Building Energy Resilience

Ideas to fuel a sustainable built environment

Matt Napolitan

Recent posts by Matt Napolitan

6 min read

Successfully Commissioning Design Build Projects

By Matt Napolitan on Jun 27, 2012 6:00:00 AM

There are a number of ways to procure design and construction services for a commercial building project. The predominant approaches are design-bid-build (DBB) and design-build (DB). The former is the practice of hiring a design team (architects and engineers) to develop a set of documents upon which multiple construction teams bid for the work. The latter, the focus of this discussion, involves the owner selecting a prime contractor or construction manager who takes responsibility for the design and construction. In some cases the contractors and their subcontractors (such as the mechanical subs) directly employ licensed personnel who provide design services; in other cases the prime and/or subcontractor hires design consultants to provide design services.

Topics: Building Cx & Design Review Energy Efficiency
7 min read

Getting the Most Out of Your Commercial Condensing Boiler

By Matt Napolitan on Apr 11, 2012 9:00:00 AM

First, the fine print. When talking about commercial condensing boilers, caveat emptor – Latin for “buyer beware.” A phrase usually associated with real estate transactions is highly applicable to the purchase and application of “high efficiency” or condensing boilers. There’s no definition of the word “high” when it comes to “high efficiency” boilers. Usually, these are boilers whose construction allows them to operate with lower water temperatures than traditional boilers. This allows them to, in theory, extract more of the useful energy from the fuel source (usually natural gas or propane) than the traditional boiler would. Notice I said “in theory.” I’ll get to that shortly.

Topics: Building Performance & Technology
5 min read

Can Ground Source Heat Pump Systems Be Considered Renewable?

By Matt Napolitan on Feb 22, 2012 7:45:00 AM

What is a ground source heat pump (GSHP)? A heat pump is an air conditioner that can cool in the summer and heat in the winter. The ground source part means that the heat removed from the building in the summer and the heat added to the building in the winter goes to and comes from the ground.

Topics: Green Building Building Performance & Technology
3 min read

Why Calibrate Your Building Control Sensors?

By Matt Napolitan on Jan 25, 2012 5:00:00 AM

Building control systems rely on the information provided to them by the various sensors throughout the building. Sensors for temperature, light level, carbon dioxide (CO2), and enthalpy (or total energy content of air) are just a few examples. If the critical sensors in a building are inaccurate (that is, significantly out of calibration), the building will not work efficiently, costs will increase and comfort issues will result. Let’s look at how to calibrate your building control sensors, what to calibrate, and a few examples of why control sensor calibration is so important.

Topics: Standards and Metrics Building Performance & Technology
3 min read

Forget the Belts (no suspenders either)

By Matt Napolitan on Dec 28, 2011 5:00:00 AM

Efficient air-handling systems? Here’s one simple strategy that I advocate for on every project I can – direct drive fans. Why? No belt losses (energy) and less maintenance (money).

Topics: Building Performance & Technology