The Premiere issue of Smart Buildings Technology is now available – read about a healthy return to the workplace, smart building assessments, data network design and more!
With support from Puget Sound Energy, Seattle City Light, and Washington State Department of Commerce, the Smart Buildings Center (SBC) has developed a new video training series demonstrating practical applications of some of the tools available in SBC’s Tool Lending Library for providing healthier air while maintaining energy-efficiency. These topics are especially relevant to occupying buildings during and post-pandemic. Videos in the series include:
- Healthier Air in Buildings: Tools and Strategies
This video gives an overview of the tools available for testing air flow, pressure, and CO2 levels in relation to preventing the spread of airborne infectious disease, increasing occupant comfort, and maintaining energy-efficient HVAC systems.
- Verifying Ventilation System Effectiveness Using a Flow Hood
This video demonstrates how to use a flow hood to test air velocity going through a grill to determine the ventilation system effectiveness, in this case for restroom exhaust. Calculating air changes per hour is also discussed.
- Assessing Air Pressure in Buildings
This video demonstrates how to use a digital pressure gauge and/or air flow meter to determine zonal or building pressure relative to another zone or to the outdoors.
- CO2 Measurement for Healthier Air in Buildings
In this video, we discuss the use of CO2 monitoring and data logging equipment to help approximate how well a space is being ventilated with fresh air over time, including a demonstration of graphed data analysis.
These tools and many more are available for short term rental – (for free!) at the Smart Buildings Center website. Follow us on our YouTube Channel for additional video tutorials and other smart buildings content!
The following case study is provided courtesy of BetterBricks
The actions of building occupants can impact how building systems run, especially if they are adapting to their environments in ways that negatively impact the overall building performance (i.e., covering sensors, adjusting or altering thermostats, bringing space heaters to the office, etc.). Training and actively engaging with building occupants can empower them to contribute to the performance goals of a building. Behavioral change programs or tenant engagement programs are becoming widely applied to achieve energy savings by teaching building occupants how to properly engage with their environments.
A tenant engagement program is a social intervention plan or campaign that encourages the occupants of a given building to participate in positive energy behaviors by using energy-efficient strategies . In buildings with ambitious energy-performance targets, like the Catalyst building at the South Landing development in Spokane, Wash., engaging occupants through education and behavioral change is especially important to reach and maintain energy efficiency targets through the lifespan of a building. Engagement additionally can leverage individual motivations, green-lease agreements, or incentives to attract participation.
Behavior-based energy efficiency (BEE) programs are becoming widely adopted by utilities and are a source of energy savings as more energy-efficient technologies are adopted . Utility BEE programs consist of strategies that increase energy-efficient behaviors through targeted interventions and information delivery , but ultimately are designed to engage with residential customers [4, 5]. Utility motivations to reduce energy consumption stems from the costs of energy production and reducing environmental impacts , but little has been done to understand how to engage with building occupants who do not directly pay for their consumption [7-9].
The Smart Buildings Center, in collaboration with the City of Seattle Office of Economic Development, is piloting a Lend & Learn program to grow and diversify clean technologies and to expand SBC’s Tool Lending Library (TLL). The goal of the pilot is to:
- Increase market access and awareness of local clean technologies specifically around energy efficiency and renewables.
- Streamline product providers with business assistance such as user feedback on the tool experience.
We’re seeking input from current tool lending library users as well as those who are not current users.
Your feedback is valuable to us! You will have the opportunity at the end of the survey to provide your contact information to win one of four $50 gift cards from the Intentionalist, a diverse local business marketplace. You may also donate your gift card to support the Smart Buildings Center Education Program (SBCEP).
Stay tuned for more details on the SBC Lend & Learn Program and Tool Lending Library! Join the Smart Buildings Center mailing list for information about events and energy efficiency news by clicking here.
Thank you for your time & support!
Up to $4.6 million available for new round of Grid Modernization grants
Commerce is pleased to announce a new application period is now open for the Grid Modernization grant program under the state’s Clean Energy Fund. Up to $4.6 million is available through a competitive award process.
To support a wider range of the state’s utilities, this round of funding provides support for earlier-stage pre-design and design activities for future capital projects. The available funding supports electric utilities in deploying grid modernization projects that facilitate integration of renewable energy sources, deployment of distributed energy resources, and sustainable microgrids.
Only retail electric utilities are eligible to apply, however priority will be given to applicants that demonstrate partnership with federally-recognized Tribal governments and/or non-profit organizations serving Tribal communities or vulnerable populations.
Commerce is also prioritizing projects that:
- Support the deployment of capital assets that benefit federally- recognized Tribal governments, Tribal communities or vulnerable populations.
- Demonstrate meaningful community engagement and/or co-creation of project design and outcomes.
- Use new or innovative products or services, or which deploy a proven technology using a novel approach.
Applications must be received by 5 p.m. on May 18, 2021.
Find more information, including examples of past projects and all application materials, on Commerce’s Grid Modernization webpage.
The Grid Modernization program is funded through Washington state’s Clean Energy Fund (CEF). The CEF invests in projects that provide a public benefit to Washington communities through deployment of clean energy technologies that save energy and reduce energy costs, reduce harmful air emissions, or otherwise increase energy independence for the state.
Resilience is increasingly important for Better Buildings partners and the broader marketplace. More than 80% of companies polled in the 2019 EEI survey rated resiliency as extremely or very important when making energy and building infrastructure investments. At last year’s Better Buildings Summit more than 950 attendees joined sessions on the topic of resilience.
To help you build on your energy efficiency improvements and increase your organization’s resilience by mitigating risks from natural disasters and other stressors, we created the Efficiency-Resilience Nexus.
Use the nexus to find solutions specific to your organization’s goals, whether you’re implementing new energy efficiency technologies, decreasing the energy demand on facilities, minimizing vulnerabilities to climate-related impacts, finding financing, or just deciding where to start.
RESOURCES FOR ALL STAGES OF IMPROVING RESILIENCE: