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All You Need to Know About LEED and Smart Controls

LEED-certified municipal engineering solutions have become immensely popular in the last decade as more and more property owners lean toward LEED building design, incorporating “greener” approaches to lower energy consumption.

This includes using LEED smart controls, especially occupancy and daylight sensors. Here’s why using the two types of smart control systems can help lower your energy consumption.

Using Daylight Sensors to Lower Energy Consumption

Daylight sensors reduce the LED light output and incorporate natural lighting to maintain the existing level of brightness in a space. These smart sensors can effectively detect and utilize the sunlight available in an area, lowering the need for electrical consumption. This approach is known as daylight harvesting and is popularly implemented in building designs to minimize energy consumption and costs.

Daylight sensors are ideal for residential and commercial structures alike. Including these LEED smart sensors in your home design can help you reduce energy bills and make the most of natural lighting during the day. Similarly, daylight sensors can be included in commercial buildings with plenty of corridors and glass windows, helping business owners maximize daylight and save energy costs.

The sensors are also suited for the outdoor areas surrounding multi-structure complexes and commercial buildings, such as office spaces and parking lots. They continue to adjust to the natural lighting available during the day, lowering overall energy consumption.

Using Occupancy Sensors to Lower Energy Consumption

Occupancy sensors detect motion and presence. Unlike motion detectors that only identify movement, these LEED smart controls detect the occupancy of a space. In doing so, they automatically switch the lights on or off, ensuring electricity isn’t wasted.

 a hand stretched toward the sun

What sets these detectors apart is that they don’t switch off lights if there’s no movement. Thus, even if you’re stationary within a room, the detector will react to your presence and function accordingly. This makes them ideal for commercial buildings, especially office cubicles and other areas where movement may be minimal. Additionally, occupancy sensors can also be included in residential structures. You can add them to small spaces, such as storage closets, porches, and bathrooms.

They can be integrated with daylight sensors to further maximize energy efficiency, ensuring you don’t end up wasting electricity when nobody’s in the room/building corridor.

Our LEED-certified team at Larsen Engineers helps architectural firms, municipalities, and government agencies adopt green sustainable design for residential and commercial buildings. Reach out to our community planning, energy conservation, and sustainable site development consultants today for more details about smart control systems.   

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How Larsen Engineers is Helping Save the Environment with Their Efforts to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint

The truth is that small changes alone won’t be enough to rescue the earth. Institutional climate action is required to prevent global warming from exceeding the critical 2-degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) threshold.

However, it doesn’t mean that you should feel powerless or that your efforts are in vain. Reducing your individual carbon footprint can help soothe your anxiety about the climate by giving you some control. Even the simplest acts will help preserve our planet’s habitability. So, with that in mind, here’s how Larsen Engineers are doing their part in reducing our carbon footprint.

They are Helping Out with Syracuse, NY, Local Waterfront

Revitalization Program

In order to eliminate obstacles to sustainable development, the LWRP will amend municipal regulations and ordinances, give ideas, and identify projects that do so. It will also include sea level rise forecasts and resiliency measures in community planning. The NYS (New York State) and DOS (Department of State) (DOS) have financed this procedure under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.

The main purpose of the LWRP is to increase and promote public access to the waterfront and foster coastal resilience while minimizing the effects of future flooding and sea level rise. They are also trying to improve water quality, address related water quality issues, and reduce conflict between recreational and commercial waterfront users.

Larsen Engineers ( as sub-consultants)  are playing their part in the LWRP by focusing on renewable energy sources. They are also actively participating in stormwater recycling and reuse. Their main aim was to actively reduce the risk of floods and pollution migration in our urban environment due to the steadily rising impermeable fraction. In addition to providing fit-for-purpose water sources as an alternative to potable water supply, treatment of captured stormwater guarantees the dependability and sustainability of the water management in the area.

During the LWRP, Larsen Engineers also actively participated in the plantation of trees to reduce CO2 emissions and improve the overall aesthetics of the location. After all, scientists refer to trees as “carbon sinks” because as they grow, they absorb and store carbon from the air in their wood, plant material, and soil. Ultimately, trees significantly reduce our carbon footprint by absorbing a significant amount of carbon dioxide that would otherwise stay in the atmosphere.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, Larsen Engineers is doing its part in creating a more “green” and sustainable society. So, now is the time you do the same and give sustainable living a go. Hopefully, you’ll see the positive side of how living “green” can positively impact our environment and halt this abrupt and dangerous climate change!

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A Practical Toolkit to Introduce Renewable Energy to Low-Income Communities

Many public housing communities in various parts of the USA either do not have access to Clean energy, or their costs exceed the budget available to them. In such situations, it becomes necessary to provide them with renewable energy by utilizing the Federal and State grants and incentives available to solar developers to serve such residential customers. Not only is it a cheaper alternative to many conventional means in the long run, but it also creates a self-sufficient environment that can help areas thrive.

Low-income communities tend to benefit the most from these. Here are some ways they can benefit from them:

Solar Energy

Solar energy can be converted into electric energy using photovoltaic panels. The process is fairly optimal and is one of the most environmentally clean solutions for renewable energy. The go-to solution for powering various components and lighting up low-income communities is solar energy produced at Privately owned and financed Community solar farms.

