At BHB, we’ve always been committed to helping our clients meet their sustainable design goals through ongoing research and education on the newest energy efficient technologies and systems. We are proud to have been one of the first engineering firms in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to join the 2030 Challenge.
“The 2030 Challenge is an effort in our industry to push the bar on building efficient buildings – not just aesthetically pleasing, but ones that fit in the environment better,” says Ian Bost, Principal and Senior Mechanical Engineer. “The end goal is that by the end of 2030 we are able to design and construct net-zero buildings.”
Established by non-profit organization Architecture 2030 in 2006, the Challenge asks the global architecture and building community to adopt targets such as a progressive fossil fuel reduction standard for all new buildings to ultimately reach 100%, or carbon-neutral, in 2030.
Participation in the 2030 Challenge is reported to and tracked by the American Institute of Architects’ 2030 Commitment Program. By joining this program, firms submit project data for (and have access to) the Design Data Exchange (DDx). DDx allows firms to compare projects of similar type, size, climate, and more to pinpoint best practices and anonymously share project performance. The decision to participate is typically driven by the project architect or owner. As a consultant we play an advisory role in this process by looking for opportunities to increase energy efficiency and making recommendations to the team.
Some of these opportunities often utilized by our mechanical engineers include:
- Bipolar ionization – promotes efficiency and longevity of the HVAC system by using less outside air, and has become standard in our designs when outside air load is more than half a ton
- Reducing static loss – in every project, we pay close attention to fan static and duct work size in order to find small adjustments that will reduce static loss and therefore increase efficiency
Another great example of our efforts to meet these goals is our work with Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems. As these efficient systems become more common, our expertise allows us to design them more efficiently, therefore bringing down the system’s initial cost, and allowing their use more widely. For the recent new construction of a middle school in Aledo, we designed a VRF system to provide the controllability and redundancy that the district was looking for, while providing them with an initial cost competitive with other systems and the lifetime energy savings of VRF.
To learn more about our services and energy-efficient design efforts, please reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to learn more about the 2030 Challenge.