Giving Thanks, The Ver-Tex Way

As we make our way through the fall season, Thanksgiving approaches and showcases the warmth of our friends, family, and loved ones. It’s during this special time of year that we count our blessings and give thanks, celebrating traditions and coming together in the spirit of the holiday.

For this year’s festivities, the Ver-Tex Construction managers once again chipped in to purchase turkeys (seven total) to give away to our dedicated team members, who continue to work hard to fulfill our purpose: to provide the highest quality service and solutions for our clients’ needs with unrelenting dedication and care.

To announce the winners of the Ver-Tex Construction Turkey Giveaway, we created this fun video for the team to enjoy. Check it out!

With Thanksgiving just days away, we would like to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for everyone who has played a role in our success, from team members to partners, vendors to clients. From our family to yours, we wish you all a very, very Happy Thanksgiving!

Gary Ludden Joins Ver-Tex Construction as Chief Operating Officer

Ver-Tex Construction announces new Chief Operating Officer as company growth continues

gary ludden team member headshot

Ver-Tex Construction (Ver-Tex) recently announced that Gary Ludden, a proven leader in the construction industry, will join the company as Chief Operating Officer. At Ver-Tex, Ludden will oversee the Operations Division and will assume a strategic role in the overall management of the company.

Ludden brings with him over 30 years of progressive experience in the construction industry, having previously worked as President at Woodmeister Master Builders, a reputable and highly successful high-end residential and commercial millwork and general contracting company. Ludden’s success at Woodmeister includes growing the revenue of his former company significantly during the course of his tenure there and creating a unique management training tool, called the Next Level Leadership Program, which provides individual employees with leadership coaching, personal and professional development, as well as team-building skills at all levels in the company.

Read the full news release here.

Victor Afonso Joins Ver-Tex Construction as Field Operations Manager

Ver-Tex Construction announces new Field Operations Manager as company growth continues

Ver-Tex Construction (Ver-Tex) recently announced that Victor Afonso, a leader and expert in the design & installation of window treatments, will join the company as Field Operations Manager. At Ver-Tex, Afonso will oversee the day-to-day operations of the warehouse, scheduling, and installation teams in addition to long-term strategic planning and implementation of continuous improvement efforts. Afonso brings with him more than 20 years of experience in management at window treatment companies, having run his own business providing consultations and installation of custom window treatments for 14 years prior to joining Ver-Tex as Field Operations Manager.

Read the full news release here.

Daylight Harvesting & A Carbon-Free Boston

In our previous blog posts, we explored several daylighting systems and window treatment options that can help the City of Boston in its goal of becoming 100 percent carbon-free by the year 2050. These daylighting (or daylight harvesting) systems work by using daylight to offset the amount of electric lighting needed to light a space, reducing energy consumption through lighting control systems that adjust electric lighting in response to daylight levels.

Active daylighting systems track sunlight using mechanical methods, with math formulas based on sun path charts used in combination with sensors or lenses that detect light level and maximize the natural daylight present in the space. Electric lighting is adjusted simultaneously, improving energy efficiency and reducing overall energy consumption.

daylight coming in office windows
Daylight harvesting systems reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency, making them a useful tool towards Boston’s goal of using completely carbon-free energy by 2050.

Below are the systems we looked at, along with highlights of each:

Lutron Hyperion

Lutron Hyperion can reduce lighting energy use by 65% or more and is scalable from a single area or individual building to a campus with multiple buildings. The system can work with wireless radio window sensors, adding further functionality by accounting for varied conditions such as weather or shadows from adjacent buildings.

Mecho SolarTrac

SolarTrac’s proprietary algorithms precisely predict the sun’s position based on time, date, building location, and orientation of glass facades, in combination with rooftop radiometers that detect live conditions. The system can save up to 70% in lighting costs and alerts users of potential maintenance needs, with software supporting smartphone access and allowing up to 100 users simultaneously.

