The High-Performance Building Movement

11.04.21

| LEED, Sustainability, WELL rating system, Net Zero Energy

The following was developed while working with the National Business Officers Association, which is the national nonprofit association focused exclusively on supporting independent school business officers and operations staff while fostering excellence among schools.
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Your Facility will Cost More This Winter

10.19.21

| Energy Costs, Energy Management, Energy Pricing, ASHRAE Energy Audit

Several factors have combined to create an imbalance between natural gas supply and demand, which has driven natural gas costs to double this year. Organizations that developed energy procurement strategies well in advance of this year likely locked in long-term natural gas and electric supply contracts in 2019/20 and will be protected from current market pricing increases for now. However, organizations that do not have supply contracts through the winter of 2021-22 will be exposed to natural gas pricing above $6 per one million British Thermal Units (MMBTU), which is the highest pricing seen since February 2014 during the polar vortex.

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SEF'S NZE OFFICE BUILDING SELECTED AS HONORABLE MENTION IN ARCHITECTURE BY FAST COMPANY'S 2021 WORLD CHANGING IDEAS AWARDS

05.20.21

| Energy Management, SEF, Net Zero Energy

New York, May 4, 2021 — The winners of Fast Company’s 2021 World Changing Ideas Awards were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to pursuing innovation when it comes to solving health and climate crises, social injustice, or economic inequality.

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Every Campus Should Address Climate Risk

04.23.21

| Education, renewable energy, Climate Change

Institutions of higher education are, to use Robert Orr’s phrase, “in the crosshairs and at the crossroads” of polarized public debates. The crosshairs are easy to describe -- student debt, rising tuition, freedom of expression, racial tensions -- and the list is endless. But the crossroads are harder stories to tell, or even to predict. What kinds of changes are possible, and do institutions of higher learning possess the collective will to make them?

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Lehigh Achieves Gold Rating in 2021 STARS Report

04.22.21

| Sustainability, AASHE

Congratulations to our current client and neighbor in Bethlehem, PA, Lehigh University for achieving a Gold rating from AASHE STARS.  While nearly 700 institutions from throughout the world have submitted STARS reports, only 25% have achieved a gold rating, which indicates a high level of institutional sustainability.

Lehigh excels in many areas of the Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System report and performs better than most reporting peer institutions in the majority of metrics.

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Georgetown University Partnership Boosts Energy Efficiency, Sustainability Goals

04.20.21

| Energy Management, Sustainability

Georgetown University is boosting its conservation and utility management efforts through a partnership with ENGIE North America. Together, these efforts will improve energy efficiency, help the university achieve ambitious sustainability goals, and positively impact students, faculty, and the community.

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IotaComm Announces Strategic Alliance with The Stone House Group

03.19.21

| Education, New Technology

Collaboration Bringing High-Value, Smart Building Services to the Education Market Throughout the U.S.

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Benchmarking

03.18.21

| cost savings

One of the easy ways to understand how your facilities are operating is to know a few key facilities benchmarks.  The first ingredient in the analysis is utilized in all of these calculations, how many gross square feet are your buildings or campus.   How do you figure this out if you do not know it off the top of your head?  Gross square feet (GSF) is defined as the sum of all areas on all floors of a building included within the outside faces of its exterior walls, including all vertical penetration areas, for circulation and shaft areas that connect one floor to another. 

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Membrane Roofs and the Need for Air Barriers

03.10.21

| cost savings, AVB

With the building industry moving more toward light colored roofing it has become increasingly important to consider the application of an air and vapor barrier (AVB) in the roof assembly.  It is a false assumption to consider that the roofing membrane acts as an AVB in the roof application.  The reason is that moisture is a nasty little bugger that can get into most any assembly.  The goal is not to just prevent moisture from entering the assembly but to get it out when it does get into the assembly.

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What’s the Temperature of Your Campus?

03.02.21

| cost savings, Energy Management, Energy Pricing

When my kids were younger, they seemed to pick up a cold almost weekly, most of the time catching it from their schoolmates, nothing major. We’d see it coming from the obvious signs: sniffles, feeling achy, acting sluggish. Sometimes we’d call the pediatrician, who would immediately ask us, “What’s your son’s temperature?”, which was a friendly reminder to just take out the thermometer and keep track of their temperatures, as their temperature would usually tell us how they were holding up and what care was appropriate.  

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