Building Upgrades & Retrofits

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Energy Reduction Plans

Upon completion of an energy audit, and a complete building survey and analysis, our team develops a plan (ERP) for reducing the building's energy usage. Our goal is generally to achieve a minimum of 15% energy savings. We specify features and elements to be modified, replaced, or added, and develop a preliminary cost estimate for such. If our clients proceed with our plan and its successful implementation, they can be eligible for significant savings through utility and related energy services companies. The features of the ERP generally fall under three categories:

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Building Envelope

Many of today's failings in our existing building stock result from weaknesses in the building envelope. These include cracks, holes and gaps in exterior finishes, walls, ceilings and roofs. They can result from improper insulation around outlets, ducts, pipes and other wall penetrations. Old AC sleeves can be closed or insulated. Thermal bridging also creates a problem at roofs and exterior walls which lead to problems like ice dams that inevitably cause leaks. Old windows and doors are a major source of heat loss and infiltration.

Our team would identify these areas and develop a plan for remediation or replacement. Using high-efficiency products and materials, proper installation and weather-stripping, we can reduce heat loss significantly, and yield tremendous savings for homeowners and building managers.

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Heating System

Most of our existing buildings today have antiquated heating systems. Boilers in multifamily buildings are old and inefficient, or have been only partially upgraded in recent decades. Most of these boilers heat the building's water, which in the winter is fine; however in the summer this causes a huge waste of energy and fuel. Installing a domestic hot water heater (specifically a new condensing boiler) is a solution to this problem – it saves great amounts of energy and large sums of money during the summer when the boiler can be turned off. Condensing boilers run on natural gas, so a conversion is often the first step in this process. A gas conversion is another means of saving the homeowners real money in reduced fuel costs.

Our team would evaluate the existing system and determine the components that might need to be upgraded or replaced, and then make recommendations for replacement. We would also assess whether a gas conversion may be feasible – if so, we may recommend a Feasibility Study. Should the building decide to proceed, we can draft plans for the work, and follow through with Bidding and Construction Administration services.

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Lighting and Electrical System

Antiquated lighting wastes much energy in multifamily buildings. Common area lighting for lobbies, laundry and utility rooms, public spaces and parking garages are usually old and inefficient. They are either incandescent or aging fluorescent fixtures. Today's LEDs and fluorescents are more efficient and produce better color rendition, and are available in many options. While they have a higher upfront cost, they are a higher quality, last much longer, and save greater amounts of energy. Lighting controls such as occupancy sensors can also save the building significant energy costs.

Our team would do an audit of the common area lighting and note areas of inefficiency. We would also evaluate space usage and determine areas that would benefit from lighting controls. We would then develop a plan to update the lighting with new, highly efficient fixtures, exit signs and controls. We can also assist in providing bids for this lighting work.

DesignerG Services – Creative Energy Management provides a full suite of energy efficiency consulting services. Contact us for an initial consultation.