LEED/Sustainable Design- Building System Analysis- Energy Audit
Working together with our clients, Tower Engineering takes great pride in implementing environmentally conscious solutions to building issues. To sustain our environment, we design building systems that use material, energy and water resources efficiently, minimize site impacts and address health issues relating to the indoor environment.
In addition to designing efficient systems, we also work with many clients to help improve performance and efficiency of their existing facilities.
Sustainable Building Design:
U.S. buildings use about 1/3 of all U.S. energy for heating, cooling, lighting and operation. In addition, they produce more than 35% of all greenhouse gases. A sustainable building, also referred to as a green building, is a structure that is designed, built, renovated, operated, or reused in an ecological and resource-efficient manner. Green buildings are designed to meet certain objectives such as protecting occupant health; improving employee productivity; using energy, water, and other resources more efficiently; and reducing the overall impact to the environment.
A sustainable building may cost more up front, but saves money through lower operating costs over the life of the building. The sustainable building approach applies a project life cycle cost analysis for determining the appropriate up-front expenditure. This method calculates costs over the useful life of the asset. Some benefits of sustainable design, however, are not easily measured. Improved occupant health, comfort, productivity, reduced pollution and landfill waste are just a few of the hidden benefits of sustainable design. Even with a tight budget, many green building measures can be incorporated with minimal or zero up front costs and they can yield enormous savings.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design):
Over the last decade, various groups have worked to develop strategies to promote and facilitate the design of sustainable, high performance buildings. One such organization, The U.S. Green Building Council, has created a nationally recognized certification process for evaluating sustainable and high performance buildings, a program called “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” commonly known by its acronym “LEED”. In addition to being a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Tower Engineering’s staff includes many LEED accredited professionals. The LEED certification process rates the levels of sustainability achieved in a building: LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold, and the highest rating, LEED Platinum. Awards are based upon achieving “sustainability points” in the areas of Site, Water, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Innovation and Design Process.
Building Systems Analysis:
An overall assessment of a building’s existing mechanical and electrical systems is one of the most important aspects of any renovation/ expansion project. These systems have a direct impact on how well the renovated space will fulfill the user’s program and how much the construction project will cost.
Tower Engineering has extensive experience providing professional assessment of building systems. A large portion of our work is associated with the renovation and expansion of existing facilities. Through comprehensive assessment of existing facilities, our engineering staff is constantly exposed to what works and what does not work. This practical experience is beneficial for new construction projects as well.
Our evaluation approach involves the visual inspection of existing conditions by a team of engineers. An assessment report, including a description of the present systems, evaluation of existing conditions and defects, recommendations, and an estimate of budget/cost implications is provided to assist in the decision-making process. The life expectancy of major components or high-priority items – such as boilers or chillers – is estimated, as are the costs of remedial measures. All recommendations are prioritized to assist the client with interpreting the evaluation’s findings.
An energy audit provides an assessment of an existing building’s past energy performance. Using tools such as the Energy Star Portfolio Manager, we are able to make specific recommendations that will result in long term energy savings.