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Energy Code Development Begins: Commercial Proposals

first_imgThis article is the second of a two-part series. To read about residential code proposals, click here.With millions of commercial and apartment buildings in the United States, an improved model building energy code can make a significant difference when it comes to reducing energy waste, saving owners and tenants money on their utility bills, and avoiding power plant pollution. Updating the code also is a critical policy tool for states, counties, and cities working to stave off the worst impacts of the climate crisis.That’s why code officials, builders, energy efficiency advocates, and others met last month in Albuquerque on proposals to update the next model residential and commercial building codes for homes and the commercial energy code. In Part One of this series, I discussed the proposals at play for the residential energy code. Today we’re examining the commercial energy code, which covers building elements like insulation, windows, and mechanical equipment in non-residential buildings and multifamily structures over four stories in height.The processAs part of the process of updating the energy code, the Natural Resources Defense Council and many others submitted proposals to the International Code Council back in January, offering a variety of ideas for modifying the energy code.The Committee Action Hearings in May gave proponents and opponents of each proposal the opportunity to hash it out in front of a technical advisory committee, which then voted on each one. Next, proponents can revise and resubmit proposals, which will be discussed again during the Public Comment Hearings in October. Governmental voting members like city code officials or sustainability directors have the final word, and they’ll get to vote on each proposal in November.While governmental officials hold the ultimate power on what goes into the new building energy code, the commercial code committee’s action this month is still important: a favorable recommendation means a proposal only needs a simple majority of governmental official votes to pass and become part of the code, while a committee recommendation for disapproval means that a proposal requires a two-thirds majority of votes to reverse it to become part of the code.Commercial proposalsWe’ve previously noted how difficult it is to get good energy efficiency proposals passed by the notably challenging residential code committee. Well, I’m happy to report that the commercial committee was much more favorable to energy efficiency, and if all goes well in the November vote, there will be substantial energy efficiency improvements in the commercial energy code.Electric vehicle chargingA proposal for electric vehicle charging infrastructure (CE217 Part 1) received a favorable recommendation from the committee, which is great news. While promoting electric vehicles may initially seem like a completely separate issue from the building energy code, where do you charge your electric car? Generally at the building where you live or work. And it’s much cheaper and easier to install the charging infrastructure, which includes conduit and wiring and space on the electric panel, at the time of construction.Electric vehicles are key to the fight against the climate crisis. More than 95% of the energy used in transportation comes from oil, which means high levels of pollution and emissions. Electric vehicles have much lower emissions, and every major automaker plans to electrify a significant portion of its vehicle fleets in the coming years.However, a key barrier to customer adoption is the lack of access to EV charging stations. This proposal would require a certain percentage of parking spaces in commercial buildings to be ready to support electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which makes sense for drivers, building owners, and the Earth.InsulationThe committee also passed a swath of proposals that will improve the insulation required in roofs (CE61), above- and below-grade walls (CE63 and CE64, respectively), floors (CE66) and building slabs (CE68 and CE69). Each of these proposals would have a moderate impact on a building’s energy efficiency, but taken together they will result in buildings that use less energy and are more comfortable.Furthermore,  these proposals make improvements based on extensive research and cost-benefit analyses used to support ASHRAE 90.1, which is another type of building energy standard commonly used for commercial building construction. By selecting the most efficient, cost-effective requirements from the IECC and ASHRAE 90.1, these improvements will help ensure that commercial buildings reap the benefits of efficiency. And since insulation is likely to remain unchanged over the useful life of the building (70-100 years or more), these improvements will benefit generations of building occupants.Plug loadsMiscellaneous electrical loads – meaning all the things you plug in, like monitors, printers, and space heaters – use more than one-third of the energy in the average commercial building. That number is projected to grow to nearly 45% over the next 15 years. Lots of energy is wasted by printers or monitors that consume energy in idle mode, even when nobody is there to use them. A proposal passed the committee (CE216) that will require at least half of all electrical outlets to have automatic shutoffs, to cut down on this “vampire load.”FenestrationWhen it comes to fenestration (meaning any openings in the building’s envelope, like windows or doors), there were multiple proposals (CE84 and CE87) that will significantly increase efficiency. A broad range of representatives in the fenestration industry reached a consensus that will both improve the efficiency and comfort of windows, and also align the IECC and ASHRAE 90.1, making compliance and enforcement easier.That’s great news for anyone in an office building or a high-rise multifamily building who sits near a window that is too hot in the summer: improved fenestration saves energy while making buildings more comfortable and reducing solar heat gain.…And more!My colleagues Dan Bresette at the Alliance to Save Energy and Kim Cheslak at the Institute for Market Transformation give a great overview of some additional proposals that passed the commercial committee, including proposals that would require energy-monitoring systems (CE215), improve the efficiency of ventilation in multifamily buildings by requiring energy recovery ventilation systems, and making changes to the structure of the code to make it clearer and easier to use (CE41, CE42 Part 1, and CE218, among others).There’s also an interesting proposal (CE264) to codify Architecture 2030’s ZERO CODE as an option for code compliance. And just like in the residential code, efficiency advocates were successful at ensuring that the commercial code doesn’t slide backward, in spite of numerous attempts to weaken it by some attending the committee hearing.It was a great few weeks in Albuquerque, and we’re off to a solid start to make the 2021 energy code the best one yet.Lauren Urbanek is senior energy policy advocate at the NRDC’s Climate & Clean Energy Program. This post originally appeared at the NRDC Expert Blog.last_img read more


