Building Operations Case Studies and Articles


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These case studies and articles illustrate real-world applications of the principles discussed in the Building Operations section of the BetterBricks web site.

Free Cooling: Don't Let Savings Slip Away: Understanding airside economizers
Airside economizers are simple, effective systems that significantly reduce cooling energy usage and improve indoor air quality. They increase the energy efficiency of the HVAC system so much that most energy codes require them for most commercial applications. Yet these systems are often neglected and, over time, can degrade to the point that they don't operate correctly, resulting in energy waste. A little periodic maintenance can help keep them operating correctly.

On the Path: Rating the Energy Performance of Commercial Buildings
Wouldn’t it be convenient to compare the energy performance of commercial buildings as readily as you can compare the mileage ratings of different vehicles? Building energy labels are now almost in reach, beginning with the implementation of a few localized building rating systems that strive to use market-based forces. Developed by ASHE and partners, the Building Energy Quotient system will soon offer a common analytical platform allowing comparisons of buildings as design and in operation.

Merit Mechanical: Leading the Way in the New Economy

In the midst of challenging economic times, Merit Mechanical is helping building owners evolve to meet today's realities and prepare for the future. A leading service contractor in the Seattle/Washington market, Merit Mechanical has expanded their service offering to include energy management, helping customers save money and retain tenants.

MacDonald-Miller Makes Energy a Priority
With a winning formula for success, MacDonald-Miller is one of the Northwest's premier mechanical contractors. Always looking for new ways to help their customers be successful, MacDonald-Miller decided to shift their focus to "energy first." The result is tremendous energy savings for their customers and a healthy revenue stream for the company.

New Online Tracking Tool Helps Businesses Analyze Energy Use
Puget Sound Energy recently launched online services that will help business owners to track, analyze and manage their energy use in addition to making payments online. The new business portal provides links and web pages that can inform businesses about PSE incentive programs and promotions such as a Bill Analyzer page that helps customers understand how weather fluctuations, billing cycles and rate changes affect their costs.

BAS Screen Checks for Ongoing Commissioning
BAS screen checking is a highly cost-effective method of keeping tabs on mechanical equipment performance. This article investigates techniques for quickly and inexpensively reviewing the BAS graphic user interface screens for ongoing commissioning and addressing occupant discomfort complaints and excessive energy consumption.

Mike Hatten Shares Advice on Smart Building Operations and Energy Savings
Mike Hatten is an expert in sleuthing out energy savings in healthcare facilities. As a result, hospitals throughout the Northwest are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars each in operating costs thanks to his approach. In this interview, Mike shares advice on achieving superior energy savings through strategic energy management.

The Building Symptom Diagnosis Tool: Your Guide to Uncovering Energy Savings
A building can reduce its energy consumption 10 percent or more by looking for common problems such as uncontrolled outside air, failed sensors, equipment running more than needed and simultaneous heating and cooling. Brad Weaver with Northwest Consulting discusses the benefits of using the Building Symptom Diagnosis tool to help building engineers discover the root cause of building symptoms and achieve energy savings.

Central Kitsap School District Strikes it Rich with Commissioning
The core team of facilities professionals at the Central Kitsap School District took a closer look at the district's energy consumption and found tremendous opportunities for improvement. The ongoing commissioning they undertook improved the indoor environment for both students and teachers, and saved the district hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

Kaiser Permanente's East Interstate Medical Office
After implementing Enhanced O&M and Building Tune-up strategies, Kaiser was able to reduce its occupant complaints by nearly 23%. Now with a comfortable building, both staff and patients can relax and focus on the important work of getting well.

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