Commercial Buildings

DC Office Building Installs 30 kW Solar System

Linda Hardesty

Astrum Solar and The Tower Companies activated a new solar PV system at The Millennium Building in Washington, DC. Astrum Solar, a Maryland-based Direct Energy company, designed and installed the 30 kW PV system for Tower, a privately-held organization that has both developed and managed The Millennium Building since 1973. The 235,000-sq-foot, multi-tenant, commercial office   …Continue Reading


Buildings Represent 40% of US Total Energy Use

Linda Hardesty

Although the percentage of energy-use attributed to buildings seems to vary depending on the news source, NREL released the 2013 edition of its annual Renewable Energy Data Book, which reports that US buildings represent 40 percent of total energy usage. Other key findings from the report include: Renewable electricity, including hydropower and biopower, grew to   …Continue Reading


Siemens Brings Enterprise-Level Energy Management to Mid-Size Businesses

Karen Henry

Average energy demand per square foot in the commercial sector is growing at 1.5 percent per year. According to a 2009 McKinsey report, Unlocking Energy Efficiency in the US Economy, the commercial sector will consume 20 percent of all the energy used in the United States by 2020. Retail & Commercial Systems (RCS), a unit   …Continue Reading


Schneider, Autodesk Join for Building Information Modeling

Linda Hardesty

Schneider Electric and Autodesk signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate on building lifecycle management based on building information modeling (BIM). As part of the collaboration, the two companies are exploring ways to complement each other’s strengths to make buildings more energy efficient from the design and construction through operation and end-of-life phases. The collaboration   …Continue Reading


Clean Energy on the Rise in 2015

Benjamin Schneider

With a new year comes new promises and new opportunities – and that also goes for the United States and China, the world’s biggest climate polluters. The good news is, both nations appear ready to embrace solar and other renewables, investments that will cement their recent, bilateral agreement to tackle climate change. Here are five signs renewables   …Continue Reading


Retrofitting with VRF

Karen Henry

A variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system with heat recovery may be an energy efficient alternative for buildings with inefficient fans and leaky ductwork. Variable frequency drive motors allow a VRF system to adjust to a variety of loads. The refrigerant serves as both the heating and cooling medium that can be delivered to multiple fan-coil   …Continue Reading


Governor Brown’s ‘Big Ideas’ for Energy & Climate

Jon Costantino

Governor Brown was sworn into office earlier this month and gave his fourth inaugural address, which also doubled as his State of the State (a rare double feature). Though he touched on a variety of other proposals, the Governor kept his laser focused on climate and energy issues. He proposed three carefully worded, but ambitious,   …Continue Reading


Smart Lighting System Integral to ‘Most Sustainable Office Building’

Linda Hardesty

The Edge office building in Amsterdam was awarded an Outstanding rating with the highest recorded BREEAM score of 98.36 percent and is now known as the most sustainable office building in the world. BREEAM is the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method for buildings – an environmental rating system for buildings in Europe. HC RT,   …Continue Reading


Improving Economizer Efficiency

Karen Henry

For facility managers looking to save money on air conditioning electricity costs, an article in Buildings recommends adding an air-side economizer, which draws in outside air as a form of free cooling. Here are some tips to maximize the cost-savings potential of an economizer: 1. Climate. Economizers are suitable for facilities of any size and type,   …Continue Reading


GEM Energy Retrofits Two 100-Year-Old Toledo Buildings

Karen Henry

GEM Energy has completed energy upgrades for the Toledo School for the Arts and the Toledo Club. Both buildings will turn 100 this year. The Toledo School for the Arts Completed in 55 days, the Toledo School for the Arts’ energy upgrades included replacing 1950s HVAC equipment throughout the building with five new air handling   …Continue Reading