BOMA BC Earth Week Challenge:
Inspired by the WWF's National Earth Hour campaign, the BOMA Energy and Environment committee and Prism Engineering teamed up to hold a challenge for members to conserve energy in their buildings.
Members were encouraged to participate in a one week lighting challenge (8:30pm on March 23rd to 8:30pm on March 30th, 2013) and turn off any unnecessary lighting throughout the buildings during this week. Four property management companies participated in the challenge. The winning building of the 2013 BOMA BC Earth Week challenge was 1188 West Georgia (GWL Realty Advisors). Some of the initiatives they implemented were; reviewing and updating lighting schedules, holding lights off challenges with tenants, daylight harvesting, and updating the maintenance and security checklists to now include turning off lights in areas where lighting schedules are not present. Because of their efforts during this week they saw a reduction of 1,028kWh compared to a normal week.
Congratulations GWL Realty. As the winner of this challenge they will receive a foursome in the BOMA Golf Classic on August 14th, 2013, courtesy of Prism Engineering.
PUMA Powers BOMA BC uTrack:
BOMA BC has partnered with PUMA, Prism’s Utility Monitoring & Analysis software, to offer utility monitoring for BOMA BC members to help them monitor and track their electrical, gas, and water use savings across their portfolios. The BOMA uTrack program utilizes PUMA's user-friendly dashboard to display utility information according to energy consumption and costs, GHG emissions, energy and cost savings.
Energy Management Coaching for Industrial Clients:
Prism has been hired by BC Hydro to act as energy coach for BC’s mining, manufacturing and oil and gas industrial sectors. Through this program, Energy Managers working in these sectors gain access to Prism’s expertise in a variety of areas including, behaviour change programming, Strategic Energy Management Plan development and coaching in MT&R approaches.
To support this work, Prism has developed Engage, an energy management assessment (EMA) tool, designed specifically to target actions and activities typical for Industrial energy management programs. The Engage EMA tool is designed to measure and track progress towards energy management goals on an annual basis and is used to set priorities for the Strategic Energy Management Plan.
Vancity LEED Certifications and Design:
LEED certification provides recognition for energy efficiency and environmental design and management. Prism has been helping Vancity achieve this status for branches in Burnaby, North Vancouver and Port Coquitlam by providing mechanical and electrical design services and coordinating the certification process. The latest applications will be submitted through LEED CI (Commercial Interiors) are targeting LEED Gold status.
Vancity has long run its business with an eye on the triple bottom line, balancing financial, environmental, and social returns. Prism has supported those business values by providing energy management services to Vancity for over 20 years.
Serving up a 30 percent reduction at new Forage Restaurant:
Forage, a new restaurant in downtown Vancouver opened its doors last month after an extensive renovation that transformed the former O’Doul’s restaurant into one of Vancouver's most sustainable and energy efficiency restaurants. Prism provided mechanical and electrical engineering services that demonstrated that it is possible to achieve energy performance figures of 30% below code using existing technologies. Upgrades included a LED lighting retrofit, control upgrades to the HVAC system and efficient cooking appliances.
The renovations were part of a joint project between BC Hydro, the Green Table Network and LiveSmart BC, called the Next Course: Serving up a More Sustainable Future. The project embraced a holistic approach to conservation, focusing not only on energy but also on water and waste management, building materials and sustainable cooking practices. It is designed to showcase state-of-the-art equipment and practices that will compel others in BC to follow.
Energy Audits: a Sure Bet
The River Rock Casino, located in Richmond, BC, is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, creating significant challenges to saving energy at the casino. But due to early energy management efforts, the casino reduced their annual energy costs by over $60,000. Inspired by their success and with funding from BC Hydro, they commissioned Prism Engineering to conduct an energy audit study. Through site visits, energy modeling and analyzing potential opportunities, we identified numerous additional efficiency improvements.
