BIM, Commissioning, and Sustainability, Oh My! Tools and Skills for Quality Client Outcomes

greenwaltBy Paul Greenwalt, EIT

These days, efficiency, cost effectiveness, and environmental awareness are key drivers and concerns of many of our clients and building owners, conscious of their budgets and the impacts of the built environment. We recognize the need to be nimble and creative to achieve quality project results within these parameters, and I am proud to say that Wood Harbinger has made a significant effort to become the leader in several areas of the building industry that will help us in pursuit of this goal.

BIM (Building Information Modeling)

We are among the early adopters of 3D modeling and BIM (Building Information Modeling) and we continue to strive to improve and explore its capabilities, using primarily Revit as our tool. BIM’s collaborative nature helps a project team coordinate efficiently and effectively through design and the information that can be contained within the model can be invaluable to a building owner during operation and maintenance. I have used 3D modeling to help eliminate potential issues in construction as well as identify areas that require more information so that when the time comes, the contractor has a clear vision of what needs to happen to avoid delays.


Another area in which we have seen major growth is commissioning. It’s increasingly recognized as a beneficial quality assurance process that can help maximize a project budget through design and construction reviews, reduce energy consumption and costs through equipment optimization, as well as improve operations and maintenance effectiveness through comprehensive training and practical systems manuals that provide real support. One member of our Commissioning team (@NBaker_WH) has achieved CCP (Certified Commissioning Professional) certification, demonstrating our commitment to staying on top of our game in industry trends and knowledge.


Federal and local government agencies as well as utility districts are offering financial incentives to improve equipment efficiency, reduce thermal resistivity, and reduce our impact on global climate change. We use a software tool called EZ Sim that quantifies cost savings for ECMs (Energy Conservation Measures) or FIMs (Facility Improvement Measures) that is accepted by utility districts. This allows us to provide a link between utility incentives and Owner projects to earn award funding for efficiency upgrades. The program is spreadsheet-based and references local bin weather data (compiled weather information from a particular weather station) combined with energy costs and basic building information input by the user. From this information we are able to quickly provide accurate cost savings to clients from improvements to an entire system or single piece of equipment. We used EZ Sim to analyze a recent boiler replacement project. We input data from the building’s current utility bills and some basic project information and the program calculated the projected savings. We followed up with the owner after the new boiler was in use to compare the projected savings with the actual post-update utility bills data, and the projection proved to be spot-on with the end result.

Pride and Promise

I’m glad to be part of an organization that sees the needs and supports its staff with tools like these and supports a commitment to pursing new skills and knowledge that result in our ability to get fast results and provide excellent value to our clients. I know Wood Harbinger will always strive to deliver on our promise to our clients: to beat the status quo and offer quality engineering, effective cost savings, and a design fit for the life of the building.


Follow Paul on Twitter @PGreenwalt_WH

This entry was posted in All Insignts, BIM/Revit, Commissioning, Sustainability and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Trackbacks

  • By It’s so EZ (Sim) on November 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    […] incentive funding for efficiency upgrades and you may remember Paul Greenwalt gave an example in a blog post over the summer of how we used EZ Sim for a recent boiler replacement […]

  • By It’s so EZ Sim on June 14, 2016 at 8:10 am

    […] incentive funding for efficiency upgrades and you may remember Paul Greenwalt gave an example in a blog post over the summer of how we used EZ Sim for a recent boiler replacement […]

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