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CEM in the House!

John Herold, Project Manager, is officially a Certified Energy Manager (CEM)! John is part of Bruner’s Performance Solutions Group, that works to optimize HVAC service plans, conduct energy master planning, and make efficiency improvements to client facilities.

The CEM designation, accredited through the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), is the most widely recognized energy management certification in the world. Bruner currently employs three energy professionals that hold the CEM certification, with John being our newest CEM, and one professional that holds the Energy Manager In Training (EMIT) certification.

*The EMIT certification is for energy professionals that demonstrate the technical strengths needed to hold a CEM certification, but need more field experience. 

Energy professionals that pass the CEM exam have a high level of knowledge and experience within the energy industry. Herold, having over 15 years of experience in this industry, has always worked to provide efficient solutions for clients. We are very proud of his achievements and new certification—great job, John!

AEE has been a leader in developing Energy Managers for over 30 years and Bruner is proud to be a partner. AEE describes the CEM designation as “an individual who optimizes the energy performance of a facility, building, or industrial plant. CEM® is a systems integrator for electrical, mechanical, process and building infrastructure, analyzing the optimum solutions to reduce energy consumption in a cost effective approach. CEM’s are often team leaders and help to develop and implement their organizations’ energy management strategies. CEM’s have gained increased recognition within the energy industry and by companies looking to strengthen their competitive position by having a CEM on staff.”

Interested in learning more?

Attend the next Ohio Capital City AEE event:

OCCAEE sponsors a panel discussion on
Alternative Energy and Its Impact to Ohio’s Infrastructure

November 20, 2013

11:30 AM – Networking
12:00 PM – Panel Discussion

Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center

2201 Fred Taylor Drive
Columbus, OH 43210

*Event presented by Columbus SMPS Chapter (Society for Marketing Professional Services)

 REGISTER NOW

 

10 HVAC & Energy Efficiency Fun Facts

A little knowledge doesn’t hurt anyone! We’ve been collecting fun facts about the HVAC industry over the past few months from various credible sources, and thought collectively they would make a masterpiece. So read on and you will probably find something out you didn’t know before!

1. Factors such as rightsizing, system updating, and types of refrigerant used can significantly affect HVAC efficiency.

2. An electronic air cleaner is 40x more efficient than a standard throwaway filter in removing unwanted particles from your home.

3. A variable speed heat pump can trim energy costs by as much as 40%.

4. You can increase the efficiency of your home by up to 30% by investing in proper insulation and sealing air leaks around windows and doors.

5. In NYC, it is estimated that poorly fitted air conditioners cost buildings $130 million to $180 million a year in extra fuel consumption!

6. An oversized HVAC system increases installation costs, wastes energy, and costs more in overall operating costs than a correctly sized system.

7. 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off – so unplug and conserve!

8. The Romans were the first civilization to use any type of warm-air heating system.

9. The first air conditioner wasn’t for people’s comfort! The first modern air conditioner was invented by Willis Carrier in 1902 for a publishing company in Brooklyn. The machine kept temperature and humidity low so that paper didn’t expand and contract. Carrier never intended for his invention to be solely used for comfort!

10. The top 3 commercial energy uses in the US are: lighting, space heating, and space cooling.

Is it Greener to Retrofit than Build New?

We all know that building new green buildings is always a hot idea, but experts have been pushing the idea that retrofitting existing buildings with green upgrades provide more environmental benefits. Your first thought may be new = better however, there is now proof that these experts are correct from a report released earlier this year. The report found that it is unequivocally greener to retrofit an old building than construct a new green building, no matter how many high-tech bells and whistles are in the new construction. The report was drawn from “The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse” project which was commissioned by Preservation Green Lab.

Elizabeth Heider, chair of the board of directors at the USGBC said “The thought was in order to build green you have to build new.” However, the report numbers add up in favor of retrofits. The report states:

  • It can take between 10 and 80 years for a new energy-efficient building to overcome, through more efficient operations, the negative climate change impacts that come from construction.
  • Environmental savings from re-use are between 4 and 46 percent over new construction when comparing buildings with the same energy performance level
  • The negative environmental impact of retro green for human health was between 12 and 38 percent less than for new construction
  • When it comes to ROIs, retros showed a 19.2% increase in ROI versus 9.9% for new buildings

Case in point, retrofitting is the way to go! Bruner has a successful track record of helping our customers retrofit their mechanical systems for over 50 years. Let us assist you in developing a retrofit solution that works best for your building by contacting us today!

