Location: 1927 S Tryon St, Suite 300, Charlotte NC
Time: 5 until 8:30pm
Keith Pehl Receives Chapter Award of Excellence from USGBC and Milliken & Company.
Keith Pehl, P.E. is a winner of the Volunteer Programmer Award. As vice chair of the Charlotte Region Chapter's advocacy committee, Keith independently organized a state advocacy day with buy-in and participation by each of the three chapters in the state of North Carolina. He planned appointments with state legislators and trained 25 volunteers for the event. Read More
More Great News......3 More LEED Certifications were issued!
Congratulations to everyone involved on achieving these LEED Gold Certifications.
Optima Engineering is pleased to announce that the Saint Francis Chapel, ECLC and Community Center have each just received LEED-NC Gold Certification. St. Francis is a private school that received LEED Gold certification in NC on a campus style format. A total of three separate buildings (Chapel, Community Center, and Classroom building) were certified separately but all served from one main mechanical plant. High efficient lighting and controls, low and no flow fixtures for plumbing, and modular chiller packages with high efficient pumps all help to achieve high levels of energy reduction and conservation.
Congratulations Henderson County
We received the great news that Hillandale and Mills River Elementary Schools have achieved the LEED Gold rating from the USGBC. These schools are the first LEED Certified facilities in Henderson County and the first schools in the state to certify at the Gold level under the USGBC’s more advanced LEED for Schools Rating System released in April 2007.
The new schools provide learning space for 722 students, with a core for 800 students. Designed with 32 classrooms, a gymnasium, media center, art room and cafeteria, the two schools are also the first facilities in Henderson County to earn LEED certification. The schools feature high performance design elements such as:
- energy use reduction of 25.8 percent through high-efficiency water-source heat pumps, solar hot-water preheat, increased envelope insulation, and efficient lighting with motion and daylight sensors;
- dual-flush toilets, pint-flush urinals, and ultra low-flow lavatories projected to reduce water consumption by 48 percent, or 471,000 gallons annually;
- carbon dioxide sensors and outdoor airflow monitors to improve the ventilation of indoor air spaces;
- enlarged windows, light shelves, and tubular skylights to provide the core learning spaces lighting levels through higher quality, natural daylight
Optima Engineering fulfills sustainable commitment with solar-powered DC FlexZone grid solution and gains LEED platinum certification.
Optima was featured in the Renewable Energy Focus magazine's Sept./Oct. issue - Read Case Study.
New Century Elementary School - The highest performing school in North Carolina opens this school year in Cumberland County. Optima Engineering utilized the most efficient systems available based on a 30 year life cycle cost analysis. 12 different HVAC systems were analyzed and compared to determine the most efficient system for the facility – a geothermal HVAC system will be utilized. In addition daylighting, sophisticated building management and lighting controls, low water use fixtures and rainwater harvesting are integrated into the building design. A solar photovoltaic system which will provide 100% of the building‘s energy has been designed and is planned for future installation.
Keith Pehl, P.E. will be speaking at the 58th NCHEA Annual Conference & Exhibition. In his sessions he will discuss Energy Efficiency in Healthcare Facilities and Solar Photovoltaics.
Keith is the founder, the President, and the CEO of Optima Engineering, P.A. located in Charlotte, N.C. Optima Engineering has approximately 35 employees and provides a wide range of engineering services for the built environment, from mechanical, electrical and plumbing design for buildings, to carbon footprint and energy analysis for their clients. Keith focuses on strategic planning, sustainable design, renewable energy, and energy analysis. With more than 25 years of diverse electrical engineering experience, he advises and develops sustainable engineering strategies for all types of clients and their facilities. He frequently speaks to various organizations on the topics of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy tax opportunities.
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan climbed onto the roof of Optima Engineering on Monday and touted her support for a bill that would make it easier for small businesses to get loans, allowing them to invest more in renewable energy.
Senator Hagan visited Optima Engineering today to discuss her efforts in Washington to support small businesses. Hagan wants to create an environment that makes it easier for NC businesses to create jobs. Hagan supports a bill currently on the Senate floor that contains key provisions for small businesses.
