Joe Matje used the Department of Energy’s “Target Finder” to analyze energy use as part of a preliminary design for the expansion of Libertae, a residential treatment program that helps women in recovery reclaim their lives and families. Rendering by volunteer firm Buell Kratzer Powell.Joe Matje, a project engineer with Bruce E. Brooks & Associates and a board member of the Community Design Collaborative, speculates on the future of energy design in this month’s DAGspace. As energy costs rise, Joe predicts, the payback period for energy-efficient technologies will grow shorter and energy will become a major driver of the design process.
That trend is already in motion, according to Joe. To demonstrate, he presents an energy use analysis he did through the Collaborative for Libertae , Inc. He calculates the financial resources (about $12,000 per year) are “in play” to offset the upfront costs of energy-efficient construction and upgrades.