EcoTextures Sustainability, L3C
Conserving. Educating. Giving Back.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, buildings use 39% of the fossil fuels and 75% of the electricity consumed in the United States. As such, buildings present the single largest opportunity to change the sustainability equation.
This gauge shows a collective total of the carbon offsets my clients have achieved so far:
Your organization can advertise progress toward its sustainability goals with a gauge like this one.
Energy Program Start-up
Congratulations to Rantoul's Taylor Studios, Inc.! It was a pleasure working with Ryan to get TSI's energy program Version 1.0 up and running.
They now have long-term energy cost reduction goals on paper and metrics set up to measure progress, as well as a list of folks with whom they'll want to share success. What is Taylor Studios about? Designing, building, installing museum exhibits nation-wide.
A small business in Rantoul receives an Energy Star score of 69 ...
Yes, buildings can receive Energy Star labels too, if their score is 75 or more. (The sticker is slightly bigger than the one on your TV.) The assessment tool used to receive your score is free and easy to use. We'll get the account set up for you then show you how to use it and transfer it to you.
For this business, it provided a starting point for setting energy reduction goals toward which they want to measure and report progress. They're putting in place new habits and procedures proven to save money on power bills. Immediately it shows up in their balance too.
Actions for cheaper home power bills.
A vacation home in northern Michigan needs alternatives to electric power from the grid.
There are easy, fast and cheap-to-implement solutions for immediate savings. An analysis using the power company's own tools identifies what systems use the bulk of the electricity.
Upgrades to the biggest offenders became the target of the study, listing all the options available along with verifications needed before commencing with the preferred option. Installation costs along with on-going savings per year were included alongside each type upgrade.
A university building's kitchen renovation sets the stage...
A lunchtime seminar for tenants on what goes where and why ends with a challenge - see how much waste they can keep out of the landfill.
The goal: divert 800 more gallons than before from the landfill by the end of the year.
Sustainable product purchasing from a local supplier (cheaper) plus a reduction in the already-oversized waste hauler's container saves operating costs each month. With help from great operations staff, a monthly progress announcement communicates progress to tenants.
Energy Management and Edcuation Work Together.
Green and Healthy Living is also lucrative.
Saving the residents money on their own power bills also serves to give them pride in the place where they live. It also assures them the property manager cares about their well-being, physical and financial.
Saving the property owner money every month on the "house" power bill frees up operating income. And tax credits for the energy-efficient exterior lighting upgrades may be available.
A quick cash flow analysis leveraging the estimated annual power bill savings against anticipated bank loan interest rate yielded the overall project cost feasible without increasing today's operating budget.
Uptown Crossing, Normal, Illinois
Mixed-use building on the edge of ISU's campus.
This complex, a 5-story retail/office/apartment building, received LEED Certification in November, 2012.
As an architect and Henneman Engineering's LEED Certification team leader for JSM Development, my job was to attempt Certification for this project which was already designed and under construction. I developed from the ground up, several LEED-specific spreadsheets used for credit calculations. I worked backward from LEED template input requirements to create various step-by-step tracking guides which make the contractor's life easier. I also quickly produced a Revit building information model, exporting it to the engineers for energy modeling use. JSM also used the 3D model for visual explanation of their new building in marketing efforts.
Rick Fedrizzi, Founding Chairman of the U.S. Green Builidng Council, commented on this project's significance, noting this was the first mixed use development south of I-80 to achieve LEED Certification.
Occupant Engagement and Environmental Literacy work together.
"Sustainability 101" - Jefferson Middle School.
My idea: why not let the students in on the excitement? Their school had just installed a geothermal heating/cooling system. Certainly they knew they were getting "air conditioning". But did they understand how significant it was that its temperature control was coming from the earth's constant 55-degree temperature? For that matter, did the teachers and staff understand? First things first. Engaging the students by letting them in on the big news empowers them, giving them added pride about the place where they learn.
How big is their carbon footprint?
Urbana Middle Schoolers dove deep into a scientific discussion behind the catch-phrase. I led them though a six-week series starting with the big deal about fossil fuels and greenhouse gases. They took an on-line assessment of their own footprints, then brainstormed for ways they could reduce theirs. They challenged their classmates to join them by presenting their findings on the last day.
Not only did they learn, but they became leaders that day. They joined with students around the globe raising awareness through the Green Apple Day of Service, 2013.