Somfy Animeo

Somfy’s Animeo is made up of intelligent, scalable building controls, motor controls, local controls, and a full selection of sensors and additional accessories. Referring to a range of scalable daylighting systems, Animeo software automates management of natural light according to the position of the sun and glass façade orientation, with a variety of available Somfy weather sensors.

Halcyon Shades (with Animeo)

Halcyon shades reduce 99.9% of harmful UV rays, reflect 80% of solar heat gain, and reduce glare by 97%, providing a return on investment in as little as two years in energy savings, with a 10 – 25% savings on a building’s energy spend. Combined with Somfy Animeo, energy efficiency is improved by decreasing solar glare & HVAC demand and reducing electricity needed for lighting.

Daylighting & Energy Efficiency

The single largest operating cost in U.S. commercial buildings is lighting, with lighting systems constituting one-third or more of total electrical energy costs. Additionally, 30% to 50% of U.S. office buildings’ total electrical energy consumption is by lighting systems.

Daylighting systems, if properly applied to new and existing buildings, can drastically reduce the energy consumption of Boston’s buildings, while at the same time improving occupant comfort and productivity. A reduction in energy consumption would allow for improved energy efficiency, helping the City of Boston to attain its ambitious goal: using 100% carbon-free energy by 2050.

If you’re interested in learning more or implementing any of the aforementioned daylighting systems, contact us today.

Halcyon Shades: Energy Efficiency & a Carbon-Free Boston

In our previous blog posts, we took a look at active daylighting systems that can work to help the City of Boston achieve its goal of becoming carbon-free by 2050. Today we look at the energy-saving power of Halcyon Shades, which can integrate with Somfy’s Animeo system, and discuss their possibilities for improving energy efficiency in the context of Boston’s ambitious goal.

Energy Efficiency

To begin, we must note the energy efficiency that Halcyon Shades enable. Halcyon shades reduce 99.9% of harmful UV rays, reflect 80% of solar heat gain, and reduce glare by 97%, providing a return on investment in as little as two years in energy savings. By deriving figures from the Department of Energy’s EQUEST energy modeling software, Halcyon Shades have been shown to save 10 – 25% on a building’s energy spend. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories has confirmed that the metalized polyester material used in the shades can reflect energy, preventing it from penetrating into the building. In addition to this, Halcyon shades are eco-friendly, with third-party verification confirming that these shades contain no PVC, PFCs, VOCs, formaldehyde or antimicrobials. They also meet NFPA 701 standards, reduce energy spend, and reduce carbon emissions.

halcyon shade in boston

Furthermore, Halcyon shades can be integrated into a Somfy Animeo daylighting solution. By combining Animeo’s intelligent building controls, motor controls, local controls, and a full array of sensors and additional accessories with Halcyon’s energy-efficient shades, any building owner, developer, or manager can increase energy efficiency by decreasing HVAC demand and electricity needed for lighting. This allows electrical energy to be diverted elsewhere in the city where it is needed more.

Somfy Animeo & Halcyon Shades

As discussed in our previous blog post, Animeo is able to adjust shades automatically based on the sun’s position and glass façade orientation, taking into account shadow management and real-time weather conditions. It also allows for easy manual override, giving building managers and occupants control over nearby shades. When Halcyon’s energy-saving shades are integrated with the sustainable and scalable Animeo solution, energy usage and costs are drastically reduced, allowing for a building’s electricity to be redirected to a place it can be more efficiently used. With this in mind, it comes as no surprise that implementing such shades and systems into Boston’s new and existing buildings will dramatically aid in the city’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050.

A Carbon-Free Boston: Somfy Animeo & Energy Efficiency

In our last few blog posts, we took a look at two active daylighting systems that can greatly assist the City of Boston in its carbon-free initiative. As we continue to look at active daylighting systems that improve energy efficiency and can help eliminate reliance on carbon-based sources of energy, we’ll be focusing today on Somfy’s Animeo, which consists of intelligent building controls, motor controls, local controls, and a full selection of sensors and additional accessories.somfy animeo ip controller

Somfy Animeo refers to a range of scalable daylighting systems that are compatible with a variety of sun-shading devices, providing flexible solutions for automation and daylighting. Animeo’s software automates natural light management according to the sun’s position and glass façade direction in order to minimize glare and maximize daylighting. Animeo both tracks the sun and incorporates shadow management, which guarantees optimum levels of user comfort by controlling solar shading devices individually or by zones, while also maximizing the amount of comfortable, natural daylight that enters a space.

