Bruce Wilson LEED AP's post

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Making climate solutions profitable. I have been a ‘green builder’ since before the term was coined. I did jobs that got the Carter era solar tax credits. After attending Greenbuild in 2003 I realized the importance of having a local organization that educates about green building so my wife and I co-founded the Lehigh Valley Green Builders non-profit to educate both professionals and the public about green building. Our first public event in 2006 was a tour of the PPL Plaza building, a LEED Gold building built in 2003. The tour was led by K. Scott Sine, the lead engineer on the project. He worked for H.T. Lyons as their lead engineer. H.T. Lyons was later bought by Engie and Scott continued his leadership of their engineering department. In 2007 while writing a talk about green building I realized the importance of energy improvements to existing buildings since buildings account for 40% of our energy use. During that time I was doing a small addition on a house that had no insulation and single pane windows. During the job I replaced all the windows with high performance windows, blew insulation into all the walls and the attic and wrapped the whole structure in rigid foam before putting up the new siding. We replaced the old boiler with a new more efficient one and reduced the heating bill by 80%. What the client likes best is the comfort. His house used to be cold in winter and hot in summer.
Three years ago I learned that Scott Sine was the CEO of a new company that does energy efficiency improvements to commercial buildings, GEMM Masterplanning,
I called Scott and signed up and took the training to become a project developer for GEMM. We analyze your past buildings energy use and inspect your building to see what types of lighting, HVAC equipment and operating systems your building has. Then we come up with an initial proposal which includes a financial spreadsheet. If you are interested in proceeding, you sign a letter of authorization so that we can do a more in depth analysis including an energy audit. We then get quotes from our contractors on the proposed work and give you a final proposal. If you want to proceed you approve the proposed project and we get the financing and proceed. The financing covers our costs and profits so that no money is needed from your company to do the work. The energy savings and tax and energy company incentives more than pay the cost of the financing which is paid through an increase in your property tax. Because the financing is assessed against the property not the business it doesn’t affect the available credit for the business. In fact we increase the health and comfort of the workers and improve the value of the building. Studies show that the increase in health and comfort will increase the productivity of the workers.
We have a proposal in to a local truck manufacturer that will reduce their carbon footprint by 90%. The project will be cash positive from day one, in fact because of the tax credits it will be very cash positive the first year. The parent company had established a mandate to reduce the carbon footprint by 30% by 2025 but they had only achieved a 10% reduction.
Imagine being able to take on every item on your list of sustainability projects and do them all because you find that there is an unlimited amount of funding to help you to do this, and imagine that doing all these projects improves the conditions in your building and that the savings in energy use more than pays the cost of the financing that you use to do the projects.
This is what it is like working with GEMM Masterplanning. We can help make your buildings more efficient, improve your lighting, improve your air treatment system adding germ killing equipment; we can add solar panels to your roof, add energy storage, backup power, vehicle charging... And the C Pace financing that pays for the work is assessed against your property, not your business so it does not affect your availability of credit.
So, would you like to improve the value of your building and improve your cash flow while reducing your carbon footprint? We will help make sure that you get all the tax credits, grants and incentives that are available and manage everything from the initial proposal to the project completion and beyond because we include the routine maintenance that your system needs in the budget. As part of our service we will help you to write your ESG report so you comply with the requirement to have one! If you have a commercial building that could use some energy improvements reach out and contact me at (610) 282-0822 and I will explain how our process works, or email me at bwc@ptd.net


Bruce Wilson LEED AP, Project Developer at GEMM Masterplanning

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