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Commercial Buildings

Driving Energy Efficiency in Leased Commercial Space is Complicated – and Worthwhile

Carl Weinschenk

Increasing use of natural light by enlarging windows and conforming work areas is a win-win: It cuts energy costs and increases efficiency while making employees happier, more productive and likelier to stay with the company. Actually implementing this — and other — obviously beneficial projects can be tricky when the company is leasing its space, however. Issues surrounding leased space   …Continue Reading


New Energy Management System Reveals Issues & Opportunities

Jennifer Hermes

This article is sponsored by EnergyCAP. One month before Jason Laros stepped into the post of city energy manager for Tucson, AZ, the city began an energy management software acquisition process. At the time, the city’s energy office was employing interns to help crunch the numbers on the top 20–30 buildings in spreadsheets. Historical utility   …Continue Reading


How to Simplify Building Energy Benchmarking & Transparency Laws

Jennifer Hermes

The upcoming deadlines for local building energy benchmarking and transparency laws makes this a busy time of year for building owners. The laws aim to reduce energy consumption (and environmental and financial costs as a result) in the building sector. These are local laws, so they differ from one city to the next, but they   …Continue Reading


Compressed Air Systems: Low Hanging Fruit for Energy Savings

Carl Weinschenk

Compressed air is a staple of many industrial facilities. These systems tend to be “leaky,” and finding and fixing these sometimes tiny holes and gaps is a great way to save money. “It is low-hanging fruit in that most people with a compressed air distribution network in their plant have some amount of leakage,” said Bill Barnes,   …Continue Reading


How the IoT Is Reshaping Building Automation

Jennifer Hermes

This article is sponsored by Transformative Wave. The Internet of Things (IoT) – a spiderweb of smart devices from phones to washing machines to garage door openers – is already changing lives, and the Building Automation Systems (BAS) industry is not exempt. This disruption – positive in most ways – cannot simply be compartmentalized. In   …Continue Reading


Orlando Considers Building Water, Energy Use Ratings

Carl Weinschenk

Legislators in Orlando, Florida, are considering requiring owners of large buildings to report their energy and water use publicly. The story at The Orlando Sentinel says that the city is one of 15 nationwide considering such measures. The rules, which would include fines for buildings that don’t comply, could reach the city council in May. They would apply   …Continue Reading


Creatively Cutting Energy Use in Buildings

Carl Weinschenk

The Atlantic posted a piece in its current issue that focuses on innovative ways of reducing energy use in buildings. The idea is that heating an entire office wastes a lot of energy – nobody, for instance, is working on the ceiling. Why keep it warm? The story looks at various approaches being researched in   …Continue Reading


DOE Setting New Standards for Commercial Boilers

Carl Weinschenk

The U.S. Department of Energy last week released a notice of proposed rulemaking on energy efficiency for commercial boilers. Energy managers and building owners shopping for units today should be aware that standards continually change. Though standards set by the DoE are for new boilers – buildings won’t be forced to replace units due to   …Continue Reading


Preparing Buildings for Electric Vehicles

Carl Weinschenk

Energy managers of buildings with garages have a harder job than those that let people park on the street. For instance, the mandate to keep the air in the garage safe and comfortable is the subject of ever-changing regulations and evolving technical options. These folks gradually are being given a new responsibility, which will grow   …Continue Reading


General Motors Cuts Its Energy Use

Carl Weinschenk

Last week, General Motors said that 11 of its facilities were awarded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR certification. Buildings under consideration must outperform 75 percent of similar facilities nationwide and meet other performance criteria set by the EPA in order to win the distinction. The winners consisted of seven parts distribution centers, three IT   …Continue Reading


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