A variety of Somfy weather sensors are compatible with Animeo, including rain, wind, sun, and temperature sensors. These sensors further enhance Animeo by providing real-time, live weather conditions that affect daylighting, allowing the system to adjust shades accordingly based on these conditions. Animeo allows for easy manual override, giving occupants control over nearby window coverings.commercial building with glass facade & window shades

Animeo is a sustainable and scalable digital solution for buildings, with no zone limitation and an intuitive user interface that allows for simplified commissioning, building management, and technical support.  By intelligently reducing power consumption from artificial light and diminishing heat gain/cooling loss, the Somfy Animeo daylighting system effectively integrates automation technology in order to improve energy efficiency. With approximately 75% of Boston’s emissions coming from energy use in buildings, reducing energy demand in these buildings through measures such as having an efficient active daylighting system will prove instrumental in supporting Boston in its carbon-free mission.

Be on the lookout for our next blog post, where we’ll discuss Halcyon Shades’ technology, specifically designed to dramatically reduce carbon emissions generated by a building.

Mecho Solar Trac: Harvesting Daylight for Energy Efficiency

In our previous two blog posts, we explored how daylight harvesting (or daylighting) improves energy efficiency through harnessing the power of sunlight, thereby aiding Boston in its mission if implemented properly. We looked at Lutron’s Hyperion system before, and now we’ll be discovering another active daylighting system that can help Boston on its way to becoming carbon-free by 2050: Mecho’s award-winning SolarTrac 4.0.

Mecho Solar Trac

SolarTrac’s proprietary algorithms precisely predict the sun’s position based on time, date, building location, and orientation of glass facades, in combination with rooftop radiometers that detect live conditions. Rooftop radiometers complement these algorithms by determining live conditions and reporting them, so that the shades adjust accordingly. Shades are automatically adjusted to optimize daylight entering a space and alleviate solar glare for a more comfortable and productive environment. SolarTrac also reduces solar-heat gain, which aids in reducing energy costs by decreasing demands on cooling systems.

The state-of-the-art SolarTrac 4.0 daylighting system is extremely user-friendly, with self-diagnostics alerting users to potential maintenance needs, and PC-based software supporting smartphone access and allowing up to 100 users at the same time. SolarTrac’s automation can be configured to meet the needs of a single floor, façade, building, or entire campus.

SolarTrac 4.0’s precise daylight harvesting can save up to 70% in lighting costs. By improving energy efficiency through decreased demand for electric lighting, utilization of SolarTrac allows for excess electric energy from a building to be diverted elsewhere. Elimination of unnecessary energy usage via daylight harvesting will go a long way in helping Boston with its challenging carbon-free endeavor.

Stay tuned for our next blog post, where we’ll be examining Somfy’s animeo IP daylight harvesting system, taking into account its various features and impact on energy consumption and efficiency.

Lutron Hyperion: Daylighting to Save Energy

In our last blog post, we looked at Boston’s ambitious goal of completely eliminating its reliance on carbon-based energy by 2050, with all energy in the city coming from carbon-free sources by that year. We discussed how daylight harvesting systems can help with this goal by reducing energy consumption through appropriate automated shading and lighting controls.

One example of an active daylighting system that can help Boston on its way to becoming carbon-free by 2050 is Lutron’s solar-adaptive Hyperion system. Hyperion automatically adjusts shades throughout the day in response to the sun’s changing position, which both saves energy and reduces solar glare and heat gain. Information about the building’s location and glass façade orientations is analyzed to create customized shade schedules that maximize the amount of useful daylight, thus reducing energy consumption by minimizing or eliminating the need for supplemental electric light.

