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Controls, Co-gen and Cooling: Retrocommissioning at UC Santa Cruz

As part of the year-long PG&E Retrocommissioning class, the 20 or so participants and three teachers took a two-day field trip down to UC Santa Cruz. There are three aspects that make UC Santa Cruz a retrocommissioning dream location: a) the very invested and progressive facilities staff, b) the wide variety of complex systems on-site, and c) the campus-wide system interactions. As a bonus, UC Santa Cruz also has a gorgeous campus—small clusters of buildings hidden amongst soaring redwoods and cool, misty air.

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Energy Modeling for Architects: Friday, May 23

What your energy consultant should know and isn’t teaching you.

*Presentation posted- see below*
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Upcoming Event: High Performance Window Panel

On April 27th, Passive House California is hosting a High Performance Window Panel. This is a great opportunity to learn more about what makes a window "high performance" and to meet some of your local window experts. Networking and beer are included, and the meeting will kick off with an introduction to Passive House. 3pm start, $10 for non-members, $5 for supporters and free for members. Held at the Pyramid Brewery in Berkeley.

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Retrocommissioning: The Class

For the past four months, I've spent a day a month at the Pacific Energy Center in an intensive retrocommissioning class. For those not familiar with retrocommissioning, it's essentially a treasure hunt for poorly performing systems in existing buildings. Identifying and fixing these "poor performers" can save energy, water and resources, as well as improve comfort. And the savings can be significant- typically between 5 and 20% of operating costs depending on the facility.

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New website to spring into fall

Now in Beyond Efficiency's 5th year of business, it was due time to refresh the website. As days get shorter and weather cools, the importance of the work we do to optimize building performance is magnified. So four weeks ago, just before the autumnal equinox, we went live! We're proud of our new website, and it much better reflects what we've been up to and can offer to clients. 

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Next stop: 8th Annual North American Passive House Conference!

Tomorrow I'm off to my 3rd conference in the last 3 weeks, this one in Pittsburgh. I always am so excited to be off to a big Passive House event, but recent travel has made me exhausted and I'm glad this is the last of my traveling at least for a little while! If anyone's still on the fence, this conference is sure to be as great a Passive House event as in past years. Here's the scoop:

Report-Back: AIA Western Region Conference

I returned home to California a few days ago after an incredible week in Jackson, Wyoming for the 2013 AIA Western Region Conference, which rotates between the six member states--Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico--each year. I presented on high-performance building envelope design and crammed in all that I could in two presentation slots (browse or download the presentation below).

October 3: Building Carbon Zero Marin

Part II in Passive House California's Building Carbon Zero California series is scheduled for October 3rd at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin Civic Center. Randy Hayes (formerly Rainforest Action Network) and Peter Busby (Perkins + Will) are keynote speakers for this event. Attend to learn how we can drastically reduce our carbon emissions today, and build a better environment for future generations.

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