The intent of the blog is to have an continued conversation about past topics of interest as well as to discuss new and emerging technologies.

  • Understanding School Energy Use in the Mountain West: Breaking down the latest commercial building energy consumption survey for educational facilities

    MAR 2024

    The purpose of identifying Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) trends is so that users can more accurately forecast energy consumption, set energy goal targets, design workflow or policies, and make informed decisions about energy trends. This blog is an in-depth look at educational facilities within the Mountain west region. We will use the data available to explore the energy trends of Elementary Schools, High Schools, Preschools/Daycare, Other classroom education buildings, Middle/Junior Highs, and Multi-Grade schools (any K-12).


  • OpenStudio Measures

    JAN 2023

    The OpenStudio platform has been a cornerstone of energy modeling in both public and private practice. An energy model is a building constructed in a software program with the intention of running simulations to estimate energy consumption. The standard practice of energy modeling requires a separate model to be developed, however, the industry is moving towards a seamless integration with the Architectural and Engineering modeling workflows. For an energy model to be created there are typically three different interfaces. Using OpenStudio as an example, the three different interfaces are 3D modeling, setting inputs (variables/factors), and analyzing outputs.


  • Power Over Ethernet

    DEC 2022

    What is PoE Lighting? Well, PoE refers to Power over Ethernet, which is a widely used technology that most of us are accustomed to. Typically, the applications that use power over ethernet are VOIP phones, IP cameras, and wireless access points. The general definition of power over ethernet lighting is lighting systems that are “smart”. While that sounds cool, saying that my lights have the potential to be smart doesn’t really explain anything. A “smart building” is a simple way of saying that the building applications are all connected through an IOT software (Internet of Things), and PoE is a type of hardware that fits into an IOT infrastructure. What does this mean and how does this make buildings “smart”? Well, let’s jump down the rabbit hole of PoE Lighting and learn about it.


  • Residential Indoor Air Quality

    MAY 2022

    Across the past decade we have made great strides to increase the air quality across the United States. Through environmental regulations and better technologies air quality is rarely a concern for many states. However, this trend of increasingly healthy air does not extend to the North-Western states. The primary cause for this is a natural disaster unique to the dry and mountainous region: wildfires. Between the months of July and September wildfires burn millions of acres of land. While these fires are dangerous, they are often remote and can be contained with effort. However, the smoke produced by these fires can spread freely affect much larger areas than the fire alone.


  • The Future of Lighting Controls

    DECEMBER 2021

    Building energy codes and standards set minimum requirements for energy efficient design and construction of new buildings as well as additions that impact energy use and emissions for the lifespan of the building. Standards or codes impact the market by creating demand that must be met with new practices or technologies from the built environment and its practitioners. The practice of lighting design has made a resurgence in recent decades where both daylight and electric light are considered for buildings and space types. In addition, returning to an old practice there have been significant efforts to modernize the practice of lighting design as a science (Lighting Levels, LPD values, and Glare Index).


  • Additive Manufacturing and Construction

    SEPTEMBER 2021

    Additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, is one among several emerging technologies that some have claimed will usher in a 4th industrial revolution. It has already changed product development practices by enabling rapid prototyping that speeds up development timelines for new products. Most colleges and high schools have 3D printers available for their students to learn this new workflow. In addition, there has been extensive time and effort put into developing processes and printer designs that can print with different structural material, like metal, nylon, and carbon fiber.


  • Organic Insulation

    AUGUST 2021

    Organic insulation is the use of bio-based materials to create insulation for the built environment. While working with Hempitecture, a company focused on producing hemp-based building materials, I began to research organic insulation, especially hemp. Before getting into the details of organic insulation and its presence in today’s built environment, here is a brief overview of the history of insulation.


  • Tips and Tricks for using Insight's Daylighting Analysis

    JUNE 2021

    Before we get started, I would like to provide some background on daylighting. Daylighting is the “controlled” admission of natural light into a building for the purpose of illuminating a space. Whereas, daylight harvesting is the “controlled” admission of natural light, into a building for the purpose of reducing electric lighting and energy (kWh). For either purpose, daylighting design is defined in a range.


  • Parametric Modeling and Analysis

    APRIL 2021

    The biggest bi-product of the 21st century is not plastic, CO2, or precious metals but rather meta-data. Meta-data provides information about other data, or “data about data.” Meta-data is being created every second in today’s built environment. Not just through an occupant’s phone or computer, but also from the buildings themselves via control systems or information portals that assist managers. This meta-data can be analyzed and utilized in parametric modeling within the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry.