Photo of Arbutus Mall, Vancouver
As an engineer and self-proclaimed entrepreneur I find myself value driven when seeking opportunities. Usually value is something which can measured, whether it be in profit, market share, response rate, efficiency in operations and resource management, or other metric. It may be to date unrecognized or otherwise under-utilized or untapped resource which can be subject to improvements or other opportunities.
Education of the market can be a daunting task, and getting recognition may be challenging. However, perseverance and targeted marketing can eventually lead to opportunities where value can be recognized in a structured manner where a service contract may be offered to complete the scope of the determined project. Here are some personal thoughts that I am putting down in a Q/A format:
Q. Why do I write a blog?
A. Writing a blog on energy in our built and constructed world has multiple benefits. I get to practice my writing and research skills, learn new and emerging technology, meet new people, continue my growth as an individual and professional, and publish my research.
Q. Why do I write about energy?
A. One of the reasons I choose energy conservation and efficiency is my own understanding of how we can rationalize construction projects and work by building operations savings. In the past with failing mechanical systems in buildings I have specified upgrades to the building plant to improve operations and partially pay for the repairs and upgrades by operational savings.
Q. What kind of professional services are needed in buildings?
A. To start we must to perform baseline measurements of the building. Before changes are made so as to establish existing consumption rates of energy and water, as well as waste streams. By doing this we can examine methods of reducing consumption rates and establish priorities for improvements and budget proposals for improvements in building equipment, the building envelope, electrical and lighting, as well as fixing ongoing problems or other deficiencies. Generally speaking, a building energy audit and report is proposed start to this process, where an informal meeting with building staff, obtaining existing plans and doing an initial onsite inspection of operations and systems.
Q. How can we achieve energy savings and be more green?
A. Small and local things can add up, this is a fundamental tenet of conservation. Every act gets examined, where is the waste, what can be reduced, is it needed, how can we do this differently. All questions need to be asked and answered where an environment is occupied, and can be quite intensive where industry or other energy intensive commercial enterprise may be involved.
Q. Why do I need an outside consultant or professional to perform this work?
A. There are many tools a consultant can use and bring to the table with a client. Knowledge and understanding of systems are important and how they fit together, someone who has experience in systems design, has worked in the field and can provide a service to either establish an initial plan to overseeing the entire project, including design, execution and final occupancy.
Q. What else is important besides an energy audit?
A. After an energy audit, building condition review and report may follow a request for proposal if it is determined by the client that repairs are required and a budget for these may be established prior to commencing work. Within the proposal will be a preliminary scope or statement of work.