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Posts tagged ‘building energy efficiency’

How Updated Energy Codes Will Benefit Utah

On Sunday, the Desert News printed an Op-Ed by David Brems with GSBS Architects and Kevin Emerson with Utah Clean Energy outlining how Utah needs new new energy codes that make buildings and homes more efficient. Here is an excerpt, you can read the entire piece online.

Air pollution is a top concern for Utah citizens. So is financial stability. Improving our air quality while saving money for Utahns is a win-win opportunity. This summer, decision-makers will be voting whether or not to adopt up-to-date building energy codes that will help new homes and buildings constructed in Utah cut energy waste, lower air pollution and reduce Utahns’ energy bills.

The average Utah home wastes far too much energy because it was not designed and constructed with energy efficiency as a priority. This is where the energy conservation codes come in. While lacking the flashy glamour of solar panels or electric vehicles, the “2015 International Energy Conservation Code” can dramatically reduce energy waste and related air pollution by incorporating common sense, readily available, yet often invisible efficiency solutions to new homes and buildings.

Industry leaders like GSBS Architects and public interest organizations like Utah Clean Energy see tremendous value in adopting the new energy code. But despite the benefits it brings to Utah families, businesses and consumers, getting the new code adopted has become a political undertaking. It shouldn’t be. Just consider the benefits from updating the energy codes.

Read more.

Utah Clean Energy has also released the following infographic — Three Ways Updated Energy Codes Benefit Utah. Take a look!

Updated Energy Codes in Utah

Mayor Becker Issues Executive Order to Increase Energy Efficiency at City Facilities

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Today Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker issued an Executive Order designed to maximize superior energy management at all Salt Lake City facilities.

“We must lead by example,” said Mayor Becker. “By taking steps to actively monitor our energy use and improve the efficiency of city facilities, we will cut energy waste, improve air quality, protect our natural resources and ultimately save taxpayer dollars.”

The order, which establishes Salt Lake City among leading cities nationwide, creates a multi-department Energy Management Steering Committee and requires City facilities to develop annual Energy Management Plans and track results.

“Through this Executive Order, Mayor Becker again demonstrates his commitment to air quality and smart energy use,” said Sarah Wright, Executive Director of Utah Clean Energy. “Improving the efficiency of Salt Lake City municipal facilities is a fantastic way to showcase how local governments can save taxpayer dollars while simultaneously reducing pollution.”

Energy Management Plans will report on facilities’ progress utilizing best practices in energy management, including energy benchmarking, identification of energy-saving opportunities, requiring building energy efficiency training for facilities managers and operators, empowering employees to play an active role in cutting energy waste and improved transparency of facility energy performance.

The new Executive Order is a cornerstone of Project Skyline, an initiative designed to dramatically cut energy waste in Salt Lake City’s commercial buildings by accelerating investment in energy efficiency and raising public awareness of building performance. In 2014, Project Skyline kicked off with the Mayor’s Skyline Challenge, enlisting 20 businesses in a proactive effort to reduce building energy use. Learn more at SLCgov.com/ProjectSkyline.

A previous Executive Order issued by Mayor Becker in 2013 required all new City facilities achieve net-zero energy status (i.e. producing as much energy as they consume).

Project Skyline: BOMA Utah Launches Kilowatt Crackdown

SLCgreen applauds Project Skyline partner BOMA Utah on bringing building efficiency awareness to their members statewide.

BOMA Utah, which represents over 50 million square feet of commercial buildings in the state, wants to do its part to support ambitious carbon reduction goals from both the State of Utah and Salt Lake City. BOMA Utah members with portfolios in Salt Lake City are also encouraged to join the Salt Lake City Mayor’s Skyline Challenge.

Read on to learn more about the Kilowatt Crackdown!

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BOMA Utah launches 2015 “Kilowatt Crackdown”

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) of Utah is launching its 2015 Kilowatt Crackdown competition as part of Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s Utah Energy Efficiency & Conservation Plan, as well as Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker’s Project Skyline.

BOMA Utah, which represents over 50 million square feet of commercial buildings in Utah, wants to do its part to support ambitious carbon reduction goals from both the State of Utah and Salt Lake City.

“Utah’s large commercial buildings consume considerable amounts of energy and many could use energy-efficiency upgrades”, said BOMA Utah President Lorrie Ostlind, Senior Portfolio Manager at Commerce Real Estate Solutions. “We’ve assembled a great partnership to create valuable opportunity for Utah’s building owners to save energy, save money and improve their buildings.”

