Doos New Year Innovation Blog

Doos New Year Innovation Blog

THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE RED FIRE MONKEY!  We all know that the monkey is a clever and playful animal who can be an effective problem solver but also a trickster.  Year of the monkeyAs we celebrate 2016’s Year of the Red Fire Monkey, there should be exuberance, entertainment and time for devoted entrepreneurs to carry on their innovative ways.  However, those looking for quick and easy solutions could get duped as some monkey spirits will be on the ball, and quick to have their fun and games.

Doo Consulting wishes all of its colleagues, clients and friends the very best in 2016. Though it is the year of the Fire Monkey, according to Chinese Five Elements Horoscopes, Monkey also contains Metal and Water. Metal is connected to gold. Water is connected to wisdom and danger. Therefore, we will deal with more financial events in the year of the Monkey. Metal is also connected to the Wind. That implies the status of events could change very quickly. Think twice before you leap when making changes for your finance, career, business or personal relationships in 2016. Your individual prospects for the year can be found here.


We want to thank everyone who is a part of our ever expanding network. Our portfolio grew in geographic and economic breadth. We returned to our consulting roots with the opportunity to work on the development of sustainability plans for the City of Bowie, Maryland, and the Broadmead Retirement Community. A new accreditation in the WELL Building Standard

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Happy Chinese New Year 2015 - Year of the Green Wooden Sheep

Happy Chinese New Year 2015 – Year of the Green Wooden Sheep

Welcome to the Year of the Green Wooden Sheep. As we say farewell to the Year of the Wooden Horse (2014), with its promise of travel and movement, we hope your ride over the past twelve months took you where you wanted to go.

We welcome 2015, the Year of the Green Wooden Sheep, that corresponds to renewal, growth and balance. The Sheep brings promises of a calm, but not sedate atmosphere in which to prosper. Combined with the evergreen and renewal characteristics of wood, the Sheep’s creativity will be unleashed. This is the year for contemplating and appreciating what has already been accomplished, to think about bringing goodness to others. A steady path, generosity, and keeping the peace are this year’s mantra. The renewal characteristics of wood enable each organization’s creativity unleashed.

Year of the Green Wooden Sheep

Doo’s News

Doo Consulting has always taken pride in its individuality, and has enjoyed opportunities to share and collaborate.   In the year of the sheep, remain good to others. Remain steady, generous, and peaceful.

There are five elements in the Chinese zodiac: wood, fire, earth, metal, water which are associated with their own “life force” or “chi”. This energy blends with a corresponding animal to determine that year’s fortune. In 2015, the corresponding element is wood. Wood by its very nature, is the element associated with all living things, the spring or life renewal process. Wood relates to trees, which relate to the color green. We hope this means good fortune for green businesses!

Our own ride in 2014 was eventful. We consolidated the LEED consulting services of TerraLogos EcoArchitecture, pc with Doo Consulting creating a broader and stronger practice in this service area. We partnered with some awesome teammates to successfully win the Baltimore City Schools Program Sustainability Consulting contract, MGM National Harbor Casino & Hotel, LEED certification of the Oriole Park at Camden Yard Complex and a 730 bed STEM Residence Hall at University of Connecticut.  One of the most fascinating and enjoyable experiences of the year was the extremely successful facilitation of a multi-day Living Building Challenge project charrette for the Lemur Conservation Foundation in Myakka City, Florida. This is our second hands-on experience with a LBC project. We are also assisting in the DC Affordable Living Design Competition where we will serve on a team charrette panel and the jury! We look forward to 2015, Year of the Wooden Sheep.

Lemur Conservation FoundationLemurs

Hot Picks

This year Doo Consulting brings you links to interesting apps that can help ease and advance sustainability goals for your clients and yourselves. WeSpire and One Small Act help track and measure the cumulative impact of collective energy and water savings and other lifestyle actions such as walking or bicycling to work, carrying your own water bottle and other small acts (hence the name). The Green Button is a tool that can be used by homeowners and commercial building managers alike to manage energy use. Happ-y Year of the Sheep!  Read on and enjoy

WeSpire and One Small Act are web based engagement programs that can help individuals and organizations realize sustainability or social responsibility targets and measure their impact. Engagement is one of the greatest challenges when attempting to initiate change individually or within an organization. Tracking and measuring impact is another. WeSpire and One Small Act attack these challenges by engaging people in networks with others, establishing teams and tapping into people’s inherent desire to improve and compete. Think that your individual efforts don’t make a difference? Think again.


The Green Button Your energy data is just a click away!

The Green Button Initiative is a government sponsored, industry-led effort that provides utility customers with easy and secure access to their energy usage information in a consumer-friendly and computer-friendly format. In late 2012 and early 2013, the Green Button had been adopted by utilities and electric suppliers who made energy data available to individuals and commercial building owners with a simple click of a literal “Green Button” on electric utilities’ websites. With their own data in hand, consumers can take advantage of a growing array of online services to help them manage energy use and save on their bills.