Energy Manager and Chief Engineer at the Casino, Mike Urbas, was impressed with the results, saying: "The energy study comes up with a lot of energy-saving projects, with simple payback calculated for each one. You can choose which projects to do now, or do later. I would find it extremely hard to do any significant energy reductions in your building if you didn't have this kind of information”. Urbas has implemented about 10 of the recommended projects, resulting in around $100,000 in electricity savings.
Read BC Hydro’s full case study.
Renovating One of Vancouver’s Popular Hotels with New High Efficiency, Five Green Key Design.
The Residence Inn, a 21-storey Marriott Hotel in the center of downtown Vancouver, opened its doors in September after a 10 month renovation. The purpose of the renovation was to completely transform the original Cascadia Hotel aesthetics while updating the building systems to meet Marriott’s five-star environmental commitments. Prism Engineering was hired to design and oversee the construction and implementation of new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems as well as design a new power distribution layout.
Prism worked closely with architects, contractors, and Marriott staff to respond to the challenges of bringing the old building up to code. Almost every aspect of the hotel was renovated; the majority of systems and equipment were upgraded or completely replaced.
The results of the renovations are stunning. The hotel features spacious studios and suites equipped with full kitchens for extended visits. As a 5 Green Keys Eco-Rated Hotel, the new building systems guarantees a very comfortable stay for guests while improving the reliability and saving the company money in reduced maintenance and operating costs.
New BC Lighting Disposal Recycling Program
In response to recent Provincial regulations, a new BC LightRecycle Program came into effect on October 1st, 2012 that will help reduce the cost of lighting disposal and mandate that all lighting waste is safely recycled.
Supported by Product Care, a not-for-profit industry based association, the program provides a system for all organizations to recycle all lamps, ballasts and luminaires; including incandescent, halogen incandescent, fluorescent, compact fluorescent, all HID sources and LED lamps.
Over the years, Prism has worked with a number of committed clients that have actively recycled of all retrofit waste materials, sometimes at a considerable impact to the project budget. For these clients, this announcement comes as good news.
The overall per unit cost of the ‘eco-fee’ will be less than disposal fees (per unit) that organizations been paying in the past. This is because the program is funded by imposition of an ‘eco-fee’ on all lighting products purchased from October 1 onward, which results in the costs of disposal being borne by the program and not by the generator of the waste.
RETScreen Training for BC Energy Managers
This month Prism is partnering with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) to launch four one-day RETScreen® training sessions for energy managers, building managers and other energy professionals.
RETScreen® International is a software tool developed by Natural Resources Canada that is used by energy professionals around the world to assess various types of renewable and energy-efficient technologies. The sessions will help participants develop the skills they need to use the RETScreen® software to evaluate a variety of technologies and will include practical hands-on experience using the tool.
- Friday September 21 – Introduction to RETScreen
- Friday October 19 - RETScreen Energy Efficiency Measures
- Tuesday November 20 - RETScreen Renewables
- Thursday December 13 - RETScreen Monitoring Targeting & Reporting
To learn more or to register: http://prismengineering.com/ret_screen_training_course
Green Team Success at Advanced Energy Office
Prism’s office is already pretty energy efficient. With the pre-move-in renovation, the recent lighting system upgrades and the upcoming changes to the DDC system, our office already uses 30% less energy than the average BC Office.
When the New Building Institute (NBI) was hired to conduct an independent third party verification on our Advance Energy Office upgrades for BC Hydro, they found that our plug load consumption has decreased over the study period instead of increased as expected. Their explanation was the efforts of the Prism Green Team!
Over the last year the Green Team has been focusing their efforts on reducing plug load consumption. They’ve tracked the number of computers were left on over-night, worked with IT to set-up remote access for those who needed access in the evenings and implemented shut-off computer and monitor campaigns to encourage staff to turn it off at the end of the day. They’ve also identified equipment that could be shut off or put on timers. Even though we added staff to our team, the impact of shutting off plug loads resulted in a decrease in consumption.
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Welcoming New Clients to PUMA
We are pleased to announce that clients from the health, communications, recreation and school sectors have recently signed onto PUMA, Prism’s online utility management software, joining a growing group of organizations who are serious about tracking energy management results.