Tonight at 5:30 p.m.: Senator Hagan to tour Optima Engineering - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC-
For More Information:
Bo South, Vice President
CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 8, 2010 – An industrial facility renovated by Myers & Chapman (www.myers-chapman.com) has earned LEED© Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The Rock Hill, S.C., building is occupied by Carolina Ingredients, an international food production company that blends and packages seasonings. The 70,000-square-foot building serves as the headquarters for the business as well as its research, production, packaging and distribution facility.
Carolina Ingredients is one of the first industrial food producers in the U.S. to occupy a LEED©-certified manufacturing facility and the first seasoning manufacturer in the country to use solar energy as an alternative energy source in production.
The most notable aspect of the $2 million renovation is a 156-unit photovoltaic solar panel array, designed and installed by Argand Energy, which generates 43,590 kilowatts of electricity. The system is expected to reduce the business's carbon footprint by 23 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Carolina Ingredients also installed and uses a solar thermal system to pre-heat water for its natural gas-powered water heater.
The 70,000-square-foot facility includes offices, product testing and development space, an employee locker/shower area, production area, and warehouse/distribution space.
Myers & Chapman completed the renovation in December.
The project included the replacement of all plumbing, HVAC, and electrical devices. Only materials rated low VOC (volatile organic compounds) were used in the renovation.
Carolina Ingredients expects the new facility to use 88.5 percent less wash-down water than conventional food producers, and save energy through the use of more efficient lighting and special attention to natural lighting throughout the building.
"Carolina Ingredients wants to be an environmentally friendly manufacturer and be attractive to environmentally sensitive food production partners," says Doug Meyer-Cuno, president of the business. "With that in mind, we chose R4 Architecture, Optima Engineering and Myers & Chapman to design and build the facility. These companies are experienced in green building and in the LEED© certification process. We're pleased with the way that Myers & Chapman handled the construction of the job. They brought great knowledge and value to the project."
Myers & Chapman has six LEED©-accredited staff members, including company CEO Bob Webb. The firm's headquarters off Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte is Gold-Level LEED©-certified.
"We're extremely pleased with the result achieved for Carolina Ingredients," said Bob Webb, CEO of Myers & Chapman. "All of the partners in the project, from the owner, the architect, Optima Engineering, our subcontractors, and our own staff, really worked hard to ensure the project came together better than Carolina Ingredients expected. We broke new ground in the region in terms of creating an environmentally sensitive industrial facility and we're looking forward to seeing more of this type of investment in our region."
Founded in 1953, Myers & Chapman is one of the Carolina's oldest contracting firms. Headquartered in Charlotte, the firm provides services throughout the Southeast, including preconstruction services, general contracting, design/build, and green and sustainable building services.
RALEIGH, N.C — Dr. Pamela L. Riley, Executive Director of the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), has announced the 2010 Gary N. Brown National SAVE Volunteers of the Year awards. The awards recipients are:
- Keith Pehl, President of Optima Engineering in Charlotte, directs the ACE (Architect Construction Engineering) After School Mentoring Program in Charlotte area schools; and
- Katie Spearman, Senior Preconstruction Project Engineer at Balfour Beatty Construction in Charlotte, coordinates the ACE After School Mentoring Program at West Charlotte High School (WCHS), the birthplace of SAVE in 1989.
Pehl and Spearman consulted with the teens on the design and development of a community-based project, the Peace Garden and Alex Orange Memorial Bench area at WCHS, and designed potential home offices for National SAVE. This award, named in honor of Honorary SAVE Board member, founder and retired CEO of GBA Systems, and chairman of Carolina Bank Holdings in Greensboro Gary N. Brown, is awarded annually to those who have provided outstanding volunteer service to SAVE.
Gary Weart, also an Honorary Board Member of SAVE and the first SAVE advisor, has worked with the recipients on the WCHS project and states, “I have been truly impressed with the professionalism, patience, and genuine belief both Keith and Katie demonstrate in the individual students and the ACE Mentoring Program. Special thanks go out to WCHS staff, including George Korly, Mike LeVelle and Qai To for their efforts on this project.