To date, a total over 50 utilities and electricity suppliers have signed on to the initiative. In total, these commitments ensure that over 60 million homes and businesses will be able to securely access their own energy information in a standard format. The following utilities have already committed to Green Button: American Electric Power, Austin Energy, Baltimore Gas & Electric, CenterPoint Energy, Chattanooga EPB, Commonwealth Edison, Glendale Water and Power, National Grid, NSTAR, Oncor, Pacific Power, Pepco Holdings, PG&E, PECO, Portland General Electric, PPL Electric Utilities, Reliant, Rocky Mountain Power, SDG&E, Southern California Edison, TXU Energy, and Virginia Dominion Power.


Apps, apps, apps! At last check, there were more than 60 Green Button apps available, offering a range of capabilities and services.   We have provided a link to the site so you can test drive any of the apps yourself. We’ve provided a few apps here for fun. To see a full list of applications, visit the open innovation challenge site HERE.

WattzOn Comprehensive Energy Management Platform to save money & Energy

This name seems to be a play on IBM’s Watson and Watts – related to the term energy. The app is a comprehensive energy management platform designed to help people save money by saving energy. The app analyzes usage by room, equipment and time of day. Can also analyze information at the community level for larger scale projects.


WattzOn Screen

Energy Tipper – Makes Energy Data Beautiful

Loved this one. Its goal is to make energy data beautiful – and accessible. The app is virtually all images with few words, yet it also uses the Green Button to pull in data, analyze it and generate warnings, recommendations and tips.   The images are amusing, but they do work with the phrases or guidance. The website is under construction but check out their YouTube video.

energy tipper

Simple Energy.

Combines a Social media platform (Facebook) with an incentive game and energy tips along with the data. The foundation for this program is based on scientific research that indicates that different people respond differently to things, and differently to different things. This program relies on consumer engagement, so it offers a variety of experiences to attract more individuals. The activities have frequent interactions, and include incentives to serve as motivators. The more interaction there is with the customer, the more the experience improves, and the greater the engagement becomes.   Take a look!


In addition to providing LEED project administration services, Doo Consulting, LLC assists businesses meet their broader sustainability goals.  Let us know if we can help you!

Not So Fast - Doo Consulting Blog

Not So Fast

IgccAt recent blog post on the Green Building Law Update titled “Maryland Sidesteps LEED in Favor of the IgCC” suggests that “fewer, if any, Maryland state and local government projects will be LEED certified in the future.” But, I say, “Not so fast!” Yes, the Maryland legislature just passed an amendment to the State’s green building law that will allow the IgCC to be used as a compliance path to green building in addition to current compliance paths which are LEED Silver or other “nationally accepted numeric rating systems reviewed and recommended by the Maryland Green Building Council and approved by the Secretaries of Budget and Management and General Services.”

To date, the Maryland Green Building Council (MGBC) has not recommended any alternative rating system; hence, the pressure to adopt some alternative compliance path. The timing of the adoption of the IgCC as a code in the state of Maryland is perfect. Not only does it present a viable option to LEED that the Council can accept but, it coincides with other concerns about LEED v4 as well as interest in other numeric rating systems for schools.

I have seen a draft of the version of the IgCC that the MGBC is working on. There is nothing definitive as it is a work in progress but, the current version states that a Green Building certification equivalent to a LEED Silver rating would exempt one from IgCC compliance.

Remember that a Code is a minimum standard. What is good about this for green building is that it sets a minimum performance standard for all buildings and, as a code, requires compliance. The IgCC can be “tuned” to meet the priorities of a particular jurisdiction. For Maryland, the adopted version of the IgCC can advance State priorities for energy use reduction, water quality and other goals.

LEED, on the other hand, is a rating system that rewards green building efforts by awarding points for specified actions or “credits” that the project delivers. The more credits you accumulate, the higher your score. Selection of those credits is up to the discretion of the design team. The State has no control over the credits that a project team will pursue, other than requiring the level of certification (LEED Silver). So, while a group of buildings may all be LEED Silver certified, there is unlikely to be any consistency in the energy performance of those buildings.

Let’s be absolutely clear; the State’s version of the IgCC has NOT yet been fully drafted, let alone approved. Whether State agencies and their architects will find it easier to comply with the IgCC and its required performance targets or pursue a LEED certification where they can pick and choose the credits to achieve is unclear. Certainly, the design and construction industry is familiar with LEED and, in some cases, may find it advantageous to not have to comply with the IgCC. Additionally, with the implementation of LEED v4 this summer, USGBC will re-establish LEED as an aspirational rating system. Certainly the LEED moniker has a market cache that “code compliant” cannot match.

I agree with Stewart, author of “Maryland Sidesteps LEED,” that the adoption and implementation of the IgCC will be good for green building and good for the State overall. I do not agree that the State is “sidestepping LEED,” rather it is complementing this numeric rating system with a code to cover more buildings and advance green building.