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energy efficiency

Jan 17 12

Department of Parks’ Resource Conservation Plan Yields Savings

by Abbigail Irelan

SILVER SPRING, MD—On Thursday, January 19, M-NCPPC-Montgomery Parks will brief the Montgomery County Planning Board and Park Commission on its Resource Conservation Plan.

“The Resource Conservation Program has helped us reduce electricity, natural gas, water and propane usage, leading to significant savings for the Department,” said Mary Bradford, Director of Parks. “It’s important that we continue to ensure our park system is energy efficient, not only to save money, but to protect the environment.”

The Montgomery County portion of M-NCPPC created a comprehensive energy management program in July 2003, contracting with CQI Associates as a consultant for energy, recycling and green parks programs. The estimated cumulative savings from July 2003 through June 2011 is $2,491,995 from this program. In Fiscal Year 2011 alone, the Resource Conservation Program helped reduce utility consumption and costs by 21%.

The goal of the Department’s Resource Conservation Plan is to increase energy and water efficiency while serving the citizens and patrons of Montgomery Parks.  The plan sets out specific goals and programs to improve operations and maintenance practices through efficient use of electricity, natural gas, propane and water at over 415 parks and hundreds of facilities.

Thursday’s presentation will highlight accomplishments as of December 2011 and will outline energy and water conservation plans for Fiscal Year 2013.  Accomplishments through December 2011 include a water conservation program that reduced irrigation water usage, review of all bills to remove duplicative and incorrect charges, new LED lights at Olney Manor Recreational Park, and programmable temperature controls and highly efficient HVAC units at Parkside Headquarters and Saddlebrook Park Police Headquarters.

In Fiscal Year 2013, the Department will focus on developing a model comprehensive energy management and green parks program plan for Brookside Gardens and Wheaton Regional Park. The Department will also seek additional grant opportunities and continue to implement recommendations from the County Executive’s Cross-Agency Resource-Sharing Committee (CARS).


Abbi Irelan
Marketing and Public Affairs Manager
M-NCPPC, Montgomery Parks
(301) 495-2532

Jan 6 11

Learn About Designing Highly Energy Efficient Buildings at Planning Department Speaker Series January 13

by Valerie Berton

SILVER SPRING, MD – Two of the region’s leading experts on sustainable architecture will present zero energy building initiatives that are changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed, and constructed as part of the Planning Department’s speaker series.

T. David Bell, president and founder of BELL Architects, and Robert Phinney, a licensed architect and sustainable design consultant, will discuss Architecture 2030 and the Living Building Challenge, which focus on achieving carbon neutral buildings with standards, measurements and target objectives. Their co-presentation, Living Building Challenge: Moving Toward Regenerative Buildings and Communities, will touch on using local and nontoxic materials, water harvesting, alternative energy, insulation and other techniques. The presentation will appeal to architects, landscape architects, planners, developers, contractors and anyone interested in advancing sustainability.

Bell, director of the American Institute of Architects’ D.C. chapter, founded the DC 2030 Challenge Committee to reduce energy use through better design and renewable energy generation. Bell is an award-winning architect and LEED-accredited professional focused on integrating technology, culture, art and architecture to achieve superior results in conserving energy, environmental, financial and historic resources.

Phinney has been involved with a wide range of technically complex government facilities, hospitals and commercial projects. As a senior director for Skanska USA Integrated Solutions-Green, Phinney works to broaden the range of sustainable services in the construction industry to develop efficient maintenance programs that reduce operating costs. His commitment to community outreach helps inspire people to pursue and implement environmentally friendly strategies in all aspects of their lives.

Speaker series participants will learn how to incorporate and implement design features to achieve energy conservation as well as energy generation through benchmarking, case studies and professional training programs. Attendees also will become familiar with available resources, technical assistance and funding.

Continuing education credits (AICP certification maintenance credits) are pending for planning professionals, as well as AIA education credits for learning units in Health, Safety and Welfare including Sustainable Design. 

The presentations are part of the Planning Department’s Celebrating MoCo speaker series – free, informative, monthly sessions about ways to forge great communities. The series is co-sponsored by the Silver Spring Regional Center.

Montgomery County Planning Department
Silver Spring Regional Center

The Living Building Challenge: Moving Toward Regenerative Buildings and Communities

7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 13, 2011

Silver Spring Regional Center, One Veterans Plaza (corner of Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street), Silver Spring