“We are so appreciative of the extensive amount of time, energy and resourcefulness that Keith and Katie have donated to SAVE,” said Riley. “They have contributed greatly to the mission and ideals of SAVE and we are proud to have them receive our volunteer recognition award this year.”
SAVE is a student-run, student-initiated public national nonprofit violence prevention organization with more than 1,800 chapters in 47 states and more than 200,000 members in elementary, middle, high schools, colleges and communities nationwide.
About the National Association of Students Against Violence Everywhere:
SAVE started at West Charlotte High School in Charlotte, N.C. in 1989 following the tragic death of a student who was trying to break up a fight at an off-campus party. Students met first to console each other, then as an organization to promote violence prevention and to work together to prevent future incidents from occurring. SAVE provides education about the effects and consequences of violence and helps provide safe activities for students, parents and communities. For more information on SAVE or starting a SAVE chapter, visit www.nationalsave.org , or contact SAVE at (866) 343-SAVE to receive free start-up materials and guidance.
Developers, contractors and renewable-energy advocates see Duke Energy Carolinas putting the squeeze on the local solar industry.
Independent solar companies say they can’t even get in the door to negotiate with the Charlotte energy giant.
“It’s not difficult to do a deal with them,” says Richard Harkrader of Carolina Solar Energy in Durham. “It’s impossible.”
Critics say that’s slowing the growth of the nascent solar industry despite major efforts by state and Charlotte economic developers to encourage it. Ultimately, fewer projects for local developers means fewer clean-energy jobs created in the region.
Duke has relied on buying power from a single, large solar farm and owning additional solar projects itself. That has often pushed local developers east or to the Asheville area, where Raleigh-based Progress Energy Carolinas has a different business model.
Progress does not plan to own and operate projects. And the projects it buys power from are much smaller than Duke’s. So a number of developers have gained agreements to sell solar power to Progress.
In Charlotte, Optima Engineering founder Keith Pehl says all 17 of the independent commercial solar projects his company brought to Duke Energy in the past two years foundered on failed power-purchase negotiations.
|Natasha Herting presented during Charlotte's Clean and Green event a class on the science behind Greenhouse Gases(GHGs), their sources and environmental trends. She then described what a GHG Inventory is including scope, reporting, and data quality.
After reviewing how to calculate emissions, Natasha evaluated the many incentives at how businesses gain competitive advantage while reducing their company's carbon footprint.
LEAN Six Sigma Green Belt
Optima Engineering Energy Division Project Coordinator
Industrial and Systems Engineer
Summit Commons Food Lion: Columbia, SC LEED Silver. Optima Engineering had the opportunity to provide engineering services for the first Food Lion store to be built to LEED standards, the 34,000 square foot store includes extensive daylighting and lighting controls.
Contact: Kassidee Fisher, Field Associate, Environment North Carolina
(919) 833-0015 x100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte, NC− North Carolina families could save $1400 every year on their energy bills by 2030 if the government invests in the energy efficiency of our buildings today, according to a new report by Environment North Carolina. Saving energy in our buildings would also help North Carolina’s fight against global warming by reducing projected greenhouse gas emissions from buildings by 38 percent.
“Let’s not waste any more time, any more energy, or any more money on outdated buildings,” said Kassidee Fisher, Field Associate with Environment North Carolina. “We need to invest in efficiency today so we can start building a better tomorrow.”
America’s buildings consume more than 40 percent of our total energy, which amounts to almost 10 percent of all the energy used in the world. Much of this energy is wasted due to inadequate insulation, inefficient heating and cooling systems, and poor construction techniques.
The National Academy of Sciences estimates that widespread use of today’s technology would increase energy efficiency by up to 30 percent in existing buildings by 2030, and with the rapid march of technological innovation and increased investment in efficiency from governments and consumers, much bigger gains are possible.
Our report, Building Better: How High-Efficiency Buildings Will Save Money and Reduce Global Warming, analyzes the benefits North Carolina would see if we committed to dramatically improving the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. The report uses government data to estimate reduced energy consumption, decreased fossil fuel use, money saved on energy bills, and global warming pollution prevented in 2030 and 2050.
