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Evaluating Options for Insulation Retrofitting

Alphagraphics, a printing company in Nashua, NH, works out of a three-story, 29,000-square-foot building that underwent a thermal upgrade consisting of HVAC upgrades, air sealing and an insulation retrofit through New Hampshire’s Better Buildings Program, funded by the DOE’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program. Using spray foam in the building’s attic among these other thermal improvements, the roughly $30,000 retrofit project (pre-rebate) now saves the building 15.6% in annual energy usage and provides an estimated electricity savings of nearly 30,000 kWh each year. Improving your building’s insulation can help your building cut back on energy costs considerably, as it has at…


Vacuum Insulation Could Save Department of Defense $200 Million

Substantial energy savings could be realized by the Department of Defense with the deployment of a low-cost vacuum insulation panels according to researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A team led by Kaushik Biswas is determining how wall retrofit solutions can cut in half energy loss through walls. The innovative manufacturing approach achieves vacuum insulation performance without the need for multi-stage low-pressure vacuum pumping. This evaluation, enlisted by the Department of Defense to combat the estimated $200 million per year in energy losses at its facilities, is being conducted at a classroom building in Fort Drum, New York. Initial analysis…


Certification Spotlight – GreenCircle

Feeling dubious about a product’s green claims? When buzzwords such as natural and eco-friendly don’t have a regulated definition, manufacturers are free to use these terms without any supporting performance data. To combat unverified marketing claims, GreenCircle Certified uses a third-party assessment to substantiate a product’s environmental benefits. Learn how this label can simplify your purchasing policies. Scrutinize Green Claims When pressured to secure an ROI or document the benefits from going green, building managers shouldn’t have to second-guess whether a product will deliver sustainable advantages. GreenCircle Certified, launched in 2009, is a concerted effort to ensure that product marketing…


Green Roof Guide for FMs

Your green roof is a living investment. The soil and vegetation atop your facility add extra insulation, reduce the urban heat island effect, and boost your building’s aesthetic value and green credibility. Choose from a wide spectrum of vegetated roof systems to discover the greenery that best fits your region and your facility’s unique needs. “Do your own homework,” recommends Jerry Beall, Product and Technical Specialist for FiberTite Roofing Systems, a membrane manufacturer that partners with green roof suppliers. “The biggest concern is quality, not cost, because it will cost you a lot more to fix problems down the road…


Insulation Made from Potting Soil

A humble soil additive used by millions of gardeners is set to slash the cost of the most effective form of insulation for buildings. New research demonstrates that vacuum insulation panels can be made with a core of perlite – the volcanic ore “popcorn” used in horticulture to improve drainage and water retention. The material dramatically reduces the cost of the panels that are normally made by surrounding a core of fumed silica with metallized PET envelope. Initial cost savings are estimated to be at least 30%. According to Brunel University London academic Dr Harjit Singh: “Perlite also has a…


How a Historic Church Slashed Energy Expenses

Manhattan’s iconic Riverside Church has a long, storied history of good works, inviting such luminaries as Nelson Mandela and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King to speak to its interdenominational congregation. Church leaders strive to make life better for worshippers and their wider community – and a recent energy efficiency retrofit will help them achieve that mission. The church welcomed a suite of new digital controls for its HVAC system and insulation on boilers and pipes to cut energy costs while improving comfort. These upgrades will save 131,000 therms and 204,000 kWh per year, and thanks to incentives, the church…

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