Simplicity is Key
After construction, there is always a risk that maintenance staff may not operate the building as it was designed. This is a great risk, especially in cutting edge buildings, where complicated mechanical heating and cooling equipment can be unknown to building operators and improperly operated. To help mitigate this risk from the start, the team has made design simplicity one of the top priorities. By focusing on reducing heating and cooling needs through building enclosure (which tends not to break over time – no moving parts), rather than fancy mechanical equipment, the maintenance staff simply has less to learn. Selected mechanical equipment, although efficient, is also easy to maintain, with readily available local parts and mechanics. Similarly, because the building will be compartmentalized, as a result of air sealing, it is difficult for one resident to throw the whole building off due to poor operation (such as leaving a window open), because stack effect is reduced.
To further ensure successful post-construction operation, residents, maintenance, and property management staff have been actively engaged in design and construction decisions. This level of participation helps ensure appropriate operation down the road. Maintenance staff and residents will also receive a series of trainings during and after construction to ensure that they are up to speed on how to best operate and live in the Castle Square Deep Energy Retrofit. The property also has a Green Operations and Maintenance Plan.