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GREENOLOGY (The Latest Green Technology)
 
Green, Green, Green, is a more popular term used today? Do we implement green policies because they have a real, tangible defined and proven, environmental, energy or cost advantage, or do we “Go Green” because it feels good and allows us to “advertise our greenness” known today as green-washing? Let us help you separate reality from perception. Let us help you identify real cost effective energy saving policies and measures and avoid those that are all for show or based on unsubstantiated claims.

When it comes to the impact that we have on our environment, if we are not making progress, taking that next step, moving forward, we are doing nothing. Standing still is moving backwards. It is our responsibility to minimize the impact that we have on our environment and to conduct ourselves, including our daily designs in a consistent thoughtful manner.

We have experience with many designs that minimize energy consumption and our environmental impact. We have been involved with numerous LEED projects and have multiple projects recently certified or currently under certification. We have three LEED Accredited Professionals on staff.

LIGHTING We are experts at minimizing lighting wattage densities through the use of energy conservative lamps, ballasts, drivers, control systems, etc. including LED lighting. We have performed a number of life cycle cost analysis that compare LED or Induction lighting to more conventional fluorescent or metal halide lighting. These analyses include all first costs, operating costs, mainantence costs, energy consumption, etc. in order to determine the life cycle cost. The analysis must also consider the effectiveness or “quality” of the resulting illumination. We also have extensive experience at identifying and implementing energy conservation measures relating to reducing lighting energy.

OCCUPANCY SENSOR CONTROLS
Lighting automatically turn lights off or reduce lighting levels when the space is unoccupied. This can be accomplished in a few different manners and can be integrated with programmable controls and emergency lighting. What is becoming more popular for a number of applications is using light fixtures with an integral occupancy sensor. This makes sense in parking garages where light levels can be reduced by 50% when not continuously occupied or in stairwells, circulation areas, etc. Occupancy sensors are also popular for workstation task lights, vending machines and other energy consumers that are typically left on.

DAYLIGHT HARVESTING can be integrated very inexpensively if you are simply turning off a row or two of lights closest to the windows. The branch circuit wiring serving these fixtures can be wired thru one ceiling mounted photo sensor that turns off the lights based on the amount of day light which can be a field adjustable level. If the wiring is properly arranged, this can cost less than $200 per lighting string. Often the payback is less than 8 months. If light fixtures are dimmed in relation to the natural daylight, it becomes more expensive but still an excellent way of conserving energy.

PROGRAMMABLE MICROPROCESSOR BASED LIGHTING CONTROLS can be of tremendous benefit to control lights based on time of day programming with local over ride. These systems are relatively inexpensive, can be networked when required, and they can incorporate day light sensing, occupancy sensing and dimming controls. For larger systems, the system software can reside on the Owner’s network, or be integrated with the building management system to minimize the number of microprocessor based head ends.

LED LIGHTING has become quite popular for many applications including landscape lighting, parking lots, parking decks, general exterior lighting, coves, down lights, etc. LED lighting provides good efficiency; however, there is little consistency in the claims being made. Some manufacturers have told us the LED life is 200,000 hours while other conservative manufacturers claim 50,000 for a similar product. LED’s have the greatest life in colder environments or applications; their life drops rather significantly in hot environments, such as a parking deck in Arizona or the Middle East. If an LED burns for 80 hours a week and it has a 100,000 hour life, it will last for 24 years. This is fantastic, but what about the electronic driver that powers the LED’s, will it last 24 years? A typical driver has a life of 60,000 hours. How does the LED lumen output depreciate over time? The length of years that you base your life cycle cost calculations on should not be longer than one that results in a lumen output that represents your minimum acceptable footcandle level. Let us help you sort thru many factors and conditions to arrive at the most cost effective lighting installation.

PHOTOVOLTAICS (PV’s) are a great way to take advantage of the sun’s energy. There are a variety of products made for different applications. PV technology continues to improve while the cost of materials drops. This results in a lower installed cost per kW as PV’s become more prevalent. PV production has been doubling every two years, increasing by an average of 48 percent each year since 2002, making it the world’s fastest-growing energy technology. Photovoltaics generate DC power which is then converted to AC power with the use of inverters. Inverters can be distributed or centralized which is typically determined based on how many separate groups of PV’s are used. Most building related systems are referred to as “Grid-Tied” Systems. These systems return excess energy to the utility grid during periods of low load. This is significantly preferred and less expensive than incorporating system batteries in order to store energy. The first cost of PV’s is expensive. PV’s are also wiring intensive because each panel has a DC pigtail that must be connected to the inverter input distribution wiring. Typically a wire management system has to be incorporated to manage the wiring. If you are considering a PV system, we can help. Manufacturers can be biased, they want to understate costs and overstate energy production. It has been our experience that many PV systems considered in the Michigan area do not result in an acceptable payback period. The two biggest factors which determine the cost effectiveness of a PV installation is typically how the panels are oriented relative to the path of the sun and how simple or difficult it is to integrate the panels with the building architecture. What is important when designing or considering a PV system is that you accurately model the system, and estimate the installed cost of the system as well as the amount of energy that will be produced. With this you can determine the cost effectiveness and payback of the system. Don’t be hoodwinked by people who have a financial interest in selling you a product.