One of these clients, Shaw Cable, will be using PUMA to benchmark and tack energy use at over 40 of their offices across Canada, including the Shaw Tower in Downtown Vancouver. Another client, with over 30 sites on Vancouver Island, will be using PUMA to track progress on their various energy management projects in health care facilities and easily report on carbon emissions using PUMA’s Smart Tool uploading feature.
The flexibility of the PUMA software allows these organizations to customize the program to their unique needs, giving them full control to track, monitor and report on how energy is used in their buildings. The online software creates energy consumption trends, benchmarks buildings, tracks energy saving progress and shares results with easy to use report printing, making it easier for them to save on utility costs.
Spring is here and BC farms are getting ready for another year of growing and raising food for our tables.
On top of the regular springtime preparations, a growing number of producers are working with Prism Engineering as BC Agriculture’s Energy Advisor for BC Farms to identify opportunities to reduce their input costs and carbon footprint by implementing energy savings opportunities on the farm.
As the Energy Advisor, Prism is helping reduce energy use on BC Farms by carrying out Farm Energy Assessments using the Prism-developed BC farms energy assessment (BCFEA) tool and assisting farmers in identifying and applying for financial incentives for energy upgrades.
Stephen Kooiman Joins the Prism Team
We are pleased to welcome Stephen Kooiman to Prism. Stephen joins us from Doug Spratt & Associates, bringing with him practical experience in HVAC engineering and thermal-fluid dynamics and a strong background building-systems consulting with healthcare, government and commercial sectors. He will be working in our Mechanical team on building renewal and renovation projects.
Stephen says of his move to Prism that he is “excited to join such an energy conscience company and looks forward to engaging in new projects with the expertise of the team at Prism Engineering.”
Sustainability Workshops at the Canadian Air Force Take Flight
Prism Engineering has been working with the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Sustainability Office to create a customized behaviour change workshop and Sustainability Toolbox to engage Sustainability Teams at Air Force Wings across the country. The workshop is designed to train Wing Sustainability Teams in behaviour change techniques and help them plan their first energy reduction campaign. The Sustainability Toolbox contains a collection of customized tools and techniques for facilitating effective campaigns.
Prism is delivering these customized sessions as a part of National Resource Canada’s Dollars to $ense Energy Management Workshops.
We Practice what we Preach.
The Prism Office is ringing in the New Year with the completion of a major lighting retrofit project. We installed 50 high efficiency fluorescent luminaires that are individually controlled at each workstation via the user’s personal computer. Photosensors in each zone also dim the lights to counterbalance the increase in light levels due to incoming daylight, while occupancy sensors monitor activity around the workspace to ensure lights stay on only when needed.
This upgrade is part of BC Hydro’s Advanced Energy Office Demonstration project, a new pilot program that takes a holistic approach to upgrading office spaces. For Prism it is an opportunity demonstrate different technologies to our clients and to show our commitment to continuous improvement.
Read more about this exciting project.
Boiler Retrofits Achieve Savings.
Environment Canada is calling for a colder than normal winter this year. This means that the boilers and HVAC systems that heat our buildings will be working overtime to keep occupants warm.
Prism recently completed a study of FortisBC's Efficient Boiler Program (EBP) to determine the level of savings that were achieved due to their incentive program. The results confirmed that the boiler retrofits achieved on average 16% in savings compared to pre-retrofit energy use. . The energy saved in 2010 for the 135 sites that participated in the study totaled over 110,000 GJ. That’s equal to the annual GHG emissions from 41,313 passenger vehicles.
Of course the savings percentage depended on building type, pre and post boiler efficiency, and whether or not other energy management measures were implemented along with the boiler replacement. But the message is clear: Boiler retrofits create savings. And with a cold winter heading our way, why not contact us about taking advantage of the incentives offered by FortisBC’s Efficient Boiler Program.
Visit FortisBC's website to read more about the study.
Less Power More Powder - helping Whistler Blackcomb run an efficient Snowmaking Operation.
Ski season is around the corner. And as the rest of us get our gear in order, Whistler Blackcomb is prepping their snowmaking equipment to top up snow levels.
Supported by BC Hydro’s Monitoring, Targeting and Reporting Program, Prism Engineering has been working with Whistler Blackcomb to monitor and investigate the mountain’s snowmaking operations, find inefficiencies and provide recommendations for energy savings.
As part of the project, Prism Engineering assisted Whistler Blackcomb with the evaluation, equipment selection and modeling of an Energy Management Information System (EMIS), which will be used to optimize the energy used for snowmaking on the mountain.
To find out more about what Whistler Blackcomb is doing to save energy, visit their energy page.
Vote for Prism as Best Green Business.
Regina Hotel installs Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) air conditioning system
Construction is underway at the Regina Inn. The building is undergoing a substantial renovation of its mechanical services and the hotel has taken this opportunity to install a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system designed by Prism Engineering. The new system will increases comfort for occupants, while creating a substantial reduction in energy consumption and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. The VRF system transfers energy from rooms demanding cooling to rooms demanding heating, thereby reducing the amount of energy consumed. For the Regina Inn, which is a North – South oriented building with 240 hotel rooms, this system is expected to bring about significant energy savings.
These systems, originally developed in Japan and widely used in Europe and Middle and Far East, are now implemented in numerous projects in Canada and proven to be effective in offices, hotels and other buildings. Contact our office for further information about this system design and VRF systems.
Prism Engineering is a proud sponsor of this year's BC Hydro's Power Smart Forum.
The forum is the province's leading energy conservation conference and will welcome delegates, speakers and industry experts from across North America to the downtown Vancouver venue in October 2011. The focus of this year's conference is on Resilience & Adaptation: Adjusting to a Changing Climate and will feature three days of workshops, presentations and breakout sessions.
Prism is also participating in the forum. Robert Greenwald, President of Prism Engineering, is facilitating a full-day Natural Resources Canada Workshop on Monday October 17, Energy Conservation Demystified: Uncovering a Starting Point, for those new to energy conservation.
Tuesday October 18, Sarah Smith, Social Marketing Program Coordinator, will discuss Social Marketing: The Untapped Energy Management Tool.
Wednesday October 19, Brad Wong, Energy Management Engineer at Prism, will present on DDC controls and how to Keep the "Continuous" in Continuous Optimization.
Come join us for this exciting event.
Top 10 Energy Audit Problems and how Prism Engineering carefully addresses each one.
When commissioning an energy audit for your facility, it is important to know that the savings are realistic and the list of recommended measures is comprehensive. However, it is often the case that building owners and managers have little experience with judging the quality of the work that they are provided.
Prism Engineering conducts an average of 50 energy audits a year. Our highly-trained energy, electrical and mechanical engineers and technologists devote a great deal of their time and effort to conducting energy audits. Based on a February 2011 ASHRAE article that outlines 10 common issues with energy audits, we walk you through the top 10 issues found in energy audit reports and takes a closer look at how Prism addresses these industry issues.
So when we heard that the February 2011 issue of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Journal featured an article entitled “The 10 Most Common Problems in Energy Audits,” our ears perked up. Using the framework set out by the ASHRAE article, we review these 10 industry issues and explain what Prism is doing, in each case, to ensure that our audits remain as reliable, informative, and valuable as possible.
Prism Helps BC’s Largest Office Building Reduce Water Consumption By 60%
Park Place, a signature skyscraper on Burrard Street, stands out in Downtown Vancouver as one of the tallest and largest in the city. Prism recently completed a multi-stage water system project which resulted in significant water usage savings. In 2007, a thorough audit of the building's water data and systems revealed that consumption was 63% higher than average due to the use of “once through” water-cooled condensers in air conditioning units. Prism recommended installing a closed-loop condensing water system to reduce water consumption. When completed in 2010, the project delivered a reduction of nearly 60% from 2007 levels. Read the whole story here.
