The IgCC: Be Happy, Be Afraid, Be Both By Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED AP So, I just spent the better part of a lovely Atlanta Sunday afternoon/evening reading the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) Public Version 2.0 with the hopes of calling this article “I Read the IgCC So You Don’t Have To.” However, if you are on the integration side of the ProAV industry at all (consultant, integrator, programmer, manufacturer, technology manager, etc), you should probably take a look at the code for yourself. You can download it for free at here. Rental/stagers, you’re off the hook and can skip down to Midori’s column. So what is the IgCC, and why should you care? Well, the IgCC is the latest initiative from the International Code Council (ICC), and it is intended to be an enforceable construction code that government organizations can adopt as law in place of LEED. Because LEED is an aspirational and elective rating system and not a code or standard, it was never intended to become binding legislation, though many states and municipalities were clumsily doing just that. But who is the ICC, and who made them boss? The ICC was formed in 1994 from several regional code-writing entities, and its mission was to create a unified set of enforceable building design and construction codes. The ICC’s family of codes is widely adopted across the construction industry, but these codes dealt primarily with life safety issues until recently. In 2009, the American Institute of Architects and the American Society for Testing and Materials International teamed with the ICC to create the IgCC with the goal of resolving the growing problem of municipalities trying to legislate LEED. In that respect, the IgCC is a very good thing. Lawsuits concerning LEED have been cropping up in recent years, and this change of course from LEED to the IgCC should begin to stem the tide of this litigation going forward. More recently, ASHRAE, USGBC and IES — the same team that brought us ASHRAE 189.1, a standard for high-performance buildings — joined the cause. In fact, ASHRAE 189.1 is viewed by the ICC as an alternate compliance path to the IgCC. However, since we AV professionals won’t have any control over which compliance path an owner may elect to take, we have to become fluent in both the IgCC and 189.1. Oh, joy! OK, enough with the acronyms — what are we talking about here? All the noise coming out of Washington these days has been about eliminating regulations that are allegedly breaking the backs of businesses both small and large and supposedly limiting job growth, but then along comes this very strict construction code that requires complete energy monitoring and automated demand response (Translation: if you use too much energy, your building’s temperature will be adjusted, your lighting levels will drop, and your power outlets will start switching off until you get below your energy limit.), and governments from coast to coast are signing up before the ink is dry. States including Rhode Island, Maryland, Florida, North Carolina and Oregon, as well as the cities of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Richland, Wash.; and Fort Collins, Colo., among others, have already adopted some or all of the IgCC’s provisions, and it’s still in draft form! While part of me is impressed that these states and cities have gravitated to this noble-minded code so quickly, there is another part of me that wonders if any politician in any of these states or cities has actually read the darn thing. I spent six hours today getting my head around it, and I’m in the biz. When the IgCC is finalized in March of 2012, I expect many more states and municipalities will jump on board. Thus, for many of us, this code will be unavoidable. There’s a new sheriff in town, and we better learn his (or her!) ways. The IgCC’s implications for the building design and construction industry, in general, are significant. For the AV industry in particular, the effects could range from mildly annoying to a total show stopper, depending on the mission-critical nature of your project, combined with where you are in adopting green practices within your organization anyway. For some, the IgCC will represent new and significant revenue stream opportunities. So let’s take a look at some of the provisions that will inevitably affect us in some way. First, the IgCC sets limits on the total energy consumption of a building based on its size and type, and, unlike LEED, which was completely prescriptive in nature (i.e., if the energy model said you were going to save energy that’s all that mattered), the IgCC is results-oriented. This means stuff gets measured, not just modeled. For example, one of the measurement categories in the IgCC is plug loads, which is where the energy consumption of our equipment will likely get counted. In LEED, plug loads were pretty much left out of the equation with most energy modelers inserting a generic number for plug loads. Thus, one could specify very high energy-consuming AV equipment into a LEED Platinum building with no impact on the building’s achievement of LEED. Under the IgCC, that consequence-free era is over. The IgCC has other potentially problematic provisions in it, like the one that says a renovated building can’t consume any more energy than the building did prior to renovation. Really?!? What if a university wants to renovate a tired, low-tech classroom building by equipping the classrooms with new state-of-the-art teaching technologies? Certainly, this is greener (not to mention far cheaper and faster) than tearing down the whole building and carting if off to the landfill, just to build a new one to get around this code provision. I expect in time this restriction will be revised