The team at North Country Mechanical Insulators is growing. Most recently, Jon Kane, formerly of Big Dawg, has come on board as a new Project Manager.
In my time as a Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser, I’ve toured countless different types of facilities and spoken with facility managers all across America. One question I always ask is, “Is management aware of any areas throughout the facility where there is uninsulated and exposed steam piping?”
The response is almost always the same:
“The vast majority is insulated, and we are not looking to insulate further.”
That answer is a big red flag to me.
The benefits of mechanical insulation—including saving money, reducing energy use, and protecting personnel—are well known. But there are many equipment components that never see those benefits because they are tricky to insulate.
The problem is all too common. Valves, flanges, pumps, and other mechanical components either go uninsulated, or the insulation is torn off when workers need to access those areas.
Call it a sustainability program, an energy initiative, or “going green.” Whatever name your school uses, most boarding schools today are focused on reducing their environmental impact. School buildings (and their occupants) use a huge amount of energy and—because of their added energy demands—boarding schools use more energy than non-residential schools.
When it comes to environmental sustainability, boarding schools face unique challenges. While green initiatives typically involve actions from the entire school community, facilities professionals are often charged with helping the school meet energy goals. From building age to regulatory compliance, facilities professionals face many challenges in fulfilling those expectations.
Craft brewers are creative, so it’s no wonder that many craft brewers have discovered innovative solutions for energy usage and greenhouse gas reduction opportunities at their facilities. Considering the rising energy costs of today, reducing energy usage should be a high priority at all breweries.
Insulation is a simple step in energy management for breweries, but it’s one that can often be overlooked. Depending on the firm that helped you construct your brew house, you may or may not be aware of the mechanical insulation that covers your hot and cold pipes, valves, flanges, boil kettles, tanks and heat exchanges—if your systems are insulated at all.
The campus is part of what makes a boarding school experience memorable for students, faculty, and staff. There are over 100 boarding schools throughout New England, each with their own unique campuses that contribute to the personality of the school. However, managing the facilities at these institutions comes with its own set of challenges. Today, facilities managers need to be on the lookout for low-cost investments that will provide high ROI in energy and cost savings.
During my time working in the insulation industry, I have read countless sustainability plans for colleges and universities throughout New England and the U.S. At a time when going green and being environmentally friendly are more mandatory than trendy, colleges and universities are making pledges to become carbon neutral. Some build massive biomass plants, while others build solar fields and install panels on rooftops.
What these colleges and universities all forget is that lowering their carbon footprint can be much easier and significantly less expensive through the implementation of mechanical insulation. For institutions that want to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and save energy, but may not have the capital needed for a largescale energy project, insulation is an ideal place to start.
As with any facility, the true cost of a hospital goes well beyond the initial construction investment. To assess the real cost of building ownership, the scope needs to include the entire life cycle of the building.
What is Building Life Cycle Cost?
Life cycle cost is the total cost of designing, building, owning, operating, maintaining, and disposing of a building over its life. This includes fuel and water, energy, labor, and replacement equipment and components. For hospitals, building-related costs typically fall into the following categories:
The current healthcare environment is one of uncertainty and complexity. Pending changes in reimbursement, a potential rollback of the Affordable Care Act, and a focus on population health have caused healthcare organizations to reevaluate their business and financial strategies.
A focus on year-over-year cost increases is a necessary component of prudent budgeting for both small local practices and large national healthcare systems. However, now more than ever, cost containment is a priority for healthcare administrators.
Healthcare facilities spend over $6.5 billion on energy each year, according to Energy Star. That amount is constantly rising as these facilities work to meet the rising needs of patients.
Energy savings does more than simply improve a company’s bottom line; rather, a focus on energy conservation helps healthcare facilities meet the IHI Triple Aim. By being more energy efficient, hospitals around the country can save money, reduce or even prevent greenhouse gas emissions, improve the air quality within their communities, and support their commitment to public health. Hospitals can reinvest savings from improved energy performance into improving patient care or into the facility itself.