Im currently taking a class for BPI Multifamily Building Analyst. The class is once a week at night and spans two months. We have currently covered Boilers, Combustion Science, Green Cleaning, and Integrated Pest Management. We have yet to do any in the field learning, but im looking forward to getting my hands dirty. In NYC, if you pass both field and written exams, gaining the certification, are there any other licenses you need to perform multi family retro commissioning, auditing, or retrofitting in order to conform to NYC Local Laws? Im also considering taking the NYC LE exam and going back to school for a second degree in Environmental and Electrical Engineering and Design. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
News flash! EFP Pre-Qualified Program Adds LED Incentives!
Good news! The Existing Facilities Program has now added LED incentives to the Pre-Qualified Lighting applications. The CLP team receives calls from Business Partners almost every day asking if LEDs are allowed on the Pre-Qualified program. Now several LED product categories are eligible for Pre-Qualified incentives as long as they are ENERGY STAR® or DesignLightsTM Consortium listed per NYSERDA’s Solid State Lighting Policy. This article explains the new incentives as well as other changes you should be aware of.
Effective April 1st, NYSERDA announces updates to the Existing Facilities Program’s Pre-Qualified Incentives . Changes of note are as follows:
LED screw-in and pin-based lamps
LED refrigerated case lighting
LED low-bay fixtures (including garage & canopy)
Fluorescent bi-level stairwell lighting
Form fill-able and savable worksheets
High performance T8 relamp and reballast (HPT8-RF) measure reduced from $15 to $10
High intensity fluorescent (HIF) measure reduced from $35 to $15 for new construction
Pendant/wall mounted indirect fluorescent fixture (HEF-P) measure is removed
Separate “retrofit” and “new construction” forms
CONSULTANT– AUGUST 1 – PRESENT
Grew a NY based team and trained them for solar, roofing, and lighting sales. Set up software for CRM, project management, and sales rep communication. Helped establish a new company, Green Apple Lighting in NY, finding incentives, and signing new distributor agreements. Recently expanded into efficient home construction and major restoration. Worked on design using new insulation, framing, and sealing techniques along with HRV, ground source, attic/basement recirculation, DC power applications, smart home automation, and more.
OPERATIONS MANAGER- APRIL 5 – FEBRUARY 15, 2013
Sent an efficient lighting designer and installer in a new direction. Introduced Google Apps for Business. Focused on the development and sales of a T12 lighting retrofit system using T5 bulbs and expedited the UL certification process. Took the NYSERDA CLP test, making the company a lighting partner. Used industry contacts to establish us as a ConEd “GreenTeam” member, expanding leads and credibility. Worked on many lighting retrofit projects from audits to installations, including Montessori schools in Long Island and Rechler Equity.
CONSULTANT MAY 15 2012 – AUGUST 2012
Wrote copy to help focus SEO on Manhattan and local energy efficiency searches. Established a training program aligned with NYSERDA and available incentives. Personally performed energy audits on 6 NYC restaurants including Pan De Sal And Grill 21, involving NYSERDA through the CFA and secured incentive funding.
SOLAR SALES CONSULTANT MARCH 2011 – JANUARY 2012
Using Home Depot store traffic and working with in-store lead generators I generated leads and pre-screened homes for the SunRun solar program. I would then design systems, develop proposals, and go on site visits for qualifying customers, closing deals when possible. From the time I was a representative, the Lodi Home Depot store 932 moved from the bottom five in NJ for solar lead generation to the number three store in the state (for solar lead generation). While representing Clear Skies solar I would focus on Commercial Solar Sales, forming relationships with many different business owners interested in Solar PV installations and Energy Efficiency.
PROJECT MANAGER DECEMBER 2009 – MARCH 2011
Fostered my experience with small business and web development by working with a renewable energy startup. I developed tools for acquiring dealers, online marketing, SEO, web design, copywriting, proposal creation, securing financing, renewable energy sales, installation, and personnel training. Developed new proposal templates for solar PV and wind installations. Involved with solar PV and wind turbine installations in NJ and NY.
INTERESTS AND HOBBIES
I became interested in the renewable industry around the summer of 2009 when I built my own solar boat I am passionate about computers and very experienced with many programs and both Mac and PC platforms. I am a self-taught engineer who loves to find out what makes things work, have an ever-growing interest in architecture, and love new technology.
NABCEP certified, Microsoft Office, Powerpoint, Excel, Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Quickbooks, Dropbox, Salesforce, PVWatts, Google Earth, Google SketchUP, AutoCAD, Solar System Design, ROI calculations, Amortization Schedules, Google Apps for Business, UX, SEO, Branding, WebDesign, Team Development, Management, Acrobat Pro, Sublime, X Code, Network Development and Management, Wind Feasibility Studies, E Quest, AGI32, Cinema 4D Studio, EnergyPlus, BLAST, DOE-2, MailChimp, ACN, EnOcean, Konnex, MIDI, Modbus, XML, Zigbee, Z-WAVE, DALI, ASHARE/HERS/LEED rating systems, Passive House Design Theory.
Rutgers University, Livingston College, Piscataway, NJ 08854
2006 Bachelors of Science with a Major in Biological Sciences and a Minor in Psychology
In order to add value to energy efficiency upgrades we have to look beyond simple ROI, IRR, and other financial calculations into how our upgrades will effect the end user, which many times in New York City is either the company employee or the apartment tenant. In a study comprised by by the NREL about daylighting and having a view of the outside, extensive data was collected about the physical environment at each office worker’s cubicle.
Other potential influences, such as age or employment status were controlled while different models were tested to determine if any of the variations in environmental conditions, either between workers or during different time periods for a given worker, were significantly associated with differences in worker performance.
The studies found several physical conditions that were significantly associated with worker performance, when controlling for other influences.
Having a better view out of a window, gauged primarily by the size of the view and secondarily by greater vegetation content, was most consistently associated with better worker performance in six out of eight outcomes considered.
Workers in a Call Center were found to process calls 6% to 12% faster when they had the best possible view versus those with no view.
Office workers were found to perform 10% to 25% better on tests of mental function and memory recall when they had the best possible view versus those with no view.Furthermore, office worker self reports of better health conditions were strongly associated with better views.
Those workers in the Desktop study with the best views were the
least likely to report negative health symptoms. Reports of increased fatigue were most strongly associated with a lack of view. Other variables related to view were also found significant. In the Call Center higher cubicle partitions were associated with slower performance.
In the Desktop study glare potential from windows was found to have a significant negative effect on performance in three of the five mental function assessment tests. In the three tests, the greater the glare potential from primary view windows, the worse the office worker performance, decreasing by 15% to 21%,
all other things being equal.
WINDOWS AND OFFICES EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Horizontal daylight illumination levels were found to have an inconsistent relationship to performance, significant in two out of eight metrics tested. Higher levels of daylight illumination were found positive for Digit Span Backwards, a test measuring attention span and short term memory, and negative when compared to changes in daily average speed of handling calls for one of two
study periods. The natural log of daylight illumination levels was found to have the best mathematical fit to the data, implying more sensitivity to changes at lower levels of illumination and progressively less sensitivity at higher levels.
Ventilation status and air temperature were also found to have significant, if intertwined and occasionally contradictory, associations with worker performance.
When variation in hourly performance at the Call Center was considered, higher rates of outside air delivery were significantly associated with faster handling of calls.
Overall these potential influences on worker performance were found to have high statistical significance in the models tested. They are related to performance that is 1% to 20% better or worse than average. All together information about the physical conditions of the workers was able to explain about 2% to 5% of the
total variation observed in a measure of worker productivity (Call Center study) or in performance on short cognitive assessment tests that were thought to be related to worker productivity (Desktop study).
Even small improvements in worker productivity are of great practical importance, and explaining 2%-5% of total variation is not trivial. By way of comparison, all other available information typically believed to predict performance such as demographic characteristics or employment status was able to explain about 6% to 19% of the variation in their performance. Thus the characteristics of the physical environment represent about 1/8th to 1/3rd of our entire ability to predict variation in individual worker performance.
Furthermore, changes in the physical design of a space that may influence worker performance are likely to have great persistence, continuing for the life of the building. When compared with the costs, persistence and the certainty of other methods of increasing productivity, constructing well-designed buildings may be attractively cost-effective. As demonstrated in the study site, these same features can also provide additional energy cost savings.
Both studies successfully measured variation in office worker environmental conditions and related these to measured office worker performance under actual employment conditions. The Desktop study pioneered the use of computerized cognitive assessment tools to gauge office worker performance in field conditions.
The studies have shown that indoor environmental conditions can
have a measurable relationship to changes in office worker performance and have established a range of likely effect sizes that other researchers can use to refine the needs of future studies. Other studies will be required to test if these
findings can be replicated in other settings and to explore potential causal mechanisms between the environmental conditions and worker performance.
