In a recent Seattle Times editorial ‘Treat Air Quality to Safeguard Buildings Against COVID-19,’ Gus Simonds, President of MacDonald-Miller, highlights approaches for building owners and property managers to safely bring people back into buildings by following the research and guidelines from the CDC, the state, and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Simonds addresses the challenge of each unique building requiring a customized solution and discusses some of the recommended approaches such as increasing outdoor air intake, regulating humidity, and utilizing bipolar ionization that can be taken to ensure safe and healthy indoor environments.
Read the editorial HERE.
The application period for Washington State Energy Efficiency Grants opened on November 9th.
This grant opportunity is part of the Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants Program.
Approximately $3,570,000 in funding will be available to grantees with a maximum of $500,000 available to each applicant. There is no minimum request amount. The deadline to apply is 4 p.m. on Jan. 29, 2021.
These grants are for energy efficiency retrofits at existing facilities that result in energy and operational cost savings. This funding enables organizations to take actionable steps toward reducing energy and water consumption in existing public facilities across Washington State. In addition to realizing cost savings, this program provides opportunities to improve the health and safety for building occupants such as students, teachers and other public employees, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Eligible applicants include:
- Local Agencies
- Local Agencies include any city, town, county, special purpose district, municipal corporation, agency, port district or authority, or political subdivision of any type, or any other entity or authority of local government in corporate form or otherwise.
- Public Higher Education Institutions
- School Districts
- State Agencies
- Federally Recognized Tribal Governments
To increase the equitable distribution of resources and funding, the program sets aside 20% of the funding for projects located in small towns and cities (populations of 5,000 or less). These entities have a lower match requirement, ensuring that rural communities with fewer resources also benefit from energy efficiency projects. In 2019, new proviso language was adopted to allow the inclusion of federally recognized Tribal governments as eligible applicants.
A pre-proposal Applicant’s conference webinar is scheduled to be held at 10 am on November 19, 2020. All prospective applicants are encouraged to attend; however, attendance is not mandatory. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the program webpage. Please visit the EE Grant webpage for more details.
The following is a press release from King County from November 5, 2020.
Commercial property owners and developers have the opportunity to extract and re-purpose heat energy from sewer pipes through the King County Wastewater Treatment Division’s new Sewer Heat Recovery pilot program. King County invites commercial property owners and developers to apply for consideration as potential users.
The hot water that goes down drains every day from homes and businesses and maintains a constant temperature as it travels through sewer pipes to treatment plants is an unused renewable resource. Allowing buildings to tap into King County’s sewer pipes to recover this energy is another step the county is taking to shape resilient and sustainable communities.
The King County Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) is the first utility in Washington and one of the first in the nation to offer commercial property owners and developers an opportunity to recover energy from its sewer pipes for heating or cooling buildings. As part of its Sewer Heat Recovery program, WTD is seeking two building pilot projects. New construction and retrofit projects are eligible.
Applications for program participation must be received by Dec. 18, 2020. Program information and application can be found at kingcounty.gov/sewerheatrecovery.
The King County Council recently unanimously approved legislation that authorized WTD to approve sewer heat recovery projects. While fairly common in Europe and parts of Canada, standardized use agreements like this are pioneering in the United States.
“Our new Sewer Heat Recovery program is a great opportunity for us to partner with King County commercial property owners,” said Mark Isaacson, WTD Director. “This technology will lower a connected building’s carbon emissions, and help owners decrease their environmental footprint. Sewer heat recovery can also help owners and developers meet more stringent energy codes and give them a chance to leverage occupancy strategies that could attract tenants, buyers, and potential investors.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Marie Fiore, 206-247-9260; email@example.com
About the King County Wastewater Treatment Division
King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division protects public health and enhances the environment by collecting and treating wastewater while recycling valuable resources for the Puget Sound region. The division provides wastewater treatment services to 17 cities, 17 local sewer districts and more than 1.8 million residents across a 420-square-mile area in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.
Seattle Building Tune-Ups aim to optimize energy and water performance by identifying low- or no-cost actions related to building operations and maintenance, that generate 10-15% in energy savings, on average. Tune-Ups are required every five years for buildings in the City of Seattle with 50,000 square feet or more of non-residential space (excluding parking). The largest buildings have collectively achieved 97% compliance with the new regulation resulting in nearly 330 completed Tune-Ups.
Compliance takes time, often between 6 and 12 months, and many owners use the grace period to complete implementation and verification of required corrective actions. Initiate conversations with your customers now to ensure there is adequate time to complete the on-site building assessment and follow through on required corrective actions. HVAC operations dominate the most commonly found deficiencies. Many including HVAC set point adjustments and sensor calibration fixes were identified and made in nearly half of all Tune-Ups submitted to date.
Owners of smaller buildings must meet the new Tune-Up mandate, April 1, 2021 for Cohort 3 buildings (70,000 to 99,999 square feet) and October 1, 2021 for Cohort 4 buildings (50,000 to 69,999 square feet). In addition to saving energy and water, conducting a Tune-Up can also help with preparing your building for operation during and/or after the COVID-19 pandemic.
All work associated with a Building Tune-Up must be done by a qualified Tune-Up Specialist, the experienced professionals responsible for conducting the building assessment, identifying required Tune-Up actions, performing those actions, verifying the work is done correctly, and submitting a report to the City.
As a certified Level II Building Operator (BOC), you’re well on your way to qualifying as a Tune-Up Specialist. Tune-Up Specialists must have least seven years of experience, including educational and/or professional experience, with commercial building operations and/or building energy management AND have one of the following certifications:
- Professional Engineer (PE) in mechanical or architectural engineering
- Building Operator Certification (BOC) Level II
- Certified Energy Manager (CEM)
- Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP)
- Commissioning Authority (CxA)
- Existing Building Commissioning Professional (EBCP)
- Sustainable Building Science Technology Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS)
The Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) has a directory of qualified Tune-Ups Specialists. If you meet the qualifications of a Tune-Up Specialist and would like to be a part of this list, please submit a Tune-Up Specialist registration via the Seattle Services Portal.