An array of solar panels.

With an extensive enough setup, larger areas can easily be accommodated with enough energy for comfortable residence and communal development in low-income areas. Working with a professional team with adequate experience can help with maximum yield and efficient installation.

Energy Efficient Lighting

One of the most basic solutions to improve the state of renewable energy is to conserve the energy already available. Energy-efficient lighting provides significant savings, consuming around 10% of the energy that incandescent bulbs take up. They also last fairly longer due to less heat production and more reliable, modern components.

Using better LEDs and smart controls is a great way of promoting the use of renewable energy and instilling a proper behavioral change in the concept.

Solar Thermal Water Heaters

Another great use of solar energy is to use of solar thermal water heaters. They’re an excellent way of reducing the need for other means to heat water, transferring heat from the sun to heat the water in communities. They’re mounted on the roof and are connected to a control unit and a water tank.

Heat falls on the collector, aka the solar panel, which then gets transferred to the water. All of the hot water is stored in an appropriate tank to be used later on.

Larsen Engineers is a Rochester-based business. We offer climate smart green designs for LEED-certification municipal engineering services, anaerobic digestion design services, structural engineering services, construction phase services, consulting engineering services, and civil and environmental engineering to our clients.

Our climate-smart community planning consultants are focused on helping out communities and sparking change for a better future. Get in touch with us today.

Comments (0) Community Management, Renewable Energy, solar energy consulting solutions

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The Benefits Of Anaerobic digesters on Dairy Farms

Anaerobic digesters possess the capability to improve the system’s overall efficiency and environmental performance. Learn more about the benefits of anaerobic digesters on dairy farms.

The Benefits Of Anaerobic digesters on Dairy Farms

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Climate Smart Solutions

Reducing the carbon footprint is one the main goals for many businesses and communities. Find out some climate smart solutions that you should implement.

Climate Smart Solutions

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Why you should consider installing a green roof

Green Roofs have numerous ecological, societal and economical benefits. Here’s why you should consider installing a green roof.

Why you should consider installing a green roof

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Virtual Reality 3D Mapping

Virtual Reality is a new way of data collection to create plans digitally in order too see the reproduction of conditions of buildings and external sites. Find out more about Virtual Reality 3D Mapping.

Virtual Reality 3D Mapping

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Solar Energy Guide for Community Solar for Low to Moderate-Income Residential Developments

As the electricity costs in the US continue to increase, many people are considering alternative energy sources to reduce their current utility bills. Lots of homeowners in the country are considering installing solar panels to reduce their carbon footprint and save money.

It’s, however, important to note here that installing solar panels is a huge undertaking, and many people can’t afford it. The best way to overcome this problem is to use community solar in low to moderate-income residential developments.

Distributed solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are becoming increasingly popular in the US, and their associated costs are also reducing swiftly. New York’s Green New Deal initiative (the state’s goal for 100% carbon-neutral power generation by 2040) and the Clean Energy Standard (the state’s goal to produce 70% of the electricity using renewable energy by 2030) are expected to bring economic development and employment opportunities for the residents in low to moderate-income areas.

New York’s public and private housing authorities can use community solar to seamlessly achieve these sustainability goals and rapidly improve the current economic state of low to moderate-income residential developments.

What’s Community Solar?

Community solar, also known as shared solar or solar garden, provides renters, homeowners, and businesses equal access to solar and allows them to gain the environmental and economic benefits of solar energy generation without installing a solar panel in their home or commercial facility.

Community Solar — Fundamental Principals

Here are the core principles of an effective and fair community solar project.

  • All the residents of a community should be allowed to benefit from the operation of community solar.
  • Interconnect community shared solar energy systems to serve the utility’s grid.
  • Establish a fair and just bill credit mechanism that ensures all the subscribers get an equal economic benefit.
  • Ensure long-term continuity of the renewable energy program and assure its quality and maintenance.
  • Accurate and comprehensive disclosure of risks and benefits of the program to maintain transparency.
  • Strict compliance with customer protection laws and taxes to ensure minimum risk for customers.

Site Assessment for Community Solar

Site selection plays a key role in determining the efficacy of a renewable energy project.

To put minimum stress on infrastructure, try brownfields and grey fields instead of green fields. But, make sure you’re installing the solar panels at locations from where they can receive sunlight throughout the day. Seek help from a LEED-certified company to make sure you’re complying with sustainability standards.

Renewable Solar Power Specialists at Your Service

sustainability concept

Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Larsen Engineers is a renowned multi-disciplinary firm that provides solar energy consulting services, civil and environmental engineering, structural engineering services, construction phase services, anaerobic digestion services, consulting engineering services, and LEED-certified municipal engineering services to our clients.

Contact us today for more information.

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Retrofit Large Commercial Building Roofs to Produce Community Solar Power and Extend Roof Life

Retrofitting is about adding new tech-oriented features to a property. The process has more than one advantage and is often performed to assist buildings with better tech solutions. Retrofitting solar panels over roofs for electricity generation is a recent technique and works wonders for sustainable communities.

