6 Points, One Stone: How Low-Impact Development (LID) Can Help Achieve LEED Certification

Views: 423   No Comments  

by:

6 Points, One Stone: How Low-Impact Development (LID) Can Help Achieve LEED Certification

If you’re not familiar with low-impact development (LID), you may want to keep reading before building your next facility or warehouse. Thanks to recent changes in LEED requirements, we’re going to see an increase in projects utilizing LID in the near future.

What exactly is low-impact development? How can you make the most of LID and maximize it when applying for LEED certification? Let’s unpack what it means for your next project.

 

The Underrated Value of Industry Conferences: Reflections from the 2018 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo

Views: 389   No Comments  

by:

The Underrated Value of Industry Conferences: Reflections from the 2018 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo

I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 IIAR Natural Refrigeration Conference & Expo in March, and it got me thinking about the value in these industry events. Why do we attend them?

There are countless niche conferences that cover every segment of the food and beverage industry, from packaging to refrigeration and from dairy to meat. These events bring professionals together from across the country and world — but why are they so important?

 

Building the Arc: LEED v4.1 Emphasizes USGBC Data Platform

Views: 504   No Comments  

by:

Building the Arc: LEED v4.1 Emphasizes USGBC Data Platform

It seems like only yesterday that we were discussing the launch of LEED v4 and its emphasis on energy and water conservation (OK, that second post was just two months ago). That new iteration of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) certification for sustainable construction was a significant leap forward from previous versions. The USGBC will now only accept LEED registrations under LEED v4.

Back in November, however, the USGBC announced it was fast-tracking the development of yet another update called LEED v4.1. At the Greenbuild Boston conference, it promised that the new standard will be “improved and agile” ensuring that the USGBC will “deliver on the vision of green buildings for all.”

Since LEED v4.1 is now in the pilot stage and available for jobs, I thought I’d take a look at the new certification standard and what it means for those in the food manufacturing sector. In particular, I want to focus on LEED v4.1’s emphasis on using the USGBC Arc platform and data analysis to drive improvements in sustainability.

 

The Pros and Cons of Your Facility Location with Stricter LEED v4 Criteria

3 site selection credits that are now harder to earn in LEED v4

Views: 500   No Comments  

by:

The Pros and Cons of Facility Location with Stricter LEED v4 Criteria

When it comes to earning LEED certification, the location of your building plays a major role. After all, site selection accounts for 26 out of a possible 110 credits under LEED v4 New Construction — that’s more than halfway to the 50 credits required to achieve LEED Silver status.

A variety of factors determine whether your site is eligible for certain credits. Many times, simply looking 10 feet beyond the city limit and into county land can make a dramatic difference in cost or eligibility to earn certain credits.

Urban sites offer many “given” points that don’t require site modifications, such as access to public transit, but property near a city center is often more expensive. On the other hand, “paid” points that involve investing in site modifications — such as Sustainable Sites credits — realistically require a larger piece of land, which is often hard to find near a downtown area.

 

Understanding LEED v4’s Energy and Water Use Prerequisites and Credits

What you need to know about v4’s focus on energy efficiency, as well as new credits to consider pursuing for your project

Views: 895   No Comments  

by:

Understanding LEED v4’s Energy and Water Use Prerequisites and Credits

When it comes to green building, LEED v4 is the new standard. As of October 31, 2016, the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) will only accept new LEED registrations under LEED v4. Although the registration date was extended, the last day projects can submit for v3 certification — the sunset date — is still June 30, 2021.

The latest version of the LEED rating system features more rigorous standards, and while some of the credits and prerequisites are essentially the same as the 2009 version, there are some significant changes.

I outlined those changes in a previous post, but now let’s take a closer look at some of the new prerequisites and credits ushered in by LEED v4, specifically those involving energy use and environmental impact.

 

Industrial Refrigeration: Ammonia and CO2 Systems

Breaking down your options as the R22 refrigerant is phased out

Views: 1869   No Comments  

by:

Industrial Refrigeration: Ammonia and CO2 Systems

 

The turn of the new year signaled the most recent step of the R22 refrigerant phase-out in the United States.

As a reminder, here’s the timeline according to the EPA final rule:

  • On January 1, 2018, R22 production dropped 30 percent from the 2017 supply to 9 million pounds
  • On January 1, 2019, production will drop 55 percent from the 2018 supply to 4 million pounds
  • On January 1, 2020, R22 will be phased out completely with no new or imported R22 allowed in the U.S.

Since the supply just dropped at the beginning of this year, that means R22 prices (and repair prices) are increasing yet again.

If your refrigeration system uses R22, or any other refrigerant with a high Global Warming Potential (GWP), you have some decisions to make — and the clock is ticking.

 

How to Achieve LEED Certification Without Sacrificing Process Performance

Views: 451   No Comments  

by:

How to Achieve LEED Certification Without Sacrificing Process Performance

So you want your building to be LEED certified, but what level should you pursue? Does a more energy-efficient facility mean completely revamping your processing? What about food safety?

LEED certification is a good thing, but it should not dictate every decision in a new-build or plant renovation. Checking credits off your LEED checklist shouldn’t come at the expense of performance and food safety.

Let’s look at some factors to designing a sustainable facility that go beyond the traditional aspects like electricity and water use. But first things first: where to begin?

 

How to Conserve Energy Across Every Aspect of Your Food Plant

Energy management from an engineering perspective

Views: 1238   No Comments  

by:

How to Conserve Energy Across Every Aspect of Your Food Plant

 

Everyone wants to improve their energy management, and while there are countless best practices to improve energy efficiency in your processing, I look at it from an engineering perspective.

When designing a new facility or renovating an existing one, I consider the different ways the plant can prioritize energy management within each engineering group that brings the building to life. Let’s explore how you can design energy management into your next greenfield or renovation project.

 

Industrial Automation: Is It Time to Upgrade Your Control System?

Views: 1655   No Comments  

by:

Industrial Automation: Is It Time to Upgrade Your Control System?

How old is the control system at your facility? In most processing plants, the control system consists of field instruments that are wired to I/O cards which feed to a central PLC controller. Operators communicate with the PLC through a human machine interface (HMI) computer.

While the lifespan of an HMI computer is about the same as a typical desktop computer, the instruments, field wiring, I/O boards and PLC controllers last a lot longer — and the mentality of most operators is: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Upgrading a control system is a costly investment, and, as a result, many facilities have field hardware that is decades old.

So, when is it worth upgrading your control system? And what options do you have?

 

4 Lessons for Pioneering a New Process in Food Manufacturing

Views: 425   No Comments  

by:

4 Lessons for Pioneering a New Process in Food Manufacturing

Last week on the blog, we examined the brand new, state-of-the-art hatchery Stellar completed for poultry processor Bell & Evans. The facility — which is the first certified organic, humane, animal-welfare focused chick hatchery in the United States — is an example of trailblazing a new approach to traditional food processing.

Not only does it employ fascinating and cutting-edge technology, but this project contains lessons for any food manufacturer looking to pioneer or experiment in their own particular market.