WIND POWER is a great way to take advantage of the inherent energy that exists all around us. There are two types of wind machines (turbines) used today based on the direction of the rotating shaft (axis): horizontal–axis wind machines and vertical-axis wind machines. The size of wind machines varies widely. Small turbines used to power a single home or business typically have a capacity of less than 100 kilowatts. Large commercial sized turbines may have a capacity of 5 million watts (5 megawatts) and are typically grouped into a wind farm. Engineering associated with wind farms are typically performed by Wind Farm or Utility engineers, however if you are interested in stand alone or limited capacity wind machines to offset utility usage in a building application we can help. As with all alternative electric energy sources, it is important that you accurately model the system, including installed costs as well as the amount of energy that will be produced. With this you can determine the cost effectiveness and payback of the system. We can walk you through the analysis and help you determine if wind energy is a realistic application for your facility or building.

GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS make use of ground-source heat pumps that use the earth or groundwater as a heat source in winter and a heat sink in summer. Using resource temperatures of 4°C (40°F) to 38°C (100°F), the heat pump, a device which moves heat from one place to another, transfers heat from the soil to the building in winter and from the building to the soil in summer. With geothermal systems, it is important that your system is properly sized to fit your facility. Accurate building energy modeling is critical. Proper equipment sizing is based on heat loss during cold weather and heat gains during warm weather as well as the amount of internal loads like computers and lighting. Our designers use proven modeling software to accurately determine the total load of the building. By not being biased to one strategy or system, we can determine the best system environmentally and economically. Wells that are too deep or long increase installation costs while wells that are too shallow cost performance. A horizontal loop can be much cheaper than vertical wells and might better accommodate your site conditions. Many factors affect the system payback including building loads, hours of operation, well orientation and arrangement, geological conditions, tax credits applied for, etc. Let us help you evaluate the many factors involved in using geothermal energy to heat and cool your building.

ELECTRIC VEHICLE PLUG-IN STATIONS should be considered for your current projects. The use of electric vehicles is expected to dramatically increase as more vehicles become available. All electric vehicles use an electric motor. Electric hybrids use a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor to propel the vehicle. Energy may be stored in a vehicle in the form of gasoline, diesel, propane, natural gas, hydrogen, batteries, ultra capacitors, flywheels or compressed air. This energy is then recovered and converted to mechanical energy by a motor which uses the appropriate energy source. Cars that use rechargeable batteries only do not emit pollution. Electric cars charged from a coal fired grid are still more efficient and produce less pollution than gas engines. Many feel the extensive use of batteries associates with electric vehicles will in it self become an environmental issue when there are literally hundreds of thousands of batteries that need to be decommissioned, recycled, etc. Electric vehicles come in many sizes and performance. They generally tend to be lighter and more aerodynamic than conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. One attractive feature of the use of electric vehicles is that the charging would generally occur at night when electrical demand would otherwise be low. This allows the existing utility infrastructure to supply a significant portion of electrical energy needs without an increase in capacity. Electric vehicle batteries can be charged in two ways, a quick charge typically requiring no more than 3 hours, or an overnight charge requiring 7 to 9 hours. The faster a vehicle is charged, the more voltage and amperage that is required. An overnight charge can be accomplished from a typical 20 amp, 120 volt circuit. A quick charge can require a 50 amp, 240 volt outlet. So it has to be decided, do you install overnight charge stations or quick charge stations or a combination of both. This question is best answered based on the type of user and facility. A residential facility would want overnight charge stations where as a Mall would want quick charge stations. An office building might do best with a combination of both. Another issue to be considered is how the electricity is to be paid for. Do you give the power away, have a pay for use station similar to a parking meter or for a residential facility, do you try and incorporate the electricity usage onto the residents meter. An overnight charge requiring 15 amps at 120 volt for eight hours would cost $1.44 at 10 cents per kilowatt hour. A quick charge requiring 35 amps at 240 volt for 3 hours would cost $2.52. If we have a residential facility with 100 overnight charging stations in use, the electrical load associated with those charging stations would be 180 kW. On a building with a 120/208 volt, three phase service, this is 498 amps at the service. It is only prudent that we consider the issue of electric vehicle charging stations in our current designs.
Lighting
Occupancy Sensor Controls
Daylight Harvesting
Programmable Lighting Controls
LED Lighting
Photovoltaics
Wind Power
Geothermal Systems
Electric Vehicle Plug-In Stations
 
Charter Township
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Charter Township of Plymouth Townhall Police and Fire
Architect: A3C
 
Brightmoore Christian Church
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Brightmoore Christian Church
Architect: Barton Malow Design
 
Troy Police
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Troy Police
Architect: Redstone Architects
 
Keihim Manufactoring Plant
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Keihin Manufacturing Plant
Architect: Demattia
 
Greektown Casino
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Greektown Casino Gift Shop Architect: Davis &
Davis Interior Design
 
Monroe Bank
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Monroe Bank and Trust
Architect: Thompson Phelan
 
Ilmor Dynamometer
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Ilmor Dynamometer Addition
Architect: Desrosiers Architects
 
Royal Park
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Royal Park Hotel
Architect: Victor Saroki & Associates
 
Waterford DPW
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Waterford DPW Facility
Architect: Redstone Architects
 
Detroit Metropolitan
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Detroit Metropolitan Credit Union
Architect: Thompson Phelan
 
St. Johns Inn
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St. Johns Inn
Architect: Brown Teefey & Associates
 
Dime Building
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Dime Building
Architrect: Barton Malow Design
 
University of Michigan
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University of Michigan
Law School Courtroom

Architect: Quinn Evans Architects
 
St Florian Catholic Church
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St Florian Catholic Church
Engineers: Berbiglia Assocaites
 
Wayne Memorial High School
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Wayne Memorial High School Alumni Arena
Architect: TMP Associates