Building efficiency experts from around the Midwest convened in Ann Arbor, MI on November 15-16 for the 8th Annual Midwest Building Energy Codes Conference. This was the first time this conference was hosted in Michigan, which helped MEEA and attendees understand the unique challenges to the Michigan building community and provided critical local perspectives to better inform future building energy code policy. In past years, MEEA had the opportunity to host this conference and learn from local groups in Ohio, Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois.
Ted Brokaw, now the Street/Water Commissioner for the City of International Falls, MN attended BOC in 2014 while he was working as the Head of Building and Grounds for the city. Between 2001 and 2011, his fleet of buildings grew from three to 12, and he sought out training through Minnesota Power that would help him learn his buildings in and out. Ted has learned firsthand that understanding every aspect of a building is essential.
Net-zero energy (NZE)buildings come in all shapes and sizes and can be found in every climate zone. The Midwest is home to many NZE buildings, and public buildings are helping to lead the way.
The New Buildings Institute compiled the 2016 List of Zero Net Energy Buildings report, which lists the current net-zero energy buildings across the country. Below are a few Midwestern NZE public buildings discussed on a recent MEEA policy webinar.*
Scott Davis is a Facility Supervisor for Michigan’s State Facilities Administration (SFA) Building Operations Division. He is responsible for multiple large facilities located at the State Secondary Complex in Dimondale, Michigan. The complex consists of 13 facilities totaling approximately 2.5 million square feet and includes diverse building types for the state police academy, research laboratories, office buildings, warehouses and maintenance garages.
At this year’s Illinois Healthy & High Performing Schools Symposium, representatives from across industries rallied around the concept of getting each child into a green facility in this generation. On April 8, MEEA joined sustainability professionals from across the State to address how we can continue greening our schools in order to create healthy and high performing environment for students. Held at Chicago Public School’s Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy, the event was sponsored by the USGBC- Illinois Chapter and the Association of Learning Environments.
A shifted focus for the Savings Through Efficient Products program (STEP) brought many new facilities into the Illinois Energy Now participant portfolio during the 2015 program year. STEP provides informational resources, walkthrough assessments and free, easy‐to‐install energy efficient measures to qualifying Illinois public facilities.
In April 2014, Dave Spooner, Supervisor of Maintenance & Construction at Duluth Public School District, enrolled six building operators in the Building Operator Certification (BOC) class in Cloquet, MN. As a supervisor, Dave was interested in the BOC program because it helps empower the employee and gets them thinking critically about energy use in buildings.
“The BOC program provided our employees some good knowledge and perspective on how they can utilize the new technology we have to provide a better service to our users and yet save energy,” Dave said.