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, buildings in the United States account for more than 40 percent of total energy consumption and about 72 percent of electricity consumption.  If current trends continue, it is estimated that buildings will be the largest global energy consumers by 2025.

“The Kilowatt Crackdown” competition supports voluntary benchmarking of energy use that is evaluated based on real data and allows us to maintain a leadership position in energy reduction”, said BOMA Utah Vice President Justin Farnsworth, Vice President of Asset Services at Newmark Grubb ACRES.

Participating buildings will benchmark energy performance through ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager Tool and seek to improve their performance over time.

“Prospective tenants demand efficient, environmental-friendly buildings and are willing to pay for it”, said Ostlind.  “Benchmarking for improved performance keeps us competitive in the marketplace, and will help us deliver on our economic development goals to foster the next wave of innovation in sustainable buildings”.

About the Kilowatt Crackdown Competition

Kilowatt Crackdown is the energy-saving competition where “every building wins” and offers participants the following:

  • A promotional package from our valued partners offering various discounts on energy related products and services, including engineering certification for properties that qualify for the ENERGY STAR label – a score of 75 or more.
  • Advertising and recognition of your participation in the contest.
  • Assistance with identifying ECMs through ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager.
  • Technical support and data review of your ENERGY STAR benchmarking profile.
  • Satisfaction from being a leader in the Utah market.

Participants wishing to enter their buildings into the TOBY Awards program can utilize their Energy Star ratings and reports for the International requirements.

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Project Skyline: October Recap

Building Operator Certification

Beginning in October, Salt Lake City facilities staff began attending the Level 1 Building Operator Certification training as part of the City’s internal efforts to lead by example and meet the overall energy goals of Project Skyline. BOC training focuses on the improved operating efficiencies that can be realized in existing buildings by ensuring that mechanical systems are properly functioning and synchronized with each other. While this may sound like an obvious course of action, many existing buildings systems do not function as they are designed. BOC training explores the methods of evaluating and fine-tuning building systems to cut energy waste and maintain maximum efficiency.

Members of Salt Lake City building staff are very enthusiastic about what they have already gained from these courses. “My work in the facilities division is on the preventative maintenance team, and the first few days of this course were closely related to my day-to-day assignments,” says Ron Lindquist of Public Services Facilities

What’s most compelling about the BOC training is the focus on major building efficiencies that can be gained from no-cost measures. Salt Lake City plans to continue participating in these training opportunities in the future.

Energy Star Certification Nation

To celebrate 15 years of ENERGY STAR certification for buildings, EPA launches Certification Nation 2014, awarding special recognition for multiple-building certifications. If your buildings have an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or better, there has never been a better year to certify. Join today!

Project Skyline Welcomes new participant Fidelity Investments

Fidelity focuses its environmental sustainability efforts on the tangible steps they can take to minimize the effect our operations may have on the environment. In that regard, they focus on reducing consumption of resources such as paper, water, and energy. As a result they are  expanding LEED® certification to 65% of the North American corporate real estate portfolio to 6 million square feet of green office space.

October News

Project Skyline attends the Intermountain Healthcare Energy Summit

On October 29th, Intermountain Healthcare, one of our Mayor’s Skyline Challenge participants, hosted the company’s Energy Summit at the Marriott City Creek in downtown Salt Lake City. The day-long event featured panel discussions, break-out sessions, as well as the announcement of the Intermountain Energy Innovator of the Year award. The panel discussions explored the topics of Utah’s Energy Landscape and Energy Demand Management, and featured a long list of experts including Dr. Laura Nelson, Utah Director of Energy Development. While each of the panel discussions were engaging and insightful, one of the most remarkable aspects of the event  was seeing the level of focus placed on energy management by  Intermountain Healthcare. The Project Skyline team was happy to be in attendance and learn first-hand from Intermountain’s own expert energy staff as well as their guest speakers. Congratulations on a successful Energy Summit Intermountain Healthcare!

Project Skyline hosted another successful workshop

The Mayor’s Skyline Challenge workshop series continues, most recently with our October 30th installment that focused on Energy Action Plans. An Energy Action Plan serves as the road map for how you will move forward with efficiency improvement projects.

Leslie Cook of Energy Star took attendees through the various components of an energy action plan and what tools are available on Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool to assist in this process. Next, Troy Jensen of Intermountain Healthcare answered questions from attendees about the company’s own 10-year strategic energy plan. All of this tool place over coffee and pastries sponsored by official Project Skyline partner Rocky Mountain Power.

