Resource Professionals Group

Decisions about energy equipment and delivery systems start with comfort and cost, but important future implications should also be considered

Inside air quality affects health.  Individual tenants and occupants will experience more or less convenience as the system components change.

Design choices matter to life-safety
when electricity and highway networks are out for several days Susquehanna river flooding
                    in Pennsylvaniaat a time.  At building and at community scale, design resilience  can maintain safe occupancy conditions when electricity is not available, either from the grid or out-of-diesel on-site generator

Building energy experts say that the changes can be affordable. 

When designs follow best efficiency practices,  boilers, chillers, can be smaller, reducing capital cost.  Advanced lighting and motors reduce electrical demand.  As alternative sources, s
olar and wind electricity, geothermal and solar thermal systems are well recognized; for heat and cooling, woody biomass needs to be listed.

Most-overlooked, affordable & widely applicable renewable heat source is wood.Condo
                        complex on slope, Colorado 

Photosynthetically renewable, the woody biomass is a fuel for heat and cooling (HVAC), service hot water and industrial thermal process systems.

Biomass as a modern option
Real estate developers and managers avoided using woody biomass systems;  their HVAC engineers and architects could not offer the necessary assurances.

Conditions have changed for the better. 

Equipment has been further improved.  Business practices now let building developers and owners get beyond the high capital cost, performance and reliability concerns and uncertainty about fuel supply.  Wood chip and pellet boiler performance is reliable and clean, yet the installations use advanced equipment and control systems which are operationally complex. 

It should make sense that the people experienced with the equipment and fuel systems are best suited to build heat supply contracting (HSC) businesses.

Their knowledge, training and developed networks for parts and service limit their risk as owners, receiving a contracted revenue stream in payment for a metered flow of renewable heat energy.  

Economic success is a near-certainty when projects are "qualified."
Display for meter
                  recording heat energy flow.Qualification is simply confirming that the installation will create a profit as planned and built.  The HSC needs to make that decision and guarantee the result under conditions that can be accepted by the facility developer, owner or manager. 

Community protection forestry work is needed in places like Colorado's Front Range outside Denver, (site of condominium complex, above). 

The wood being processed is biomass fuel - which in most locations is wasted

Crews  salvage pest-killed trees or remove "ladder fuels" so low intensity ground fires are less likely to develop into "crowning" wildfires. 


                 Why team with RPG?
We can help you realize the value of well timed good design, safe and comfortable conditions maintained with mostly renewable heat energy.

Operating cost may be close to the same, but community and environmental value is far greater.

Important meanings can be missed in design meetings where heat supply alternatives are being considered;  some having direct effects on owner's value.   

Engineers, foresters and arborists, real estate developers and renewable heat equipment dealers (solar thermal, biothermal, geothermal heat pump and more) all use specialized terms inside their "trades."  

RPG's participation offers more than interpretation of words, or even their meaning in context. 

Design options in renovation or new-construction projects change with purpose of the facility, where it is located, building site factors and economic conditions.  Owners may "want" to use a particular energy source.  The best outcomes result when both sets of realities are evaluated together even before the site arrangement plan is "set." 

We can take a leadership role in an early alternatives review, as we explained the concept in chapter 2 of ASHRAE's Cold Climate Design Guide. 

The objective is to avoid expensive failures or mid-construction re-work.   We also urge consideration of designs that integrate systems to maximize sustainable day-to-day operations, and add to the building's capacity to remain "livable" during unexpected power loss (resilience).    

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
Association of Energy Engineers (AEE)
American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE)