Energy Shrink is a private environmental consulting practice specialized in sustainability and energy-efficiency in buildings, that is, high-performance or green buildings. Combining nearly two decades of US and international experience at reputed consulting firms with the flexibility of a small business, Energy Shrink offers high-quality consulting that bridges the gap between building science knowledge and the global marketplace.
Smita has been consulting with IFC on the EDGE Green Buildings program since 2016. She has been highly effective and delivered her work with integrity and responsibility. Smita’s technical understanding of green/efficient buildings is remarkable. If you need precision, diligence, and highly technical work, then Smita is the right choice. She is good at making sure that all details are well taken care of while delivering high-quality work.
—Ommid Saberi, Senior Industry Specialist, Green Buildings, IFC World Bank
Service Offerings for Our Clients
Compliance with executive orders, program implementation assistance, research, analysis...
Reduction in operating costs, green certifications, incentive programs participation, best practices...
Multifamily and Homes
Technology choices, solar system sizing, thermal comfort, incentive programs, green certifications ...
Tools, technology analysis, market research, white papers, QA/QC, data analysis, applications ...
Tech. assistance, strategies for lighting, equipment, daylighting, envelope, certifications...
Research & Publications
Products and industry trends, market analysis, interviews, white papers, data visualization ...
EDGE Green Buildings ProgramA program of the International Finance Corporation (IFC/World Bank), EDGE stands for Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies. The EDGE certification program aims for 20% reduction in Energy, Water and embodied energy of Materials below standard construction. Ms. Thomas is currently serving as a consultant to the technical leader of the program. Services include reviewing and editing technical products such as the embodied energy methodology and the back-end calculators, the materials database, and the user guides, writing white papers, providing feedback to user questions. and brainstorming on improvements to the software interface as well as back-end.
Commercial: RetailGung Ho! Pizza, voted the #1 pizza in Beijing two years in a row, is a fast-growing pizza chain started by two New Zealand entrepreneurs with sustainability as a core tenet of the business. Gung Ho! Pizza hired Ms. Thomas as their Sustainability Advisor. Her mandate was to help devise a plan to improve the energy efficiency of the retail restaurants and kitchens operated by the pizza chain. Ms. Thomas worked with the client to devise a Sustainability Blueprint. LEED-EB for Retail was selected as a guiding document for renovations and incorporated into the Blueprint. Ms. Thomas also guided the selection of green materials and design strategies, efficient equipment, and right-sizing of equipment. Related: Article in the China Business Review of the US-China Business Council.
Most Energy Efficient EconomyA project for the Climate Protection Partnership Division of the US EPA, the Most Energy Efficient Economy project addressed the question: how low can the energy use of a typical US residential building and a typical US commercial building be, utilizing only commercially available technologies, if cost were not a constraint? Ms. Thomas and her team at ICF International researched the best technologies available worldwide. Their integrated energy simulation models (in Energy Plus) demonstrated that it was possible to go to zero-energy and even negative energy (by producing more than required annually by using solar panels) with commercially proven technologies.
Utility Program DesignIn response to government initiatives or commission directives, or as part of their Integrated Resource Planning portfolios, utilities have requested customized studies to identify a set of energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) programs that are cost-effective and have guaranteed energy savings. Ms. Thomas has led the technical analysis for these studies for several clients including Dominion, Pepco, BGE, Entergy, and Ontario Power Authority. The projects involved market research, literature review of the best-in-class programs, baseline characterization of the building populations and energy consumption, building simulations and calculations to estimate energy savings, screening for cost-effectiveness at technology level, economic level and achievable program potential level, risk analysis, and creating an optimized portfolio of EE and DSM programs.
NSTAR Multifamily High-Rise ProgramMs. Thomas led the technical analysis to determine the cost effectiveness of a suite of upgrades for multifamily high-rise new construction in Boston, the pilot region for the program. One purpose was to identify measures that would cost-effectively achieve a certain level of energy efficiency compared to the ASHRAE 90.1-2004 code. Another was to establish target efficiency levels. Ms. Thomas also led the design of an on-the-go spreadsheet tool for program implementers to calculate incentives for multiple upgrades utilizing a set of incentive rules executed on a database of EnergyPlus results and costs built into the back-end. *NSTAR is now Eversource.
PG&E More Than A MillionThe PG&E More Than A Million targeted large consumers of electricity to pledge a reduction of a million watt-hours or more across their portfolio. Ms. Thomas was part of the Dedicated Technical Support Team (DTST) representing PG&E to various customers. Her customer was the largest commercial real estate owner in California’s Central Valley with a diverse portfolio including buildings from commercial laundry facilities to office buildings. Ms. Thomas developed a targeted approach for maximum impact. She worked with the customer to identify the largest energy users (overall and per square foot) and to develop individual strategies starting from there.
PG&E CA Multifamily New Homes ProgramMogavero Notestine is a leading sustainable design firm in Sacramento region. As a technical consultant representing PG&E, Ms. Thomas advised the design team on strategies to reduce projected energy use of their multifamily project by more than 20% below Title-24. Strategies focused on water heating, cooling, heating, ventilation and insulation among others. Ms. Thomas provided similar technical consulting on several multifamily projects that applied to PG&E for program funding.
The SolaireThe Solaire at 20 River Terrace in Battery Park City opened in 2003 as the first “green” high-rise multifamily building in Manhattan (won LEED: Gold NC and Platinum EB). Designed by Cesar Pelli Architects, 27 stories tall with 293 units, it explored several innovative efficiency features including a landscaped roof garden, integrated solar panels and water treatment. For Solaire, Ms. Thomas analyzed insulated wall systems with optimized insulation, brick tie configurations, window sills and glazing types, the use of efficient lighting (CFL at the time) and a master switch among others. Ms. Thomas utilized DOE-2 (unix-based software by DOE) and THERM (an LBNL software) to run the analyses.
Bank of America HQOne Bryant Park is the first commercial skyscraper in the U.S. to Achieve LEED Platinum. The 55-story, 2.1 million-square-foot Bank of America Tower, is designed by Cook + Fox Architects and owned by The Durst Organization. For BofA headquarters, Ms. Thomas analyzed the glazing for the curtain wall including a double-glazed section, and created an integrated energy analysis model (DOE-2) of the building loads which included an underfloor air distribution system.
New York Times HQDesigned by Renzo Piano, the New York Times building is a 52-story structure with a unique structure made of exposed columns and beams penetrating the façade at every alternate floor. Half the building was to be occupied by NYT, while the other half was to be rented out. Ms. Thomas modeled the building for integrated energy analysis. She also analyzed the beam penetration by building a 3-D model (using a finite element analysis program used for aerospace modeling called ALGOR) to establish the location and amount of insulation that would effectively move the dewpoint outside the building.
Smita is an exceptional professional, with excellent work ethics and attention to detail. She has a broad set of technical skills and is able to adapt to new challenges and opportunities.
—Steven Winter, President, Steven Winter Associates, Inc.
Energy Shrink works with the client to provide creative solutions tailored to their needs. Our approach is thorough, thoughtful, and practical. What you can expect from our projects:
- Scientific rigor
- Principled work ethic
- Balanced viewpoint
Why Energy Shrink
The combination that sets Energy Shrink apart:
- Depth of building science expertise across a breadth of markets
- Knowledge of architectural design
- Willingness to work collaboratively to create custom solutions for each client
Partner with us
Energy Shrink actively maintains a network of professional contacts and partners with other organizations, both non-profit and for-profit, to provide a multidisciplinary team on projects. Energy Shrink is also a certified WOSB (women-owned small business) at the US SBA (Small Business Administration), and a certified MWBE (minority woman business enterprise) in the home state of Virginia (SWaM), and in Maryland (MDOT).