Thanks again to our presenters Leslie Cook and Troy Jensen, as well as Energy Star, Intermountain Healthcare and Rocky Mountain Power for sponsoring our breakfast.  We hope to see another great attendance at the next fall workshop on November 19th for presentations on building commissioning and recommissioning.

Project Skyline at the 2014 USGBC Green Build Conference and Expo

Thank you to the Challenge participants who have recently submitted 2013 baseline data. If you haven’t submitted the 2013 baseline data for your participating buildings yet, please visit this link to get started!

Project Skyline director, Sonal Kemkar, attended the USGBC Green Build Conference last week in New Orleans to discuss the progress being made on commercial building efficiency in Salt Lake City. In addition to highlighting the newest technologies in green building design, the conference brought together leadership from various levels of government and the real estate community who are working on the next-generation of energy efficiency programs. With the launch of the Mayor’s Skyline Challenge, Salt Lake City joins cities like New York, Denver, and Atlanta who are also working with local business leaders on increasing awareness of building performance. Salt Lake City joined members of USGBC and USGBC Utah, AIA, and BOMA at the annual conference.

Project Skyline: September Recap

Congratulations to Mayor’s Skyline Challenge participant, University of Utah

Project Skyline congratulates the University of Utah and Energy Manager Jeff Wrigley for the national recognition they received for their commitment to energy efficiency from the U.S. Department of Energy. “The University’s efforts showcase strategies that can be replicated at similar buildings, institutions and facilities across America,” said Dave Danielson, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Read the full press release here.

September News

Project Skyline was pleased to be invited by Challenge Partner BOMA Utah to their September 4th lunch and learn.

ENERGY STAR introduced and demonstrated the core functionality of the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool. Attendees were able to learn more about the tool and engage in a more in depth discussion with ENERGY STAR leadership. Look out for information on future BOMA Utah educational events. Check out the webinar here.

Challenge partner USGBC Utah hosted a Project Skyline workshop on Efficiency Project Planning & Implementation Strategies on September 12th.

On Friday September 12th, Project Skyline hosted its first Mayor’s Skyline Challenge workshop with USGBC Utah. This workshop included a great line up of speakers that each offered their own expertise in the world of building energy efficiency, with plenty of opportunities to engage with the audience and lead the discussion.

Nexant offered an overview the energy efficiency project process, ETC Group presented their Top 10 energy efficiency strategies for existing buildings, and the University of Utah’s energy manager Jeff Wrigley presented a case study on efficiency improvements made to the Eccles Institute of Human Genetics.

This was an excellent start to the workshop series, and Mayor’s Skyline Challenge participants can expect future installments to offer just as much insight and engagement. Thanks again to USGBC Utah, Nexant, ETC Group and the University of Utah Facilities Management for sharing your expertise and forwarding building energy efficiency in the Salt Lake City community.

Project Skyline gets highlighted at national Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) annual meeting.

Salt Lake City Sustainability Director Vicki Bennett and Sustainability Program Manager Tyler Poulson were invited to the national USDN meeting to discuss how local governments can help to scale up energy efficiency and net zero energy buildings.

Please join us in welcoming our newest Challenge participant, Architectural Nexus. See their profile here.

Upcoming webinars hosted by national experts

September 24, 11:00-12:30 PM (MDT) – Portfolio Manager 201
Continue to learn about EPA’s new ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool, with a deeper dive into more advanced functionalities such as managing and tracking changes to your property uses over time, using spreadsheet templates to update property data, setting goals and targets to plan energy improvements for properties, generating and using custom reports, and using the Sustainable Buildings Checklist. Register

September 25, 2:00-3:30 PM (MDT) – Community-Based Social Marketing
This webinar will describe community-based social marketing as a behavior-based approach for developing energy-efficiency programs.  The webinar will begin with an overview of the five steps involved in developing and delivering a community-based social marketing program, including methods for prioritizing and selecting target behaviors, identifying barriers and benefits, leveraging behavior change tools, pilot testing, and evaluation.  Each presentation will also cover case studies of scalable programs that have successfully applied the community-based social marketing model or its components to promote energy-efficiency and conservation behaviors. Register

Upcoming Project Skyline educational events

October: Creating an Energy Action Plan hosted by Challenge partner ENERGY STAR

November: Commissioning and Retro-commissioning hosted by Challenge partner Rocky Mountain Power

Stay tuned for more information!

Thank you to the Challenge participants who have recently submitted 2013 baseline data. If you haven’t submitted the 2013 baseline data for your participating buildings yet, please visit this link to get started!