somehow, someway. Another provision that should give us some pause is the plug load control associated with automated demand response. The code calls for “classrooms” (which they don’t define) in both educational facilities and office buildings to have a minimum of four switched power receptacles that can be turned off during peak demand times when the building exceeds its energy limits. You’ll want to make sure none of your AV equipment is plugged into those outlets lest someone at the central plant starts switching off your projectors, amps or control processors right in the middle of the CEO’s presentation. (In the immortal words of Donald Trump, “You’re fired.”) The code also states specifically that all AV “displays, projectors, and audio amplifiers in classrooms, conference and meeting rooms, and multipurpose rooms shall be controlled by an occupant sensor,” but that’s all it says about the energy management of these systems. Could we have a little more specificity please? Luckily, InfoComm’s ANSI Standards Committee has a solution for this requirement within its soon-to-be-released energy management standard, so hopefully we’ll complete the IgCC’s sentence for them. Lastly, ENERGY STAR is going to play a much bigger role in our lives since the IgCC requires that 50 percent of the energy from appliances and equipment in the building come from ENERGY STAR-qualified products. Welcome to the future. But let’s go back to the positive aspects of the IgCC for a moment. For building professionals doing projects in the cities, counties, states and possibly countries where the IgCC becomes law, this code is going to be a shot of vitamin B12 to the science of building design and construction. If you talk to architects who do work in the U.S., as well as around the world, they will tell you that the best and most innovative MEP engineering firms in the world today can be found in Europe. Why? Because, by law, they have been designing innovative, energy-efficient solutions for their clients for years. As such, they have taken the lead in learning what works and what doesn’t because they’ve had to. I’ve yet to sit across from a U.S.-based MEP consultant and have anything close to what I would call an inspiring conversation about sustainability. Lord knows, I’ve tried. Perhaps in a post-IgCC world, U.S.-based architects and engineers will have more reason to push innovation in building design, which could help folks on our side of the pond catch up to our European friends. With the IgCC, we are no longer relegated to the kid table of sustainability. For better or worse, we’re in the mix with everyone else. Hopefully, with the work done by many individuals and companies involved with GreenAV over the past few years, we’re more ready than some other trades will be to take care of our own backyard when it comes to IgCC compliance. And maybe, just maybe, some will seize this opportunity to develop new goods and services to lead the construction industry through this brave new world. Time will tell. Scott Walker, CTS-D, LEED® AP, is president and CEO of Waveguide Consulting, a national AV, IT and acoustical consulting firm. Scott is a past president of InfoComm International, and he currently chairs InfoComm’s AV Sustainability Task Force, which is responsible for developing the Sustainable Technology Environments Program (STEPSM) rating system. Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Leave a Comment Share Article
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Green Isn’t Everything By Midori Connolly Green is good and all, but it’s not everything. As a frequent speaker and consultant on the topic of sustainability and green meetings, I usually craft very logical, carefully designed content before delivering to my audience. However, at least eight out of 10 times, I end up chucking that presentation to the wind when we get to about the 4th slide. This slide introduces the concept of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). Raise your hand if you know what this means. Right. Based on my experiences with a live audience, I’m guessing about 60 percent of you didn’t raise your hand. So, let’s discuss this a bit. The TBL theory takes into consideration People, Planet and Profit. (OK, now a few more of you are nodding your heads with vague recognition.) This concept asserts that People, Planet and Profit are three pillars holding up sustainable development, with the idea that they must all be in balance. Also sometimes referred to as TBL accountancy, this is a long-term strategy for the social, economic and environmental health of a business and society as a whole. This balanced approach takes more into account than just “green” and recognizes that a sustainable business cannot exist just to make the planet better without being profitable. Nor, as enlightened businesses have discovered, can enterprise continue to exploit both social and environmental resources to focus only on economic results. Hopefully most of you have a handle on the profit/economic pillar of sustainability, and are beginning to grasp the green/environmental/planet pillar through resources such as rAVe GreenAV. But, what about the social/people results? What does this mean in business, and especially in the AV industry? Understanding the people pillar is probably easier than you would think. The following are all examples of what might fall into the people column of the TBL:
- Health and Safety
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Education and Training
- Community Citizenship
- Fair Labor Practices
- Will this fall within each column of the TBL?
- Will People, Planet and Profit all benefit from our efforts?
- Which stakeholder groups will be impacted (employees, employers, investors, future talent, industry at large), and how?
