Two years ago, EYP made a move to become a leader in high-performance buildings. The firm—founded in Albany, N.Y., in 1972, and now encompassing 375 employees in 12 offices—had a history of energy efficiency, both with its portfolio and in its own offices. But the firm wanted to make that commitment global. “We decided that our vision would be for every building to become a high-performance building from an energy perspective,” says president and CEO Tom Birdsey, AIA.
To that end, in 2012, EYP merged with The Weidt Group, a company offering analysis and energy modeling using proprietary software. Today, the company consults on every EYP project. “We begin with pre-design modeling,” says David Eijadi, FAIA, principal at The Weidt Group. “We can build accurate enough models so that we can do immediate comparisons and get a project to net zero or to meet the [Architecture] 2030 challenge. Then, as the design team and the client develop more real information, our models evolve and allow them to continue to make even more refined decisions. Going through this process helps designers and owners make improved decisions.”
And it helps to save clients money, such as the more than $1.3 million in rebates that EYP’s client Trinity University, which is in San Antonio, received from its municipally owned energy utility.
EYP did daylighting studies for all of its projects in 2013, pursued a potable-water-use reduction for 95 percent of the gross square footage, and also collected energy data for 75 percent of its online projects for the last two years. “We now put into our specifications a requirement for metering devices and other technology in the building not just to reduce energy, but to make it easier for us to measure and have benchmarks for understanding that energy reduction,” Birdsey says.
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