John Macgregor, MacGregor Plumbing & Heating, Harbor Springs, Mich., is hoping to make an environmental difference through green building methods at his company.
MacGregor said he implemented several energy-savings ideas after facing $5,000-$6,000 in annual electric bills and noticing how often employees would leave their lights and fans running after leaving a room.
Here are some energy-efficiency measures initiated at his company:
Motion/light sensors in all office, meeting and bathrooms. If there is no activity for 10 minutes, the lights go out.
Ductless air conditioning in all second floor offices, also on motion detectors. The main floor offices and showroom are on a central system, cooled with a chiller.
A 95%-plus efficiency boiler for office areas with non-electric radiator valves.
Eighty percent efficient unit heaters in the warehouse, which may be replaced with radiant tube heaters.
The company also is considering installing a geothermal heat pump as a primary heat source for the hydronic system.
MacGregor said that his company also is offering green building for its customers. “We have been promoting hybrid/heat pumps and geothermal more heavily than in the past and selling them as easily as if there were no difference in the price,” he said. “People are well aware of the savings and benefits. They have accepted the facts of water conservation and are willing to pay for 1.6-gpf water closets now that most manufacturers have gotten them to work properly.”