Making our buildings more efficient would reduce the projected energy use of North Carolina’s buildings 38 percent by 2030. That would conserve enough energy every year to power more than 7 million homes.
These enormous energy savings translate directly into financial savings in the form of reduced energy bills. The average North Carolina family of four can expect to save $1400 a year by 2030, which is 36 percent lower than what they would be paying without the improvements in building efficiency.
“That’s the best part about making energy efficiency improvements,” said Fisher. “They pay for themselves as consumers enjoy lower energy bills and a cleaner environment year after year.”
Reduced energy consumption in North Carolina would also prevent the emission of almost 39 million tons of global warming pollution every year by 2030, which is equivalent to taking 7 million cars off the road.
“We have barely scratched the surface of what’s possible with energy efficiency in buildings,” said Keith Pehl, President of Optima Engineering. “Shortsighted builders are being penny-wise and pound-foolish by resisting upfront investments in the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses. They should not be allowed to pass the cost of their shortsightedness onto future generations in the form of higher bills and excess pollution.”
Programs to promote more efficient buildings are popping up all over the country. More than a dozen states have updated their building codes since the start of 2009, and more than 20 others are currently in the process of doing so. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided $16 billion for efficiency-boosting retrofit and weatherization programs, and Congress is now considering major initiatives like HOME STAR and Building STAR that would provide financial incentives for efficiency improvements in residential and commercial buildings.
Environment North Carolina is calling for policies that will help us reach our efficiency goals, including:
- Steady improvements to building codes over time so that all new buildings are increasingly efficient, culminating in a zero net energy standard by 2030. This means that in 20 years, every new building that is constructed will be so efficient that it can produce all the power it needs right onsite from renewable sources like solar panels or wind turbines.
- Investing in energy retrofits and weatherization to improve the efficiency of existing buildings 30 percent by 2030.
- Supporting innovative financing mechanisms that will unleash public and private investment in building efficiency.
“There are already thousands of super-efficient buildings all around the country, just like Optima Engineering” concluded Fisher. “Most buildings last for decades, so investing in energy efficiency locks in savings for years to come and builds a strong foundation for the future of our environment and our economy.”
Environment North Carolina is a statewide, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organization working for clean air, clean water, and open spaces.
Optima Engineering would like to welcome to the Energy Division Timothy McElroy, LEED AP, QCxP - Energy Analyst / Commissioning Agent.
Timothy expertise includes Energy Audits, energy analysis, energy modeling, and commissioning of new buildings as well as retro-commissioning existing facilities.
Matt Hicks, an electrical designer at Optima Engineering, is our resident Revit Expert. He participated in a Revit Panel in Columbia, SC on Tuesday, Feb. 16th in an effort to help architects and engineers better understand Revit in the engineering fields.
Optima Engineering would like to congratulate all of the team members involved with the Tanger Outlets at the Arches located in Deer Park, NY. This project has been certified as a “LEED SILVER” core and shell project by the USGBC. The outlet has16 buildings with a total of over 800,000 square feet of retail space. Optima Engineering provided all of the LEED engineering design for all 16 buildings (including energy modeling). Some special design considerations include High Voltage Primary Metering and Distribution of all power for the site. Also, we included special 50% light reduction fixtures for the entire mall site lighting package.
|Photos provided by Adams and Associates|
We would like to welcome Natasha A. Herting. Natasha has joined Optima Engineering’s Renewable Energy Division as a Project Manager.
Natasha will be responsible for all aspects of establishing and conducting energy audits, energy efficiency studies, and resource conservations studies. She will also develop technical strategies for quantifying energy savings and other resource reductions for facilities. Natasha graduated from NC State with a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering.
CRE The Counselors Of Real Estate presented Keith G. Pehl with the “Creative Thinkers Award” for Optima’s Platinum LEED Office. The award was given to individuals who have demonstrated insightful real estate and economic development decision making that was significant in a real estate related project.