For the past several years, adopting green and sustainable practices has become a common trend among large corporations. In recent years, small businesses have joined in opting for energy efficient utilities that would not only save costs, but reduce their carbon footprint. With the increasing amount of resources that have become available, facilitating small businesses who are interested in environmentally sound practices has become more attainable and affordable.
In 2004, we needed to replace the roof of our building. After researching our options, it became clear that we would choose the energy efficient route. We chose Carlisle Roofing – sure flex reflective, energy efficient, white PVC roofing system that was comprised of white membrane plastic roofing. The roofing was designed to reflect sunlight, which kept the building cooler in the summer, thereby reducing our building’s energy costs.
Unfortunately, in 2005 we had a destructive fire in one room of our production floor that had to be completely re-built. During the reconstruction, we continued retrofitting our facility with energy efficient solutions. Some of the upgrades that have been completed are:
We currently have 181 Sharp 236 Watt Panels by Dynamic Solar LLC and a Fronius USA Grid Connected PV Inverter. The solar power electrical inverters connect the solar energy to a building’s electrical supply and the utility grid.
Light and Heat:
Shortly after installing the Carlisle Reflective roofing system we replaced every window in the facility with Alderfer low emissivity sunlight reflective windows. Each window has a thin, translucent, metallic oxide layer that helps control radiant heat.
Our boiler is an American-made, 400,000 btuh Hydro Therm KN-4 series. Due to its extremely low CO2 and NOx emissions, it qualifies for the South Coast Air Quality Management Divisions (SCAQMD) Rule 1146.2 standards and is known for how well it optimizes its propane usage.
As of February 2012, we completed replacing all of our lights with Cree CR-Series lights. These light-emitting diode (LED) lights produce nearly no light in the Ultraviolet (UV) or Infrared (IR) spectrum and are designed to last as long as 50,000 hours.
Sustainable Waste Solutions (SWS) – Landfill-Free
SWS converts our waste into either renewable fuel or energy through a Energy-from-Waste (EfW) process. Through single stream recycling, they collect all our paper fibers, plastics, metals, and other containers combine them in a specialized processing truck where they are broken down and converted to energy that lights thousands of homes.
We take all of our incoming cardboard shipment boxes and put it through a perforator and use it as packing material for our outgoing shipment boxes.
For more information on the companies that we used visit their websites:
Carlisle Roofing – http://www.carlislesyntec.com/
Dynamic Solar – (website not found – Phone: (484) 323-1152)
Fronius International – http://www.fronius.com/
Alderfer Windows – http://www.alderferglass.com/
Cree Led Lighting – http://www.cree.com/
Visit us at http://www.probesunlimited.com
On May 1st and 2nd 2012, the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster (GPIC) for Energy Efficient Buildings, now called Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub), invited a group of business owners, architects, contractors, engineers and designers from eight counties to meet and brainstorm with the quasi-government agency on how to create a market for retrofitting in the greater Philadelphia area.
Given that 1/5th of the nation’s energy consumption is from the commercial business sector, the government has been working with National Government Organizations (NGO’s) across the country to set up a strategic plan for eliminating excessive waste. As of May 1, 2012, the EEB Hub has a 2020 goal to reduce Philadelphia’s energy consumption in the commercial building sector by 20%. They plan to do this by funding energy efficient retrofits for participating companies. However, the main questions that continues to be debated is, who is going to lead these retrofitting projects and what methodology will be used to ensure each participating company gets the best retrofitting option for their building and business?
Ernest Delany, the owner and president of Probes Unlimited, Inc. was asked to participate in this meeting from both a business owner’s perspective as well as an engineer standpoint. His main concern with the retrofitting initiative is that business deals will interfere with customized plans for each building. Without oversight and auditable processes, profit could supercede energy efficiency. Who and how is the government going to regulate the architects, contractors and designers to ensure that alliances are not made that would inhibit a participating business from getting the best retrofitting plan for their needs?
One solution that he recommends may address some of these potential issues is to have the government act as the information provider. Whether it is by providing a website or guidelines for business owners to refer to and educate themselves on what products are out there and which products would best fit their needs. In addition to having a rating system, the government could create a resource on completed retrofitting projects including: the specifications the company followed and information on how business owners can market their new energy efficient building to renters, customers, etc.
Overall the meeting was both collaborative and energizing and Probes Unlimited, Inc. is excited to participate in the transformative changes that will be going on in the greater Philadelphia area in the next few years.
Visit us at http://www.probesunlimited.com