Welcome to the year of the Red Fire Rooster. Last year the Fire Monkey did indeed have its way. As predicted, things changed quickly and in unpredictable ways.
Just as the rooster announces the dawn of each day, the Year of the Rooster is a sign of dawn and awakening. All of the Chinese animals can reap rewards by tapping into Rooster traits. Self control, commitment, hard work, family values and top notch appearances are just some of the characteristics that will be rewarded this year. If you lack discipline, you could be left behind. So, work hard and enjoy a happy and successful Year of the Red Fire Rooster! Your individual prospects for the year can be found here.
MGM National Harbor Casino certified LEED Gold! The debut of the MGM National Harbor hotel featured Sarah Jessica Parker, a sculptural gateway by Bob Dylan, performances by Cirque du Soleil and a LEED Gold certification plaque! Doo Consulting is pleased to have worked with the stellar team of Whiting Turner, MGM, and Smith Group JJR on the project.
The City of Bowie published their first Sustainability Plan this past October. Surveys, analysis and community actions undertaken as part of the planning process, assisted Bowie in achieving the Sustainable Maryland Program’s “Sustainability Champion Award” for certified Municipalities in 2016. Doo Consulting was the prime consultant and facilitated the activities leading up to the creation of the Imagine Bowie program. We were pleased to partner with UPD Consulting and Council Fire on this project.
Lorraine Doo, MPH, LEED AP, is also now a WELL Accredited Professional. Lorraine achieved her WELL Building Accreditation in 2016. WELL empowers the creation of healthy environments for people to live, work and play, enhancing occupant health and quality of life. Lorraine has been a long time advocate for the health benefits of green buildings. WELL places health and well-being as a primary consideration of the design process. Call us for more information.
Peter and Lorraine Doo were selected by their peers to be recognized as Living Building Challenge Heroes joining an elite group of only twenty-six Heroes worldwide. Peter and Lorraine are the first couple selected to join this group. According to the Living Future Institute, “These individuals have nurtured the Living Building Challenge as a movement – locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and have led by example. The International Living Future Institute honors these heroes for their tremendous efforts to help pave the way to a restorative future.”
What’s Next? 2017
In order to solve the challenges of climate change and address the disruptions that will occur, and are already occurring, we need to continue to attend to the work of creating healthier and more resource efficient buildings. While buildings continue to account for 40% of US energy consumption overall, commercial building energy consumption has increased 7% while total square footage has increased 22% in the same period. The smaller increase in energy use in commercial buildings compared to the amount of new construction is partially the result of more energy efficiency and better design overall.
So, what’s next? Technology is moving so fast and its potential is so great that we at Doo Consulting like to take a step back each year to see how advances in our industry and others have the potential to confidently assure an abundant and sustainable future through planning, design and construction.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
There are many disrupters such as autonomous transportation and the sharing economy. This year, we have not provided a selection of individual technologies or devices as we have in the past (see our New Year blogs) rather a digital ecosystem is emerging as our innovation to watch. The following products illustrate the change and the opportunity to create environmentally integrated places through the Internet of Things.
Products shown are being used to illustrate a concept. It is not the individual products that are the innovation, though some of them are quite fun. It is the suite of all of these products and others working together that illustrate what is on the horizon for building and performance. While most products represented are consumer oriented, i.e. residential, more complex commercial systems are also available.
Controllers & Services
The term “hub” describes the following devices, though the device is only a portal to the available services. Amazon’s Echo, the Apple HomeKit and Google Home are all devices providing entry to information such as restaurants, movie listings and the latest news and weather. But, they can also control your thermostat, lights, appliances, security and a host of other environmental systems, as well as your preferred playlists. Estimates, based on sales figures, suggest that the Echo is already in 5% of US households. Click on each image to learn more.
The devices below can be accessed by Alexa, Siri, OK Google and possibly others. While they respond to their host, they also interact with each other. The Nest thermostat can determine if anyone is home by monitoring door locks and lights and adjust temperature accordingly. Your energy systems will be able to track renewable energy inputs, whether or not your car is charging and the battery status and various energy demands. It will create a mini smart grid within your own home to minimize energy use and cost. Smoke detectors and CO monitors will track an increasing array of air quality measures and talk to your Smart Watch and your home’s HVAC equipment to optimize the air quality in your house or apartment. If you think these things are in the distant future, they are not. Machines on the web originated and consumed more searches than humans for the first time in 2015 and this is just the beginning. In 2016, 13 billion devices were connected to the Internet of Things. Simone Jankowski, Senior Research Analyst at Goldman Sachs estimates that by 2020, only three years from now, that number could be 30 billion. A very small sampling of products are shown below. Click on each image to learn more.
There are many different options when it comes to smart lighting, such as the Philips Hue, which allows you to create ambiance with over 16 million color schemes.
The Family Hub by Samsung really is the “hub” of the household. This Wi-fi connecting refrigerator allows you to meal plan and grocery shop directly from the touchscreen, and sync your household schedules to keep the family connected.
Smart security allows you to manage your home’s security by allowing you to view and arm your security system,or lock and unlock your front door right from your smartphone.
The Nest home learning thermostat can adapt to your schedule, and can save a homeowner up to 12% on heating bills and up to 15% on cooling bills.
While these hyperlinks direct you to specific websites, there are many sites for other products and manufacturers producing “smart” devices from water heaters to vacuum cleaners. Virtually every major appliance manufacturer has a portfolio of smart appliances including LG, Samsung, GE, Sears, Whirlpool and others. Doo Consulting tracks technological developments to be applied to projects as our clients see fit. If you are interested in our research or having us research a topic for you, contact us at info@DooConsulting.net.