Prism Launches New PUMA website
Prism has launched a new website dedicated to PUMA, our online utility management software. PUMA enables clients to use utility billing data to manage their energy and water consumption by establishing baselines and benchmarking consumption and emissions by sites, buildings or meters. Clients use PUMA to track and report on savings through weather normalization, baseline adjustments, as well as cumulative sum reports on both energy and emissions.
The new PUMA site offers an overview of the services and features provided by the monitoring software. Visit the site and learn about how PUMA can benefit your company by helping you set and track energy reduction goals and manage your utility costs. Read through the case studies of companies that are using the software to gain control of their energy and water consumption. Let us answer any questions you have with our FAQ page or find out how you can contact us directly for a free demonstration of the tool.
Take a moment to visit the site at http://www.pumautilitymonitoring.ca
Featured in BCIT's Info/Exchange publication, a new article by Prism Engineering provides practical tips on how to take a holistic approach to energy management.
The article explores how successful energy management goes beyond simply knowing what equipment to buy and how to properly set controls. Instead, effectively managing the energy performance of facilities requires a holistic approach to enerrgy management. The article outlines eight key areas critical to successfully managing energy, using examples and case studies from Langara's energy management program. Read more...
Prism’s Energy Team members attended BC Hydro's annual Power Smart Alliance appreciation event in February 2011. Held at the Rocky Mountaineer Train Station, the theme of this year's Alliance event was Oktoberfest, which was celebrated with German beer on-tap, Bavarian style hor d'oeuvres and plenty of live entertainers in Lederhosen polka dancing and playing traditional and not-so traditional Oktoberfest music.
Prism has been a proud member of the BC Hydro Alliance since its inception in 2001. The Alliance, a BC Hydro administered customer-referral program, provides prospective purchasers of energy-efficient equipment and services with a list of preferred consultants and contractors selected by BC Hydro as service and quality leaders in their fields.
BC Hydro’s Industrial MT&R (Monitoring, Targeting & Reporting) program supports companies that want to combine a pre-assessment, workshop and opportunity assessment that together form a business case for the organization to pursue MT&R. BC Hydro offers incentives to industrial clients who use more than 10 GWh annually who adopt an MT&R program – including 100% funding for workshops and planning, and up to $30,000 for the implementation stage.
Whistler-Blackcomb’s snowmaking machinery comprises nearly a quarter of their annual electricity usage. Prism is using a comprehensive approach to management of the snowmaking operation with respect to minimizing energy consumption with the BC Hydro MT&R program.
For more information on BC Hydro’s Power Smart Industrial MT&R program, click BC Hydro's Power Smart Industrial MT&R program.
Prism undertook a project for BC Agriculture to determine the sector’s key energy efficiency needs and opportunities, as well as to develop a framework for measurement and assessment.
By completing the BC Farm Energy Assessment (FEA) Tool for 27 farms, a total of 752,120 kWh of annual electricity savings were identified, 57,152 GJ of annual natural gas savings, and 338 GJ of annual propane and diesel savings. This equates to a total annual cost saving of $553,230, and an annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 2,895 tons of equivalent CO2 for the 27 farms assessed.
The BC FEA Tool will soon be made available to the agricultural industry, so that many other farms in British Columbia can identify potential energy management opportunities.
Prism is pleased to announce that we have been selected as a pre-qualified supplier of utility data management services for British Columbia’s public sector and local governments.
BC’s Ministry of Citizens’ Services was looking for utility data management service providers to support the government’s ongoing commitment to becoming carbon-neutral and to provide organizations with resources to strengthen their energy management potential.
Prism’s utility accounting software – “Prism Utility Monitoring and Analysis” (PUMA) - includes an online interface for clients to view utility monitoring and targeting reports. This web interface enables users to review trends regularly and to identify problem areas.
Prism will help public sector organizations and local governments establish and manage a comprehensive energy and environmental data foundation. Prism will support these organizations through our web-based energy portal, which will track, analyze and measure cost, consumption and emission data.
For more information, click here.