Thursday, September 24, 2009

Calculating Energy Savings

On Friday, I presented a brown bag lunch presentation on Calculating Energy Savings to the OFS staff. The presentation started with a look at some spreadsheets I'd created to quickly calculate the savings from two easy energy retrofits... reduced pressure drop air filters and premium efficiency motors. The Excel file had pages started for calculating a number of other types of savings, but wasn't quite ready to share at this time. Next we went over part of the attached Power Point starting with how to calculate lighting fixture requirement using the Lumen Method (the agenda on the second page of the presentation was never changed to represent the actual presentation). We then went over the Fundamental Law of Illumination and how fixture distance affects illuminance. The presentation continued with an explanation of energy models and how they work. We then finished by looking at an eQUEST version 3.62 model for one of the undergraduate houses and quickly reviewing some of the inputs and summary reports. About 6 people attended.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Integrated Design and LEED

On Monday, September 14th, I taught my first full lecture at our ENVR 119, Green Building Design, Construction and Operations class at the Harvard Extension School. The class was well attended (about 40 people in the classroom) and was watched by many more live via the web. For the first time we had an online chat room up so that people could talk to each other during the class and ask questions, which teaching fellow Andrea Ruedy Trimble would read aloud. We know at least one student watched from Brazil and we expect the class from Tsinghua University in China to watch the recorded version. Tsinghua University has partnered with the Extension School to offer our class at their University, watching our lectures and using our assignments, but grading their own papers and supplementing our lectures with their own introductions.

The class on Monday was extended to three hours instead of its usual two hour format. For the first hour, I spoke about Integrated Design. The class asked lots of good questions and we had excellent participation. Rafal Shurma spoke next for one hour about international green building rating systems. It always makes me smile to see BREAM for Prisons as a formal rating system. Finally, I spoke from 9:30 to 10:30 pm about the US Green Building Council's LEED Rating System. I talked about the overall structure of the LEED system and then walked through the specific environmental attributes identified in the 2009 version of LEED for New Construction and Major Renovations. We also announced a study group for students wanting to prepare for the LEED Green Associate examination. A surprisingly high percentage of students stayed in class until 10:30 and about 5 even stuck around to ask questions. Copies of both of my presentations are attached.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

LEED for Homes Platinum

Walked by 2 Grant Street the other day. This is Harvard's first LEED for Homes Platinum building. It was a full-gut renovation of a 1,000 square foot house originally built in 1867. The project used a Mitsubishi Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV) to ventilate the house in an energy efficient manner (pictured). This is a preferred method of ventilation compared to ventilating by leaving the building envelope really leaky (the more common method) and is especially effective in a hot-roof application where insulation is applied directly to the underside of the roof (as was done in 2 Grant). The project uses a high efficiency condensing furnace (95.5% efficient) for heat and air conditioner (13 SEER) for cooling and Icynene spray insulation to improve the envelope performance. Domestic hot water is provided by an instantaneous water heater as needed by the occupants (no storage tank) and all appliances were selected to be Energy Star rated. The team selected all low-emitting materials and otherwise environmentally friendly materials, water efficient fixtures (saving 40%), and carefully designed the project to be durable and avoid mold or moisture damage. This is only the second LEED for Homes Platinum at any university and the fist renovation.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Green Building Class

On Monday, we had the first ENVR 119, Green Building Design, Construction, and Operations class of the year. So far there are more than 75 students signed up for the class that is offered live and via distance learning. This is the fourth time we've offered ENVR 119. Jack Spengler (pictured above right) provided the course introduction as well as a lecture on the impacts of buildings on the environment and human health. Dr. Spengler is the Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation in the Exposure, Epidemiology & Risk Program, within the Department of Environmental Health, at Harvard University's School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts and is a world renowned expert on indoor air quality. Andrea Trimble followed with a review of the course syllabus and schedule. Andrea (pictured to the left) is manager of the Harvard Office for Sustainability Green Building Services. Rafal Schurma and Agnes Vorbrodt-Schurma introduced themselves and spoke briefly about their experiences starting the Polish Green Building Council. I followed with a very brief introduction of myself and a quick presentation on integrated design and the design and construction process (time was limited). A copy of my presentation can be found below.