5 Ways to Reduce Your Energy Cost

Temperatures are high, but these techniques will help you keep your energy costs low:

  1. Reduce HVAC System Operations When Building or Space is Unoccupied
    1. Minimize direct cooling of unoccupied areas by turning off fan coil units and unit heaters, and by closing the vent or supply air diffuser
    2. Turn fans off
    3. Install system controls to reduce cooling/heating of unoccupied space
  2. Minimize Exhaust and Make-Up Air
    1. Keep doors closed when air conditioning is running
    2. Properly insulate walls and ceilings
    3. install thermal windows to minimize cooling and heating loss
  3. Implement a Regular Maintenance Plan
    1. Check fans for lint, dirt, or other causes of reduced flow
    2. Schedule HVAC tune-ups (with us!) – the typical energy savings generated by tune-ups is 10%
    3. Replace air filters regularly
  4. Upgrade Fuel-Burning Equipment
    1. Install turbulators to improve heat transfer efficiency in older fire tube boilers
    2. Install automatic combustion control systems to monitor the combustion of exit gases and adjust the intake air for large boilers
    3. Install electric ignitions instead of prior lights
  5. Evaluate Boiler Operations
    1. Investigate preheating boiler feed water
    2. Adjust boilers and air conditioner controls so that boilers do not fire and compressors do not start at the same time but satisfy demand
    3. Use hot water from boiler condensate to preheat air

 

source: http://infohouse.p2ric.org/ref/26/25985.pdf

Project Spotlight: Miranova Helicopter Lift

In the autumn of 2011, Bruner technicians performed routine maintenance on seven make-up air units at One Miranova Place in Columbus, Ohio.  The seven make-up air units providing fresh air to the kitchens of over one hundred condominiums were found to be unsafe for operation, due to cracks in the gas fired heat exchangers, which could allow carbon monoxide to enter the living spaces of the tenants.

To provide a temporary repair, Bruner welders sealed the leaks, allowing the units to remain operational until new make-up air units were available for installation.  These repairs, while temporary, allowed the Board of Directors at Miranova time to investigate several options for a long term solution.

After receiving several proposals, the Board decided to accept the solution provided by the Bruner Corporation.  With advice from Prater Engineering, the Board accepted the offer from Bruner to remove the aging make-up air units, and install seven new “Aaon” 100% fresh air make-up air HVAC units.  The new Aaon units, with technological advances not available 15 years ago, provide increased energy efficiency and extended longevity.

One of the major obstacles facing Bruner was the difficulty in removing the existing units and mounting the new units to the rooftop of One Miranova Place, nearly 340 feet above street level.  After consulting with several crane companies, it was determined that the most economical means of replacing the units would be to utilize the services of Midwest Helicopter, a company specializing in lifting equipment inaccessible to conventional hoisting systems.

In preparation for the helicopter lift, Bruner technicians, led by Bob Hoffman and Don McNeal, [John Magill and Brian Caton also] spent many hours to assure that all components were able to be safely and efficiently lifted to and from the building.  Their efforts paid off, as the total time required to remove seven units and mount seven new units was under one and a half hours, nearly a fifth the time required for conventional hoisting methods.

With an extreme focus of safety and customer satisfaction, Bruner has once again demonstrated our commitment to excellence.  Even during this potentially dangerous helicopter lift, the interruption of business to Miranova One (condominiums) and Miranova Two (office building) was negligible.

Hats off to the Bruner team for making this event run so flawlessly.

 

Build Green with LEED for Schools

The LEED for Schools Rating System recognizes the unique nature of the design and construction of K-12 schools. Just to clarify, LEED stands for: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Schools is the recognized third-party benchmark for high-performance schools that are healthy for students, comfortable for teachers, and cost-effective for budgets.

Studies have shown that students learn better in a quiet, comfortable, and properly lit environment. Because of this and many other factors, greening our schools has become a high priority.

LEED is not meant to be used as the only measure in determining whether a project is green, and in order to achieve green goals it is essential that design teams (including owners and contractors) take an integrative approach and view the project as a whole.