Dukane’s Latest Projectors are Wireless The new Dukane 8925H-RJ is a native XGA (1024×768) LCD projector spec’d at 2700-lumen brightness. It has both VGA and HDMI (HDCP) inputs, as well as a wireless input that allows for projecting images (and video) wirelessly via 802.11b/g/n. It only uses only 0.5 watts in standby – making it a green projector as well. Dukane also launched a similar projector, the 8926H-RJ, with the same specs except it’s spec’d at 3200 lumens. Both uses a 6000-hour lamp. Details on the new projectors can be found here: Leave a Comment Share Article
Is Sony the Greenest Japanese AV Company? Sony has achieved and/or exceeded the majority of the targets set out in its Green Management 2010 (GM2010) mid-term environmental plan, including an over 30 percent reduction in global CO2 emissions across its business sites compared with fiscal year 2000 levels. Sony’s GM2010 plan, introduced in 2006, aimed to reduce the company’s environmental impact over the five-year period spanning fiscal years 2006 through 2010. The results of these initiatives have been confirmed through third-party verification. GM2010 included a series of aggressive greenhouse gas reduction targets. Through the implementation of various innovative initiatives designed to achieve these goals, Sony successfully reduced CO2 emissions across its business sites to 1.53 million tons in fiscal year 2010. This represents a reduction of 31 percent compared to fiscal year 2000 levels, far surpassing the original 7 percent target specified in the GM2010 plan. Sony’s initiatives included the use of alternative substances to replace substances with high global warming potential in its manufacturing processes, and the reduction of energy-related CO2 emissions through the installation of advanced energy systems, which have been optimized by Sony’s in-house energy conservation specialists to deliver maximum energy efficiency at Sony offices and manufacturing sites around the world. Other Green improvements included:
- Waste generation at business sites — 54 percent reduction (target 40 percent)
- Water usage at business sites — 41 percent reduction (target 20 percent)
- Volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from business sites — 35 percent reduction (target 40 percent)
Citigroup and Sungevity Create Fund for Residential Solar Projects Sungevity, a solar panel manufacturer, just announced a renewable energy tax equity fund with Citigroup Inc. that will support over $50 million of new residential solar lease projects. Citi’s commitment comes on the heels of tremendous growth and momentum for Sungevity. In late July, the company formally announced its expansion to the east coast with the “Rooftop Revolution” marketing campaign and in May, Sungevity announced a significant new partnership with Lowe’s, the world’s second largest home improvement retailer. Since 2010, the company has raised funds to support more than $120 million in residential solar projects, and has become one of the fastest growing solar companies in the country with a presence in eight states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and New York. So, shouldn’t we, as integrators, consider adding solar power as an option to our projects? Sungevity has a cool iQuote sales process that’s truly a new and easy, efficient means to residential solar adoption. This hassle-free technology enables the use of satellite images and aerial photography to assess customers’ roofs remotely and accurately determine the feasibility of future solar installations without a home visit, saving customers time and money. This innovative process creates a convenient and efficient process for providing binding formal proposals. Check them out and consider becoming an integrator for them at: http://www.sungevity.com/ Leave a Comment Share Article
HAI Ships Wireless Energy Management System Home Automation, Inc. (HAI) announced today that the MicroControl (81A00-2WHZB) stand-alone wireless energy management system – meaning, no home control system required – is shipping. The MicroControl claims to allow homeowners and integrators programming it to set-up time-based schedules for temperatures, water heaters, heating and air conditioning units, pumps, fountains, lamps, generators and other devices. HAI claims all products are easy to install since they utilize ZigBee Home Automation Wireless profiles. Learn more about HAI’s Energy Management Systems here: Leave a Comment Share Article
Runco’s Green LED Projector Runco’s newest LED projector uses 70 percent less power than its current model DLP projectors by using LED lighting. The $10,000 Q-650i is a native 1080p projector that includes HDMI, DVI and VGA ports and includes a 1.85-2.4:1 zoom lens. It is, however, only 450 lumens. So, if you’re a eco-friendly guy, this projector will work out well in your home theater. You’ll have to use this in a black room and with the lights totally off… and we also recommend unplugging the night-light. Want full specs? Go here: Leave a Comment Share Article
Solar Power Show to be in Dallas in 2011 If you’re serious about GreenAV, you need to start getting educated about what’s out here and where the opportunities are for integrators. Well, Solar Power International 2011 is headed to Dallas, Texas, and it’s attended by over 24,000 professionals from businesses spanning the entire spectrum of the industry for four days of product exploration, discussion, professional enrichment and networking – it’s like a CEDIA or InfoComm for Green. Find out more here: Leave a Comment Share Article
