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new construction Archives - Michaels Energy

buildings

The Simple Recipe to Fail-Safe, Healthy, and Efficient Building Programs

By Energy Rant No Comments
Based on my victims' feedback, I am an above-average cook, but my internal modesty says, barely. To achieve such mediocrity, all you must do is follow the instructions and pay little attention. The next step to greatness, I’ve heard, is to weigh rather than measure things (cups, teaspoons, etc.). No. Thanks. Beyond that probably requires the Malcolm-Gladwell 10,000 hours to achieve excellence as a professional. Designing and constructing buildings is a lot like cooking, and I think most “efficient” buildings are in my categorical class of cooks: mediocre-plus. Unlike great amateur cooks, designers and builders need to be paid for...
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pay for performance

THE Successful Model for Pay for Performance

By Energy Rant No Comments
Livin' it Up in Hotel California I’ve written about pay for performance (P4P) programs no less than six times in this blog. I’ll start with a recap of those posts and move the ball forward once again. We’re well within field goal range! In Tooling Pay for Performance, I wrote that energy models and dashboards with regression models showing savings performance or lack thereof provide the following Leatherman-like benefits. It provides leverage with visual evidence, so customer stakeholders do more and climb higher. It’s a vise-grip to maintain what was accomplished. It’s a hammer to “persuade” folks. It’s a screwdriver...
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Strategic Energy Management is Elvis

By Energy Rant No Comments
You’ve been there – on the phone trying to get some help from a car dealership, appliance store, online retailer. The menu choices are unclear, especially for auto stores (hit zero). It makes me cringe when I hear my Mom say she called Dell for help with her computer. Yikes, Mom. This isn’t the plumber on Main Street. Maybe Dell isn’t bad, but hearing my Mom say she was on the line “with them” for two hours, I have my conceptions. I would expect no help from an organization like that. Any help would be above and beyond. So what’s...
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NMEC and Routine Monkey Wrenches

By Energy Rant 2 Comments

Normalized metered energy consumption, or NMEC, is another name for the nerdy term, EM&V 2.0[1]. Why the switch? Maybe en-meck spills out of the mouth a little easier. Maybe EM&V 2.0 got the bad rap it deserved as I explained a couple years ago in Whale Bus or Airbus and Automated M&V in Your Dreams. We need not only the user’s manuals for how to deploy NMEC; we need protocols for how to apply NMEC, where it works well, and where it doesn’t. NMEC Explained The following would never happen, but I need a way to explain how NMEC works…

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Stop Conforming to Waste

By Energy Rant 4 Comments
Two weeks ago, I wrote that efficiency programs are designed to be evaluated. They are not designed to be effective. That quote, or paraphrase, came from the great Val Jensen, Exelon’s Senior VP of Strategy and Policy, as spoken at AESP’s 2019 Annual Conference. Val is great because he is genuine, authentic, and tells it like it is, at least as far as a utility spokesperson can take it. I’d love to hear him if we could remove his utility filter. That would be fantastic. There would be sufficient material for thousands of Rants. Like many things with which I...
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Hey, Hey, Hey, Buggy Whip Bites the Dust

By Energy Rant One Comment
A couple weeks ago in Driving Ms. Free Rider Daisy, I wrote about free-riding new construction and lighting programs – that to make a difference we need a change in outdated rules for energy efficiency programs. One reader responded, “Good points that have been around since the word negawatt. Any program ideas, besides stop paying for LEDs, that helps us obtain negawatts beyond the free rider ones?” It is your lucky day. Another Buggy Whip to Walk the Plank You can spend a fortune on personal trainers, dieticians, doctors, and a personal chef to lose weight. Or you can spend...
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Driving Ms. Free Rider Daisy

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
Sitting on high levels of energy efficiency program design and evaluation provides a wonderful perspective and results in some astonishing epiphanies. Warning – data-backed bluster straight ahead. New Construction Programs We study the performance of new buildings all the time, whether it is for evaluation or looking for great retro-commissioning opportunities. Nothing provides a better opportunity for retro-commissioning than a stock of new buildings, whether they filtered through a new construction program or not. The chart below features energy performance of new buildings that went through a new construction program. We implement, and we evaluate projects nationwide (don’t bother guessing...
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Commercial HVAC – Retrofit v New Construction: Apples v Poutine

By Energy Rant No Comments
This post is the main course following last week’s appetizer that covered some complexities of deep energy retrofits for homes. The thrust of that post was that even retrofitting homes requires considerations of many things that have nothing to do with energy – just to achieve desired energy results. This week, we are advancing the subject to commercial buildings. [vc_single_image image="13507" img_size="full"][vc_single_image image="13504" img_size="full" onclick="link_image"] Case Study: 100 Year Old School Let’s start again with a 100-year-old middle school shown nearby. This building has already had a deep energy retrofit, and I’ll explain how to tell later (below). I pulled...
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Commercial Code Compliance and New Construction Program Failures

By Energy Rant 3 Comments
[vc_single_image image="13135" img_size="full" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="http://www.eia.gov/consumption/commercial/reports/2012/energyusage/"][vc_single_image image="13136" img_size="full" onclick="custom_link" img_link_target="_blank" link="http://www.eia.gov/consumption/commercial/reports/2012/energyusage/"] Earlier this year, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey of 2012. The prior release was 2003. The data do not paint a pretty picture for energy code effectiveness. Other data we are accumulating indicate new construction programs are failing to deliver. Regress At first glance, it seems substantial progress may have been made between 2003 and 2012. The first chart is from the EIA website. As EIA states, “the only statistically significant changes since 2003 are for office buildings, education buildings, and commercial buildings...
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Building Energy Models – Less Useful Than You Think

By Energy Rant One Comment
The convergence of several issues, and AESP’s Summer Conference, Technology – The Great Game Changer, gave me no choice. I have to do this – talk about the many issues involving building energy models, which are used for everything from single family homes to high rise office and apartment buildings. I prefer the term simulation over model for these detailed and very complex computer models. In this post, Simulation = Energy Model. A Good Excuse for a Simulation The best use of an energy simulator is when there is nothing else to work with. When is there nothing to work...
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