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Green Initiatives

Heating and Cooling

White Roofs: One of the simplest ways to save energy and money is to select white colored roofs and walls. Unlike black materials, which absorb much of the sun’s heat energy, white can reflect up to 90% of solar radiation back into space. As a result, black roofs can reach temperatures up to 60 °F warmer than white roofs, conducting heat to the building’s interior and surroundings and increasing the temperature considerably.  By choosing white, heat gain is reduced by about 35 percent in walls and 50 percent through roofs, greatly reducing cooling costs during the summer months. White paints and materials are used on several County facilities, bringing in less heat and more savings. Learn more about white roofs: White is the Greenest Color (article).

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High Performance Windows: The County has greatly reduced energy consumption by installing and retrofitting high performance windows in facilities old and new. The windows’ large energy-saving potential comes from their insulating properties. Double, even triple, paned windows with aluminum frames offer high R-values (a measure of resistance to heat flow) that prevent heat loss during the winter months. High performance windows also save energy in the summer by reducing solar heat gain while maintaining high levels of light transmittance.  Efficient window models can save up to 16% on heating costs and 23% on cooling costs!

Energy Efficient Insulation: Most newly constructed County facilities have been fitted with high performance insulation that saves on heating and cooling costs. The new Public Safety Building, for instance, has a building shell exceeding building code insulation requirements by 30 percent!

Heat Recovery Ventilation (HRV): These systems use equipment known as air-to-air heat exchangers that exhaust particulates and other air impurities while recovering heat or cooled air from the incoming and exhaust air. This provides buildings with fresh air and improved climate control, while also reducing heating and cooling requirements. Implemented in several County-owned buildings, HRV has saved significant amounts of energy and money.

Occupancy-Sensing Temperature Control: One way to save on heating and cooling costs is to adjust temperatures according to a room’s occupancy. In facilities such as the new Public Safety Building, motion sensors have been installed that minimize the conditioned air supply to the room when it is unoccupied, further saving heating and cooling related costs.

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