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Thought Leadership from Sieben Energy Associates

Why Pursue Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings?

Earth-at-Night
It is hard to conceptualize the impact that our own energy use has on the world, particularly as it relates to carbon emissions and climate change. Although we understand the importance of reducing energy consumption, it often feels like the energy we use on a regular basis is just a drop in the bucket. But the key is to remember that those many small drops add up quickly. Reducing energy use in our buildings, even by a modest amount, can, in aggregate, have a significant impact.

According to the International Energy Outlook 2016, published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), energy consumed in the buildings sector constitutes about 20% of total global site energy consumed. The "buildings sector" includes residential and commercial users, and encompasses all energy consumed at the building for uses such as heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, refrigeration, computers, and other various equipment and consumer products. Of this 20%, residential users are responsible for about two-thirds, while commercial users are responsible for the remaining one-third. In other words, commercial buildings around the world account for 7% of global site energy consumption.
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The Best (and Worst) Retro-Commissioning Practices

The Best (and Worst) Retro-Commissioning Practices

On the afternoon of February 15, I led a presentation in front of 40 members of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA Chicago) about best (and worst) practices relative to successful retro-commissioning projects. First, I set the context for retro-commissioning, including its historical origins and relationship to the commissioning of new buildings. Next, I explained why BOMA Chicago members should care about the ComEd retro-commissioning incentive program.

For almost ten years, all member buildings have been paying into the funding pool for the utility's energy efficiency programs. Participating in retro-commissioning represents an opportunity to get back some of that money. Retro-commissioning also plays an important role in supporting credits for LEED Building Operations and Maintenance (LEED O+M) certification or re-certification.

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What Makes a Successful Retro-Commissioning Project?

What Makes a Successful Retro-Commissioning Project?

We will host a brown bag lunch seminar entitled "What Makes a Successful Retro-Commissioning Project" later this month. The seminar will commence at 12 noon on Wednesday, February 15, in the Harris Bank Building, 115 South LaSalle Street, Chicago. Sieben Energy Associates has to date performed over 80 retro-commissioning projects, comprising over 55 million square feet of building space.

During this seminar, we will draw upon our leadership and expertise in retro-commissioning to advise members of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago (BOMA Chicago) on the project attributes that lead to a positive outcome. This event is listed on the BOMA Chicago website.

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Two New Excellence in Engineering Awards from Illinois Chapter of ASHRAE

Two New Excellence in Engineering Awards from Illinois Chapter of ASHRAE

On the evening of Tuesday, December 6, Sieben Energy Associates attended the Illinois Chapter of ASHRAE's annual holiday party. For the second year in a row, we left with brand new hardware recognizing our energy efficiency work. We were honored by our industry peers with two Excellence in Engineering Awards for projects completed in 2016. The Chapter hosted the party at the Metropolitan Club on the 66th and 67th floors of Willis Tower in downtown Chicago.

Joining us at the ceremony were representatives from the client organizations with whom we worked on the award-winning projects. Thanks to the esteemed judges for recognizing the innovative and cost-effective approaches to energy efficiency our engineers demonstrated in their work.

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Highlights from Yesterday’s Michigan Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards Ceremony

Highlights from Yesterday’s Michigan Governor’s Energy Excellence Awards Ceremony

As we reported on July 11, one of our retro-commissioning projects was a finalist for the Michigan Governor's 2016 Energy Excellence Award in the "Best Projects – Commercial (Private)" building category. We had nominated Matt Roman and Visteon for the award. 

The ceremony was a roaring success. The Odawa Casino Resort, owned by the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians in Petoskey, won the award in the commercial (private) category.

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