By Steve Cofer
The Northwest Residential Building Stock Assessment (RBSA) is a region-wide study sponsored by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) to characterize the physical and energy-use features of residential facilities in the Northwest. NEEA selected Cadmus to conduct the RBSA in fall 2015, and we are well on our way to completing audits on 2,000 residential buildings.
The RBSA establishes a regional baseline for housing stock for three categories of residences: single-family, manufactured, and multifamily homes. The results will guide future planning efforts and provide a solid base for assessing the energy savings of residential programs throughout the Northwest. As part of the RBSA, Cadmus will analyze thousands of data points collected throughout this multiyear project. Our analysts will collect electric and natural gas billing data and develop an energy-use index for each of the homes audited. Cadmus will provide final reports that summarize characteristics of Northwest residential homes.
Coordinating a project of this scale across four states and with Bonneville Power Administration, the Energy Trust of Oregon, and more than 100 Northwest utilities requires an experienced team of managers, analysts, and field technicians. Since February 2016, a Cadmus team of 10 field technicians has completed more than 700 site visits in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Washington, working closely with NEEA to keep utilities apprised of the project schedule and progress.
Innovating the Way Data Are Collected
Cadmus collects more than 2,500 unique data points during each RBSA site visit; hence, the way we collect and transmit data is a key concern. Our proprietary iPad data collection tool—Ariel—has proved well up to the task. Deployed successfully since 2012 across a wide variety of projects, Ariel is a proven, efficient, and secure platform that eliminates the redundancy, risk, and inefficiency of paper forms.
RSBA as Opportunity for Other Research
The RBSA project provides a good opportunity for extended research, and as such, the Bonneville Power Administration hired Cadmus to install as many as 700 temperature loggers in specified RBSA customer homes. To accomplish this task, the Cadmus engineering team, in partnership with MathWorks, developed a unique temperature and humidity monitoring system that allows for the secure, online collection of data throughout the metering period (rather than depending on meter retrieval at the end of the project). This hardware can transmit temperature and humidity data to a secure website through the homeowner’s Internet connection, without requiring the homeowner’s network password or using the homeowner’s wireless network.
Bonneville Power Administration will use the data collected through this effort to improve regional energy-saving measure estimates.
Delivering excellent customer service is one of our highest priorities. Here are just a few things customers are saying about their experience:
The survey visit was done carefully and thoroughly, including the realization that the fire in the wood stove would conflict with the air leak test. The technicians were informative and pleasant.
Very professional customer service representative that called me, explained everything, and booked my appointment. Same with the technicians. I also noticed that they had a gentle touch when going through the apartment. Overall, really nice experience.
They showed respect for my property and personal things. Asked permission before doing some of their research. Both were working as a team and finished tasks same time. Very pleasant and friendly. I would welcome them back to do research on my next home.