagement.” Edwin Najarian, SE, IMEG Client Executive
  10. Tear down your technology silos. The era of the Internet of Buildings (IoB) that we are entering holds much promise for clients. However, affording IoB requires owners and designers to leverage every available economy of scale that the technology provides. Leveraging those opportunities can’t be achieved in the traditional technology silos such as IT, building security, A/V, building automation, and telephony – different systems managed by different groups, incompatible with today’s technology and resulting in confusion, overlaps, gaps, and increased costs. Eliminate these technology and design silos, however, and you will benefit your project over its entire life. Jeff Carpenter, PE, RCDD, IMEG Technology Team Leader
  11. Go virtual. Immerse yourself in your next building project by utilizing virtual reality to truly visualize your design as you would experience it after it’s complete. The experience will help building owners and users understand the design intent, particularly those who are not adept at reading two-dimensional drawings. Shortcomings of design can be seen and changed early, avoiding much more costly changes later in design or during construction. Sarah Garthaus, IMEG Director of Virtual Design and Construction
  12. Adopt a sustainability policy. Join the growing group of designers, contractors, and building owners who have established a sustainability policy for their office or firm. By integrating environmentally-friendly policies you can enrich your workspace, become a steward of the planet, and set an example for others. “We all have an unbelievable opportunity to implement sustainable strategies within our built environment and daily business operations. Even small changes can have a BIG impact.” Taylor Gawthorp, IMEG Sustainability Plan Coordinator