2020 News and Highlights
This year has offered an unusual opportunity for contemplation of the possibilities for change. We at Energy Shrink are grateful for the meaningful work and relationships that kept us grounded through the year. Here are a few highlights of the year — global and local developments, and how Energy Shrink is involved.
Starting in 2021, DC benchmarking requirements will broaden to include buildings greater than 25,000 square feet. This year was a good opportunity to assess building portfolios and set goals for deeper retrofits. To prepare organizations for these shifts, we offered education, provided analytical services, and career mentoring.
Our principal Smita Thomas was a panelist at the ACEEE Summer Study 2020 on the Market Transformation panel where she presented a paper that we co-wrote with World Bank staff.
One of our key strengths is our ability to zoom from macro to micro-scale.
Energy Shrink provided:
- Thermal analysis to provide retrofit details for the envelope of a 100-year old school in NYC. The goal was to achieve passive design comfort standards while mitigating the risk of moisture condensation.
- Support to the DC Public Service Commission in implementing DC’s Clean Energy Act (ongoing).
- An outreach project in Maryland educating income-qualified consumers on Community Solar options and key terms of such contracts. Many lessons learned thanks to the pandemic required that we shift strategies midway. Watch out for our blog post on it in the coming days!
On a global level, the EDGE Green Buildings Program for IFC (the World Bank) — now available globally, including in the US — continues to be a key project. In the last two years, the EDGE program footprint has gone from one million to more than 16 million square meters (160 million square feet) certified globally. Ms. Thomas is helping develop the next version of EDGE and educational modules for global designers.
Energy Shrink principal, Smita Thomas, presented at
- A World Bank BBL (brown bag lunch) on Net Zero Energy buildings
- A USGBC-NCR webinar which is USGBC and AIA accredited, and available online via USGBC Education
- Another AIA and USGBC accredited session at the Montgomery County Energy Summit
As an architect before she was a building scientist with broad experience in decarbonization-related work, Smita Thomas is a natural fit to discuss passive design in a wider context such as this day-long AIA-accredited Passive Design seminar offered by Halfmoon Education where she presented the global context of climate change and how Passive Design can play a key role to help mitigate its impact.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND EDUCATION
We dedicate equally meaningful time to community engagement. Smita Thomas wrapped up work as a nominated member of the Joint Environmental Task Force (JET) of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and the County School Board. The JET created a set of recommendations to help the County meet its climate goals. Looking forward to accelerated progress at Fairfax County!
Also in 2020, Smita was invited to
- A panel of women experts and entrepreneurs in the clean energy space by the DC chapter of the Women’s Bar Association; and
- A guest lecture for graduate students at a brand new Master’s course in Environmental Design at the engineering college in India where she completed her undergraduate degree in Architecture. Ms. Thomas spoke on Climate Change: Architects on the Frontline.
We at Energy Shrink hope to continue to offer inspiration and guidance in the coming decade.
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2021 AND 2030
We are grateful for our steadily growing business as we hit the 5-year milestone — a critical milestone for a small business — and look forward to continuing on this path with you on our side. We have moved to the heart of DC’s Foggy Bottom at 2200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, closer to our network and clients. And we continue to strengthen our team and our partnerships.
We remain focused on decarbonization to achieve meaningful progress towards the global goal of 50% reduction in global carbon emissions by 2030. Energy Shrink also continues to maintain its status as a DC Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) and a certified California CPUC WBE (Women’s Business Enterprise), along with our Maryland MDOT MBE and Federal SBA WOSB certifications. We remain committed to partnering and collaborating to offer the best capabilities to our clients.
From all of us at Energy Shrink, more than ever, we wish you a healthy, safe, and happy 2021.
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Let’s make an impact together!