What should we take from this article as efficiency professionals? That there are sometimes additional benefits that are harder to calculate, but when properly explained can be a powerful tool for selling intelligently designed workspaces and lighting systems.
My range of interests in the sustainability field has led me on audits of many different sizes, and audits for unique purposes (when I mention the word audit in this article I’m generally referring to a standard level one ASHARE walk thru). Commercial, multifamily housing, single family residences, manufacturing facilities, showrooms, and schools are all on my walk-thru list, and each has taught me to take different approaches.
I know from studies that while performing audits for commercial companies, there are two statistically important types of people that should be involved in the audit process, the CFO and the everyday worker. This theory can be adapted for each facility, e.g. for multifamily housing try to involve both the building owner and available tenants. Once the determining factor the customer is choosing to go “green” is established, then I focus on ways to make that happen; at the same time I talk to the tenant about concerns that they have over comfort, e.g. cold/hot spots, drafts, lighting, building control systems. Establishing a reward system for consuming the least amount of electricity during a certain time interval (3 months or during peak demand times for example), and have the building owner purchase a small energy star rated appliance for the winner is a great way to get the end-users involved and save additional energy (would work if owner pays for utilities or is involved in a shared saving plan with the tenants). A similar system can be adapted for commercial facilities, schools, retail stores, and more.
All audits are different, and sometimes I get referred to a building manager who initially could not care less if the building consumed half the planet’s electricity in a day. In this case I try to determine what motivates him (if it is money then possibly speak to the owner about adding onto his bonus a percentage that the building saves in energy costs each year). If I notice a sport or hobby he is into I can discuss the opportunity of a physical reward, if I notice his office is covered with pictures of his children then possibly a family vacation could be a great motivator. This won’t work in all situations and the job would need to be justifiably large to enact certain rewards/incentives, but the bottom line is that if you get the people who occupy the space interested in saving energy, especially if it is the building manager then you have an invaluable ally in reaching your energy savings goals, it may even be worth it to have your company cover the costs for the right job.
When doing a lighting audit I do a light count and use a lux meter to determine if lighting levels are correct for the type of building and each room. I also want the customer to know my main concern is installing the right light, and that they are aware of additional benefits such as: increased employee productivity, fewer sick days, and a fast ROI. For audits in schools I involve the teachers, starting by informing them on how using the right light can increase concentration, decrease fatigue and eye strain, and remove toxic PCBs where older florescent lighting systems are present, all of which ultimately makes their jobs more effective. By using efficient lighting in the bluer spectrum, hospitals are likely to see elevated moods, leading to shorter recovery time. Multifamily housing in many areas is eligible for rebates on energy efficient lighting, saving the tenants money on each electric bill. By using energy efficient lighting with a CRI over 90, retail stores can see an increase in sales, and lengthen the amount of time each customer spends in their store through prolonged product viewing.
The many benefits of energy efficient lighting can be achieved with consuming only a portion of previous electrical usage, significantly reduced life cycle cost. Additionally, customers will experience less maintenance and fewer replacements than their existing lighting outdated system.
Lighting technology seems to be moving ahead exponentially, following state and federal incentives. Problems such as the ‘flicker’ effect, which currently limits the usage of dimmable LED systems in restaurants, hotel rooms, and facilities benefiting from a CRI that corresponds to light output level, are close to being resolved with microprocessor-controlled red/blue LEDs mimicking the reddening of the dimming effect.
With every audit, besides pointing out the easy repairs, such as sealing doors and windows, I try to find something unique and engaging in order to gain the trust of the representative I am doing my walkthrough with. If they seem knowledgeable and already have a plan in mind, then my biggest tool is listening and only making suggestions when absolutely necessary. In order to document the building envelope systems for the walkthrough, I strive to take extensive notes and photographs of building elements. I prefer to have a partner with me to perform one of those tasks, if possible. This data contains any manufacturing specs, existing lighting info, current authorization, R-levels of glass, sunlight intrusion zones, and current ventilation/exhaust system. After the walkthrough we determine if they are eligible for a renewable energy system, ensure all electric bills are collected, and explain the scope of our proposal one last time.
The main thing that I have learned from my experience is that no two audits are the same, and the most important thing is to always remember to listen to everything your host is saying. Keeping your eyes peeled doesn’t hurt as well, notice something first and you will gain points in your favor, and if you trip over something while doing a walk thru it can be really embarrassing.
Michael P. Brotherton