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!
Temperatures are high, but these techniques will help you keep your energy costs low:
- Reduce HVAC System Operations When Building or Space is Unoccupied
- Minimize direct cooling of unoccupied areas by turning off fan coil units and unit heaters, and by closing the vent or supply air diffuser
- Turn fans off
- Install system controls to reduce cooling/heating of unoccupied space
- Minimize Exhaust and Make-Up Air
- Keep doors closed when air conditioning is running
- Properly insulate walls and ceilings
- install thermal windows to minimize cooling and heating loss
- Implement a Regular Maintenance Plan
- Check fans for lint, dirt, or other causes of reduced flow
- Schedule HVAC tune-ups (with us!) – the typical energy savings generated by tune-ups is 10%
- Replace air filters regularly
- Upgrade Fuel-Burning Equipment
- Install turbulators to improve heat transfer efficiency in older fire tube boilers
- Install automatic combustion control systems to monitor the combustion of exit gases and adjust the intake air for large boilers
- Install electric ignitions instead of prior lights
- Evaluate Boiler Operations
- Investigate preheating boiler feed water
- Adjust boilers and air conditioner controls so that boilers do not fire and compressors do not start at the same time but satisfy demand
- Use hot water from boiler condensate to preheat air
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!
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.
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!
The words “Go Green” are no strangers to your ears, your eyes, or your brain. This year, why not make a commitment to going green by implementing a Green Team in your office. Here at Bruner, our Green Team has been hard at work since October 2010 on three green initiatives: building upgrades, green office practices, and employee development.
Most recently, Bruner has focused on building upgrades. Our 30,000+ square footage warehouse has received both lighting and heating upgrades. A total of 160 lighting fixtures were replaced, resulting in a rebate submission of $7,600. All 400-watt metal halides were swapped for 234-watt T5 Hi Bay bulbs. Any T12 lights were exchanged for reduced wattage T8 bulbs. Bruner service technicians were responsible for installing high-efficiency heaters with programmable thermostats for all of our warehouse space to reduce energy consumption. With the energy they’ll save, the units will pay for themselves within 3 years.
What can you organization do to Go Green?