Using an integrated design approach, LEED promotes improved practices in:

  • Site selection and development
  • Water and energy use
  • Environmentally preferred materials, finishes, and furnishings
  • Waste stream management
  • Indoor air quality and occupant comfort
  • Innovation in sustainable design and construction

Bruner is currently working with Dublin City Schools in an effort to promote LEED for schools–check out our project page for more information. With this project alone, Bruner has been recognized by AEP Ohio for our “commitment to energy efficiency and the environment”. As a result of our collaboration, Dublin City Schools will reduce energy use by 739,410 kWh per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 632.8 tons, which equals as many as 100 cars off the road per year! Consider LEED for your school, and contact Bruner to find out what we can do to help.

 

Sources:

http://www.usgbc.org/ShowFile.aspx?DocumentID=5020

http://www.facilitiesnet.com/green/article/Integrated-Design-Is-Essential-for-LEED-for-Schools–13125#

Excelling with Energy Dashboards

Many software programs come with dashboard features these days, and many facilities professionals fail to use this feature to the fullest potential.

What are dashboards, anyway?

Dashboards are a great way to turn raw data into actionable, presentable information that’s easy to share with others. The visualization dashboards provide can also be particularly effective and useful for tying several sets of data together and better impacting you bottom line.

Why should I, as a facility manager, use dashboards?

I’m sure you know that facilities are not perfect when it comes to operations and processes. Constant improvement and maintenance is necessary. Dashboards provide you with additional insight into the processes of your building, which in turn allow you to uncover new ways to make your facility run more efficiently.

What’s so special about dashboards?

The availability of intelligent instrumentation enable facility managers to extract much richer facility operational data than in the past. In the past, you may have integrated your data in a spreadsheet, and that spreadsheet may have even contained some pattern and trend visualizations thanks to spreadsheet tools. However, today’s dashboards take this visualization to the next level. Now you’re able to include multi-dimensional charts, time-series charts, gauges, and other displays, which make it easier for your audience to focus on key performance indicators.

Bruner Makes List of Top gridSMART Solution Providers

AEP Ohio’s gridSMART program proved greatly beneficial to our customers in the year 2011. Bruner submitted 60 rebate applications and earned our customers more than $300,000 in incentives. We look forward to topping those numbers in the year 2012!

gridSMART Solution Provider Infographic

Phase Out of T12 Lamps

It’s finally happened: T12 lamps will be phased out of production starting July 2012. This has been a long time coming since the U.S. Department of Energy’s fluorescent lighting mandate stopped the production of the magnetic ballasts most commonly used for the operation of T12 lamps in July 2010.

The Good News

There is large energy savings when switching from T12 to T8 lamps – up to 33% in energy costs per fixture. Even better news is that if you make the switch before July, AEP’s gridSmart program offers rebates for switching from T12 to T8 or T5 lights.

How to Prepare

Begin discussing your options for replacing your T12 lights. If you complete the T12 project or get the pre-approval in before July and then you have 90 day to complete.

Need Help?

Contact us! We can assist you in replacing your T12 lamps, and evaluating your energy consumption in the process. There may be even more savings out there for you!
If you’ve already switch out your T12 lights, check out our commercial energy savings e-book for more tips to decrease your energy consumption and your utility bills!

Performance Solutions Group: Taking Action Together

For years the Bruner Performance Solutions Group (PSG) has been saving our customers boat loads of money by evaluating their energy consumption and developing a mechanical solution to their excessive energy use. In 2011, Bruner PSG saved our customers 2,431,986 kWH. By submitting 60 applications throughout the course of the year to AEP’s gridSMART program, our customers received more than $300,000 in incentives.

I know what you’re thinking. “That all seems really great, in theory, but how much time am I going to have to put into this?” or maybe, “How do I know if doing an energy conservation program is going to be worth it?” Those are all great questions, and we’ve got the answers!

The implementation of your program can be started in three easy steps:

  1. Develop an energy analysis.
    The Bruner PSG team performs supply and demand side analysis from your utility bills, evaluating current conditions (usually from two historic years), and then assembles projections.
  2. Provide a feasibility study.
    From surveys of equipment, systems, and operations, the Bruner PSG team provides a study of the feasible solution to reduce consumption costs.
  3. Provide an investment grade audit to implement the program.
    With approval of the feasibility study, final implementation cost and specific plans are provided to enact, administer, and implement improvements.

And guess what else? You can enter a program where the up-front analysis costs can be deferred or waived altogether based on the project and level of implementation chosen, making your investment nearly risk-free and all the more rewarding.

So take action with us, and together we can reduce consumption and make the world a greener place!