3 Things To Keep in Mind While Updating Your Demo Reel

first_imgAre you getting your demo reel ready for newer and bigger projects? Here are three considerations you should keep in mind when showcasing your work.As we head into another new year, cinematographers and DPs are taking inventory of the work they did last year. Despite the stock filmmakers take in their reels, the demo is an ever-changing currency. I talked to some directors and decision-makers about what they look for — or don’t — in a demo reel. Here’s their advice.Don’t Overestimate a Reel’s ImportanceDA Yirgou is a creative director, writer, photographer, and film director whose works include the LeBron James shortdoc “Long Live The King” for KITH and Nike. Yirgou’s visual style is a magical-but-hard-edged vantage that relishes nostalgia with light leaks and landscapes.This year he was named Creative Director of Matte Projects, a New York-based agency with clients like American Express, Christian Louboutin, and Alexander Wang. A reel isn’t as important to him when it comes to selling his own work or sizing up the work of others.“It used to be massive. A chance to show breadth,” Yirgou says. “But now it’s something I worry less about. There’s not enough time in between projects and work to really develop one every six months, if even that. Clients and production don’t keep up with portfolios in the traditional sense. It’s much easier for them to see your growth and activity through social.”Keep Your Collaborators in MindAmy Gardner is a sought-after artist and choreographer who’s worked with Madonna and Justin Bieber. She’s also an emerging director. Her first film to work on in that role, FUEL, called attention to the sculptural visions present in her body of film photography. Because Gardner works with filmstock — and her modern dance experiments sing in concert with specific camera choreo — there were high stakes when finding a director of photography for FUEL.She settled on Katelin Arizmendi, with whom she’d worked on a project for Kodak called “Girls on Film.”“I had been following and admiring her work for a while, and I had wanted to hire a female DP for FUEL, so I reached out. We met for coffee, and she was excited by the project, so we moved forward together,” Gardner says.“Truthfully, a reel isn’t the biggest component for me. I am more concerned about their taste and energy than their reel. I am also more concerned with how we connect, if we vibe on the same level and honor the same things.”Say Something SpecificCommunicate consistency in collected works, who you’re building relationships with, and how that’s all presented on social media, Yirgou says. Up-and-comers often cram disparate projects into their reel, which can drown out the voice they hope to cultivate.“I look for work that’s unique, representative of your style and aesthetic. That’s what immediately stands out when you have to review people you’re unfamiliar with,” Yirgou says. “Higher-profile brand work makes a quick statement on what your focus is, and if that is not 100 percent indicative of what you want to keep making, then it’s a disservice. If you don’t have the brand or paid work that shows off that vision, you have to invest in smaller projects — even if it’s just for your social, to make sure you’re getting seen for it.”Cover image via Amy Gardner.Looking for more film and video production tips and tricks? Check out these articles.Documentary Filmmaking 101: Effectively Researching Your Topic6 Things I Learned Shooting My Last Project on 16mm FilmIndustry News: The Clean Cache Lawsuit Against Adobe5 Ways to Add Value to Your Corporate Video Production ProjectsSome Lessons in Editing from the Best of Editing Modulationslast_img read more


A Pari Maa in the rough and tumble of politics

first_imgPramila Bisoi, a social worker from the nondescript Cheramaria village in Odisha, is fast spreading her wings as the Pari Maa (Fairy Mother) of the masses in the Aska parliamentary constituency, from where she is contesting as a Biju Janata Dal candidate.For the past five decades, this 68-year-old woman has been helping in safe delivery and proper care of newborns in her village. “Even 50-year-olds in our village call her Pari Maa in reverence,” says her nephew Arabind Bisoi. At public meetings in Purishottampur and Patapur earlier this week, crowds kept up the chants of Pari Maa all through. Ms. Bisoi, however, never utters a word against her opponents while campaigning. “I am a mother to all. How can I be against anyone just for elections?” she asks. “My greatest strength is that winning or losing has no meaning for me, I am just enjoying the responsibility given to me by Naveen Patnaik,” she says.Married off at the age of five and forced to leave school, Ms. Bisoi has been working towards social emancipation of women in her village ever since her days as a teenaged bride. “It all started with sanitation and women’s health during childbirth. Later I became the leader of a Women’s Self-Help Group and the local Van Surakshya Samity,” she reveals.Ms. Bisoi was cooking midday meal for students of a primary school in her village when she received a call from the BJD headquarters asking her to reach Bhubaneswar. Getting a party ticket for the Aska Lok Sabha seat came as a real surprise to her. But CM Naveen Patnaik had taken into account her organisational capacity among women. She is the secretary of WSHGs in Aska block. “Earlier I was only working for the women of my area. But with the blessings of Mr. Patnaik, I have taken up the responsibility of 70 lakh women linked to WSHGs under the ‘Mission Shakti’ programme in Odisha,” she says.Around 140 members of 14 WSHGs in Cheramaria are her regular campaign partners now. Wherever she goes for campaigning, hundreds of women reach out to greet her. Ms. Bisoi is facing a triangular fight in the Aska seat, where voting will take place on April 18. Her main opponents are CPI’s Ramkrushna Panda and BJP’s Anita Subhadarshini.last_img read more