Like offensive linemen and line cooks, facility managers only get noticed when something goes wrong. That’s why they need the right tools to properly care for equipment, provide oversight of vendors and ensure that tenants remain happy.
LEDs aren’t just for student science projects anymore.
Out on our city streets, LED streetlights are an emerging technology that use significantly less energy, offer improved light quality, and last longer. On an apples-to-apples, technology-to-technology comparison, LED streetlights easily beat out all the other streetlighting technologies.
No wonder, then, that cities nationwide are beginning to replace their streetlights with LEDs. However, many cities are missing out on the real opportunity with LED streetlights: smart controls and the potential for a networked city.
As the leaves fall and the air grows colder, there’s one thing which draws an opinion from almost everyone:
Whether it’s football, basketball, hockey, or another fall sport, people love to play, watch, and talk about athletics. While we love sports at McKinstry, they’re also part of our job.
Much as teams have to practice and plan in order to play their best on game day, McKinstry has to work hard behind the scenes in order to make sure the stadiums and arenas hosting millions of fans are up to that task.
Here are the stories of three athletic facilities where McKinstry’s work has had a major impact on fans and players alike:
At McKinstry, we think about smart buildings all the time.
Whether we’re working in factories, offices, or schools, our core goal is always the same: making the built environment more efficient and less siloed.
A building or space can be “smart” in many different ways, but the smartest buildings are usually extremely efficient. How, then, should building owners and operators strive to make their buildings smarter and attain that efficiency?
Recently, we produced a video that answers that very question:
Policymakers take note: energy efficiency may be your best economic development strategy.
A recent report commissioned by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) found that energy efficiency investments boosted the economies of Washington and Oregon by hundreds of millions of dollars more than if that money had been invested elsewhere. Not only does spending on energy efficiency generally remain localized, it also frees up capital that can be redirected towards other projects. Places that encourage investment in energy efficiency can then reap the long-term benefits of a stronger local economy, higher wages and lower unemployment.
We need a mix of market based tools to promote investments in energy efficiency. Here are three innovations that encourage broader adoption of efficiency and stimulate deeper, more persistent energy savings.
Today—more than ever before—building owners are pushing the construction industry to meet increasingly aggressive, socio-economic-driven energy performance targets.
Whether that push is motivated by a desire to save money or driven by more indirect benefits of lower energy use, owners are nonetheless demanding that building performance (in the form of energy efficiency) drive how their buildings are designed, built and operated.
Currently, the industry has two main strategies when it comes to constructing a building. The traditional approach is design-focused, siloed and—importantly—quite inadequate when it comes to guaranteeing building performance. As a result, the construction industry should be shifting and adapting to a new, performance-based approach across the board in order to meet the energy efficiency goals of building owners.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Technology Review (QTR) may be a mouthful, but here’s an easier way to think of it: it’s an important report covering energy technology that comes out every four years.
McKinstry is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest research and thinking in our field, so we’ve been taking a look at the QTR ever since it was released a few weeks ago.
Feel free to chime in with your own opinions and questions in the comments, but here are our five main takeaways from the whopper, 505-page document:
If you were on the Internet in August, you probably saw the headlines.
From the New York Times: “Chilly at Work? Office Formula Was Devised for Men.”
From CNBC: “Is your office too cold? Blame men.”
From San Diego’s KGTV: “Sexist thermostats: Science proves why women freeze at work.”
All of this coverage springs from a study published Aug. 3 in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study found that women have slightly lower resting metabolic rates than men, further arguing that current standards for designing office air conditioning systems are flawed, since they’re based on men’s metabolic rates and fail to factor in that metabolic difference.
While the narrative of “sexist” building standards conspiring to freeze women is undeniably compelling, I think it’s also extremely simplistic and misleading.
We ask our schools to do a lot on a tight budget: Invest in new technology, adapt to national standards, keep teachers and staff happy, maintain discipline, collaborate with other schools, mentor teachers—the list goes on. Little wonder, then, that maintaining the school building itself falls near the bottom of the priority list.
However, the learning environment is fundamentally important to student success. When it underperforms, so do our students. What’s more, overspending on a poorly ventilated and/or uncomfortable learning environment is the worst of both worlds.
If better buildings make for better students, how should cash-strapped schools prioritize and actualize more energy-efficient school facilities?
McKinstry’s Phillip Saieg and Josh Harwood are pioneering the concept of “Net Zero Commissioning”—a re-envisioning of the industry that posits the necessity of commissioning agents positioning themselves on the net zero energy frontier in order to stay relevant.
Though most in the construction industry are familiar with the concept of a net zero energy building (wherein the total amount of energy used by the building is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site), Saieg and Harwood think commissioning agents need to become a vital part of the net zero discussion.