Monday, July 27, 2009

SCUP Conference

Last week at the SCUP conference we presented on the Hamilton Hall project from the Business School. The architect, Nancy Goodwin of Finegold Alexander + Associates, started by introducing the project and it's LEED gold rating. Ken Beck, project engineer from BLW Engineers, followed with a talk about the building's controls, which included the first use of occupancy sensors to control thermostats on campus. I followed with a look at how the Buisiness School and the University leveraged the initial successes from Hamilton Hall into bigger successesses in future projects and eventually into campus-wide policy changes. A copy of the presentation can be found here.

Friday, July 10, 2009

BCA Commissioning Requirements

Posting on BCA Group at LinkedIn: There has been a lot of discussion about the BCA's certification being too difficult to obtain. The Certification comittee is looking for ways to make the certification easier to obtain without sacrificing the integrity of the certification. Ideas?

Response: As someone who has worked with a lot of bad commissioning authorities, I think the BCA certification requirements are great. How many projects have a commissioning authority sign off despite never having an OPR or BOD? How many CxA's use the nominal group technique to facilitate development of the OPR? How many CxA's use Guideline 4 to prepare the systems manual? CxA's that confirm As-Builts are As-Built? CxA's that suggest envelope commissioning in a complex building? I think the BCA and U of Wisconsin certifications give educated owners a level of confidence in their consultants and help give the industry a better image. I've worked on lots of clients who feel (after paying for bad commissioning) that it was a worthless investment though I'm convinced and the data supports that good commissioning is the smartest investment an owner can make. Nathan

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Somebody recently asked for a copy of our GreenBuild 2008 presentation. For a copy, please click here. While I'm at it, here's a copy of an old "Green Buildings at Harvard" presentation (very outdated now).

"Advertising" Green Buildings

Question: I work for the Office of Sustainability at ### University. I was wondering if you could direct me to the individual in your office who would know about green building done at Harvard. Specifically, I'm interested to know if any of the Harvard's green buildings have innovative ways of advertising their innovations.


We have a pretty big campus and over 60 green building / LEED projects and each advertises their innovation a little differently. We have real time utility displays in some:

All completed projects get case studies (eventually):

We put the technologies used in an online database:

And a lot of projects have comprehensive signage programs, lab hood CFM displays, tours that are publicly available, etc. We usually try to write an article about new projects for our website:

We then try to link to this site on the AASHE bulletin.

A couple of years ago we published a map of all our green building projects in the Harvard Gazette (click on the image on the bottom right):

Hope this helps,