Archive for November, 2010

Peak Oil and the New Urbanism

November 25, 2010

James Howard Kunstler’s argues that declining oil production will result in the decline of modern industrialized society. In a recent interview, the author warns of the destructive potential of ignoring the reality of Peak Oil.

Could events such as this week’s purchase by the Thai national energy company of $2.3 billion of shale assets in Canada from Statoil, a 40% position in a field, lead to Monroe Doctrine declarations by the U. S. ?  I don’t see us invading Canada.

Con Edison Commercial-Industrial Program

November 24, 2010

We’re participants in a new rebate program that gives clients access to $100,000,000. of energy efficiency rebates.

What the program provides is that any Con Ed customer can get a rebate on electric or gas energy improvements through a pre-qualified consulting engineer.

Let’s say a client has a old gas-fired boiler that they want to replace with a new, modern boiler. We would calculate the energy savings on behalf of the client using a standard ASHRAE protocol. The project gets approved in a couple of weeks. The client then gets a check from Con Ed for the equivalent of $0.12 / kWh of savings for the equivalent of the first year’s savings. Con Ed gives an additional bonus of 10% for peak-demand reduction projects. Now we know boilers are not calc’ed in kWh, but the straight-line conversion is 1 kWh = 3.4121 MBTU.

The Con Ed program is administered by Lockheed Martin and applies to just about any piece of equipment or building system that uses energy. Here is the certification we received from Lockheed:

Passive Solar Design

November 19, 2010

_wsb_500x297_C2+Helios+Section+-+WEBPassive solar design refers to the use of the sun’s energy for the heating and cooling of living spaces. In this approach, the building itself or some element of it takes advantage of natural energy characteristics in materials and air created by exposure to the sun.


NYC ECC and COMcheck

November 3, 2010

* DoB now accepts DOE-sponsored software to verify NYC ECC compliance for design projects, available for Windows and Mac OS.

* DOE has released a new version of EnergyPlus building energy simulation software.

* Ancient Romans had some of the same issues facing us today in NYC: collapsing buildings, and devising energy efficiency measures.

Maiden Lane facade of 2 Federal Reserve Plaza, 33 Maiden Lane, 1985. Traditional floor by floor brick exterior wall construction consisting of 6″ block backup, 2″ cavity, and 3 5/8″ Belden brick, complies with NYC ECC.