Retrofitting photovoltaic panels helps create solar roofs. The more panels are installed, the greater electricity production is possible for commercial use.

The EIA estimates commercial energy consumption to increase by 1.5% every year. This can greatly impact fuel consumption globally. Solar power helps lower fuel consumption by using solar energy to create electricity. The commercial sector has a huge takeaway from the technology as their energy consumption is more excessive than residential consumption.

Larsen Engineers believes in conserving as much energy as possible for future generations! Call us for a climate-smart community consultation!

Project Costs and Budget

The Pembina Institute issued a summary of the deep retrofitting of photovoltaic panels on commercial buildings. While the panels provide clean electricity, they could help with future budgeting and cash flows.

On-site retrofitting can generate more electricity without requiring excess acres. The cost of transportation and electricity distribution is also reduced. The technology is efficient in reducing power failures with its energy storage facilities.

Since 2018, 1,770 solar panel systems having a capacity of 14 megawatts have been installed in British Columbia, Canada. Even the cost of installation is decreasing as the technology becomes more popular. The cost of installing solar panels has come down 60% from their inception.

The Ease of Installation

With a retrofitting model, you add extra energy efficiency to your house while going for an efficient structural plan for your roof. Integrating solar panels within the roofs of commercial buildings is not a time-taking process. The panels can be directly fastened to the roof deck without drilling through the roof.

technicians working

Reduced Energy Bills

You’re not consuming electricity from the grid anymore! This helps save energy costs and hefty energy bills. Commercial buildings can have their electricity production models retrofitted on their roofs. The mechanism is highly economic for beginner smart communities. Municipalities should also consider the mechanism for residential owners who can afford the photovoltaic cells.

We offer consultation for smart communities and environmental engineering projects. Reach out to us for community planning consultancy and construction management services

The Huge Environmental Impact!

There’s no greenhouse gas emission during solar panel usage. PV systems have a life of around 30 years. This means the carbon emission and control model would come directly into effect with retrofitting solar panels on rooftops. Not just for commercial buildings, but installing PV systems on arid farmlands would benefit farmers with cheap energy as well.

For more advice on clean energy vehicles and smart community grant services, contact Larsen Engineers. The New York-based firm has worked with numerous government bodies to initiate energy conservation services for new communities. The LEED projects by the firm offer energy-saving solutions for housing and commercial properties.

To hire our services, call us at (585) 272.7310.

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Why Do You Need Ace Structural Engineers for Sustainable Projects?

Sustainability means supporting and providing for ongoing ecosystems by substituting environmentally harmful activities with those that sustain the ecosystem. The process incorporates curbing down the usage of greenhouse gases, promoting the practices of recycling and upcycling. In terms of sustainable engineering projects, engineers are expected to develop infrastructure that will support the vision of sustainability for growing generations.

A few leading sustainable projects in the US include:

  • The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building Modernization
  • The Gateway Center- SUNY-ESF College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry
  • John and Frances Angeles Law Center

Almost all sustainable projects begin with the same cornerstones: the structural drawings. Here’s where a structural engineer comes in. A structural engineer is responsible for analyzing construction risk factors, construction strategies and performing calculations. A quality structural engineer would consider the fact that natural resource depletion has already harmed the ecosystem. Their services for the construction phase should seek natural resource preservation.

Here’s why you need ace structural engineers for sustainable projects.

To Support Your Zero-Waste Ideology

A competent team of structural engineers would design to reduce waste and incorporate more sustainable construction materials into the design plan. This also involves maximum utilization of resources and the structural planning and construction budget, including:

  • Designing beam resistance such that it equals the load. If the safety codes are fully abided, the practice leads to cutting down the usage of extra construction material.
  • Considering each structural unit separately helps constructors safe construction material. Many construction sites are required to be structurally innovative. They comprise geometric shapes and unique materials. The structural innovation here can help reduce concrete/timber/steel usage.

The present-day structural engineer has greater challenges at hand. Along with the global environmental perspective, they are also responsible for providing structural design and energy conservation solutions for today.

Only opt for construction management services that comprise a competent team of structural engineers.


Ace Structural Engineers Abide by the LEED Rating System

Competent structural designers are LEED-certified and understand the rating of each project on the LEED-provided parameters. The Leadership in Energy and Development Design (LEED) certification is developed by the US Green Building Council. The certification system is followed all over the world. Constructors and engineers keen on following the LEED-specified model tend to cater to all dimensions that need sustainable construction.

Specify Recycled Materials that Can be Used During Construction

Many construction projects in the UK and USA use recycled steel for construction. The initiative would greatly excess steel manufacturing for construction material. Similarly, sand and crushed glass for pavements and road slabs are also an option under much consideration. Quality structural engineers deal with material recycling and upcycling well. Their calculated construction designs make sure extra material is not ordered or is scattered throughout the construction site.

Community planning and infrastructure management call for an experienced and highly competent team of engineers. In business for decades, Larsen Engineers never disappoints when it comes to waste management engineering and energy-saving solutions. The Spruce Haven Farm and the Green Innovation Grant Program are some programs we have supervised and maintained for energy conservation.

To hire our service, call (585) 272.7310.

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