We recently sent Bryan Jass to Toronto for three days filled with learning during Greenbuild 2011. He was able to not only spend time walking around the floor visiting booth after booth filled with green products and technology, but was able to attend some of the education sessions as well. To find out more about what Bryan learned, click here!
Colorado recently ranked 9th among a list determining LEED-certified commercial and institutional green buildings per capita (based on the 2010 Census).
USGBC's LEED green building certification is recognized as the top program for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of green buildings. USGBC has certified 8,776 commercial spaces in the nation through the LEED program as of June this year, 308 of which can be found in Colorado. Of those 308 in Colorado, twelve have achieved the highest LEED rating of Platinum. The AEDG team is excited to have worked on two of these LEED Platinum projects.
1800 Larimer, Denver
NREL Research Support Facilities, Golden
Signature Centre, Golden
Science and Technology Facility, Golden Rocky Mountain Innosphere, Fort Collins
Rocky Mountain Institute Offices, Boulder*
Council Tree Library, Fort Collins
Town of Carbondale Recreation Center, Carbondale
Aardex Offices at Signature Centre, Denver
Seven Generations Office Park - Bldg A, Fort Collins
1820 Folsom, Boulder
Enermodal Reilly Office, Denver*
* AEDG was involved with these projects
AEDG has a vast amount of experience working on projects that are looking to obtain LEED certification. However, we consider sustainable design ideals to be important whether a project is looking for LEED certification or not. Our staff is always looking to stay on top of the most current technology and trends in the sustainable design industry. More than 60% of our engineering staff has obtained LEED Accredited Professional status from the United States Green Building Council. For more information visit the US Green Building Council website: www.usgbc.org
By now we all know that there are lots of things that we can do personally to cut down on our energy usage. We've all heard about how easy it is to save energy by replacing incandescent lights in our home with compact fluorescents lamps, but did you know that using an LED can save you 25% more than using a CFL? Here are some other easy ways to save energy at home:
- Turn your refrigerator down. It should be set to about 37 degrees Fahrenheit. A refrigerator accounts for 20% of the electricity use in a household.
- Use a programmable thermostat to adjust temperatures if you are away from home for set times during the week. (For example, you can set your thermostat to stay at a lower temperature during the day while you are away at work and have it set to adjust to a more comfortable temperature at 6PM when you'd be returning home from work.)
- Clean or change the air filter in your furnace or air conditioner each month.
- Save 80 pounds of gas-heated water by wrapping your water heater in an insulating jacket.
- Allow clean dishes to air dry instead of using the drying cycle on your dishwasher. Not using the heat drying cycle can save 20% of the dishwasher's total electricity use.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 120°F.
- About once a month, drain one quart of water from your water heater in order to remove sediments that impede heat transfer.
- Help your refrigerator run more efficiently by vacuuming refrigerator coils a couple times each year.
- Planting trees and shrubs on the west and northwest sides of your home will block the evening summer sun and help reduce cooling requirements. Evergreens on the North side of your home will slow winter winds and reduce winter heating needs. Click here for more on how to landscape for energy saving.
- Hire a professional home energy auditor to assess energy efficiency and recommend ways to reduce energy usage.
Another hot topic in a world going GREEN: Photovoltaics. Have production, installation, and sales revenue increased? The demand market for photovoltaic panels continues to grow; however, due to overproduction of photovoltaic modules, profits in 2011 are down 10% in comparison to that of 2010. Overproduction has led to fierce competition in product sales, requiring manufactures to drop product costs by 35%. Bottom line: the 10% decrease in PV sales is not indicative of the number of PV panels being sold and installed. By the end of 2012, the worldwide production capacity of solar cells should exceed 80 gigawatts according to PV Magazine. (See article).
Incentives to jump on the GREEN train and install PV panels:
- Decreased purchasing cost: Due to overproduction, costs to purchase PV modules are down by 35%.
- Xcel Energy Rebates which include $1.75 per W (upfront payment) for 0.5 kW - 10.0 kW DC and $0.04 per kWh of actual production (paid monthly) for customer owned systems. Click here for more information.
- Rebates: Several rebates are available including property and sales tax incentives, utility rebates, utility loans, and more. For more information on rebates and incentives check out this website.
- Save the Earth: Using renewable energy helps to reduce green house emissions that harm the environment.
- Produce over 75% of the annual energy you consume. A 10kW PV system at a 40 degree tilt in Denver, Colorado facing due south can produce approximately 14.58 KWh each year. The average annual electricity consumption for a Colorado residential utility customer is about 18.15 kWh.
It is essential that we continue to use alternative energy sources, such as solar energy, more and more. With a growing population and the depletion of fossil fuel, the need for renewable energy will only continue to increase. Harnessing solar energy through the use of photovoltaic panels is just one effective way of contributing to the health of our earth now and for years to come.
AEDG adds three new employees to our Denver office
We would like to welcome Vannessa Pederson, Jason Bruneske and Katie Carara to our team! Vannessa was an intern with us last summer and joined our office full time as an electrical designer after her graduation from the University of Colorado this spring. Jason joins our team as an electrical designer and Katie joins us as an electrical designer/business development assistant. We are very excited to have them as part of the team!
A few members of the AEDG team recently took advantage of our downtown location - and amazing weather- by renting bikes and riding to Civic Center Park for a lunchtime adventure. We look forward to many more fun outings!
In July, we enjoyed our 7th Annual Summer Picnic! It was great to see everyone and their families at Eldorado Canyon State Park. A fun time was had by all.