Middle Atlantic Ships BGR Series Racks Integrated with GreenGuard Middle Atlantic is now shipping its new BGR Series racks (BGR literally stands for: Breakthrough Next-Generation Rack), featuring what the companys claims is the highest level of space efficiency and strength available in a rack system. Originally unveiled at InfoComm, the BGR Series is aimed at systems integration in commercial and residential applications. Core to the BGR Series rack’s functionality is the company’s new patent-pending LeverLock Interior Management System, which facilitates mounting of small devices along the rack interior sides and advanced cabling management. Comprised of a series of unique, tool-free vertical and horizontal lacing bars and device mounting plates, the LeverLock system promotes fast, flexible installation and servicing and can save more than four rackspaces per enclosure in typical installations. The BGR Series rack offers high static and UL-Listed weight capacities along with high seismic certified capacities. It is GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified and Children & Schools Certified, and can help towards earning LEED credits. Learn more here: Leave a Comment Share Article
NEC Launches $850 3D Projector NEC Display just announced an addition to its V Series multimedia projectors in the form of the 3000-lumen V300W. Designed as an affordable, lightweight WXGA (1280×800) projector that uses DLP technology, the V300W includes NEC’s eco mode, which the company says has up to 5000 hours of lamp life, plus a 2000:1 contrast ratio. Connectivity on the V300W includes an HDMI input, monitor out and dual analog RGB inputs, as well as variable audio out for use with an external speaker. It does 3D thanks to its integrated DLP Link technology. If you want to see all the specs of the $850 V300W, go here: Leave a Comment Share Article
AMX Ships Control System for Cisco Phones AMX announced today that its new NXV-CPI (Control Phone Interface) that enables AMX control capabilities through two popular Cisco IP Phones is already shipping. Launched earlier this summer, the NXV-CPI, when paired with a NetLinx Controller, allows Cisco phone users to gain a basic level of control via its built-in touch screen, hard buttons, soft keys or numeric keypad. Control capabilities include AV device control, display control, some environment controls as well as presentation and room control. The NXV-CPI is specified for use with Cisco CP-7965G and CP-7975G phones. If you want to learn more about the NXV-CPI go here, Leave a Comment Share Article
AudioControl to Debut Green Whole House Audio Amp AudioControl will launch its new Architect Model 210ES at CEDIA. It can drive up to eight speakers (stable into 2 ohms), claiming 240 watts per channel from a two-channel distributed audio system. What makes it green? The Architect Model 210ES takes into account the requirements of homeowners for more energy-efficient solutions that reduce heat emissions, energy consumption and allow for greater utilization of rack space. It also meet ENERGY STAR 2.0 requirements, consuming less than one watt in standby. It’s not on their website, yet, but when it is, it’ll be here Leave a Comment Share Article
WolfVision Shows New VZ-3 The WolfVision VZ-3 Visualizer features a brand new design concept — the camera, light system and electronic hardware are all integrated into the Visualizer arm. Featuring a 1-CCD camera with 30 frames per second video, sRGB color, native output resolutions of SXGA, WXGA and 720p HD, the VZ-3 uses an LED lighting system so it uses 80 percent less power than the company’s other models (a GreenAV product). It also includes a 12x zoom lens for both object and document projection. Want more details? Go here Leave a Comment Share Article
BenQ’s Newest Short Throw is Green and Good BenQ’s first DLP projector to feature the company’s energy-saving “Smart Eco Mode” technology debuted last month and we were duly impressed. Dubbed the MX850UST, BenQ’s projector, when in the eco mode, uses 50 percent less energy than the average UHP projector, thus extending lamp life and, according to BenQ, less maintenance for schools. The MX850UST combines this Smart Eco Mode technology with a spec’d 13,000:1 contrast ratio, brightness of 2500 ANSI Lumens, a native XGA resolution of 1024×768, a 0.45 short-throw ratio (81 inches at 2.43 feet) and gets lamp life of 3,500/5,000 hours (normal/eco mode). The MX850UST has the ability to create a SmartBoard’ish-like interactive digital whiteboard. Unlike traditional whiteboard concepts featuring one projector and a smaller screen, BenQ’s solution integrates three projectors into one seamless display. The projector will be available at the end of this month, according to BenQ, but isn’t on the website yet. When it is, it will be here: http://www.benq.us/product/projector/6/49 Leave a Comment Share Article
Well, that’s it for this edition of rAVe GreenAV Edition! Thank you for spending time with us as we muse the industry’s happenings. To continue getting my newsletter, or to sign up a friend, click the link below. To send feedback, don’t reply to this newsletter – instead, write to Publisher Gary Kayye at email@example.com or Editor-in-Chief Sara Abrons at firstname.lastname@example.org A little about Gary Kayye, CTS, founder of rAVe and Kayye Consulting. Gary Kayye, an audiovisual veteran and columnist, began the widely-read KNews, a premier industry newsletter, in the late 1990s, and created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue – which later became InfoComm IQ. Kayye Consulting is a company that is committed to furthering the interests and success of dealers, manufacturers, and other companies within the professional audiovisual industry. rAVe Pro Edition launched in February 2003. rAVe Home Edition, co-sponsored by CEDIA, launched in February 2004. rAVe Rental [and Staging] launched in November 2007. rAVe Ed [Education] began publication in May 2008. rAVe DS [Digital Signage] launched in January 2009. This publication, rAVe GreenAV, was launched in August 2010. Subscribe to our newsletters! https://www.ravepubs.com To read more about my background, our staff, and what we do, go to https://www.ravepubs.com
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