Wireless Radio Window Sensors add further functionality to Hyperion by accounting for varied conditions such as weather or shadows from adjacent buildings, reporting live exterior conditions and then adjusting shades accordingly. Also, the Hyperion software allows facilities’ staff to manage electric light and daylight for maximum energy efficiency, comfort, and productivity. Manual override is available as an option for specific instances. Hyperion’s automated shading maintains ideal light levels while also lowering demand on a building’s HVAC system by preventing solar heat gain. It can reduce lighting energy use by 65% or more, and Hyperion is scalable from a single area or individual building to a campus with multiple buildings.

Hyperion also integrates seamlessly with Quantum, Lutron’s lighting control and energy managcement system, designed to further improve energy efficiency by adjusting light in tandem with shades through smart lighting control. Quantum is a single data and management platform for connected buildings, delivering a simple and consistent user experience from a PC or tablet. Customizable alerts, space utilization reports, occupancy trends, and energy reports all provide actionable data to improve building layout, defer capital expenditures, deliver a more energy-efficient space, and reduce a building’s carbon footprint.

The report issued earlier this year by the Boston Green Ribbon Commission indicated that “…nearly every building in Boston will need to undergo retrofits that holistically and dramatically reduce energy consumption.” Buildings currently account for more than two-thirds of Boston’s greenhouse gas emissions. By utilizing an active daylighting system such as Hyperion in a building, energy demand is reduced, and electric energy can therefore be redirected elsewhere. This reduction in energy consumption subsequently leads to carbon-based sources of energy being phased out, as they are no longer needed due to more efficient energy management.

Keep an eye out for our next blog post, where we’ll be exploring another active daylighting system: Mecho’s SolarTrac 4.0.

Ver-Tex Construction President & CEO Speaks on Growth, Company Culture, and Unique Projects

Ver-Tex Construction President & CEO Brianna Goodwin recently spoke with Blueprint Construction Magazine about Ver-Tex’s recent growth in Florida, highlighting the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, along with the company’s culture and other noteworthy projects, both in New England & Florida.

Ver-Tex Construction Floridaiconic guitar-shaped tower at seminole hard rock hotel and casino

In discussing the company’s growth and its Florida division, Goodwin mentions Ver-Tex’s involvement in notable construction projects in the area, including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, which features a 450-foot tall tower shaped like a Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, and the Orlando International Airport expansion. Goodwin touched specifically on the unique solutions needed to complete the project, noting that the “guitar shape necessitated angled windows of different shapes, sizes and inclines, for a lot of customized solutions,” and mentioning, “…we’ve been involved with this project for years and now it’s time to perform under a tight schedule. The next Super Bowl is in Hard Rock Stadium.”

 

Ver-Tex Company Culture

The familial company culture of Ver-Tex Construction was another point discussed, with Goodwin highlighting the company-wide events held in Canton: themed parties, casual get-together, and strategic meetings, during which the Florida team is often flown up to the company’s Massachusetts headquarters. With the rate of growth in Florida at 500 percent annually, Goodwin makes it a priority to gather and connect the New England and Florida divisions, neglecting nothing on the home front and continuing to honor long-time commitments to New England clients.

 

 

 

 

 

Noteworthy Construction Projects

In addition to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Ver-Tex has secured a large contract for the Orlando International Airport expansion and is also currently completing a job at Florida International University. Other prominent institutions that Ver-Tex has provided window treatments for include Harvard, MIT, Berklee College of Music, and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, among others, with these and many other long-term clients turning to Ver-Tex Construction as an unbiased resource with the capability of providing products from all major window treatment manufacturers from the U.S. and beyond, along with products from new boutique companies offering distinct solutions.

To read the full article, visit Blueprint Construction Magazine.

A Carbon-Free Boston by 2050: How Daylighting Can Help

By 2050, the state of Massachusetts aims to have 80% of its energy provided by carbon-free sources, but the city of Boston is planning to one-up the state by becoming 100 percent carbon-free by then. A report published in January of this year details the findings of a team of experts from the city, outside consulting firms, and Boston University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy, who were tasked with researching how Boston can become 100% carbon-free. The report found that the city must pursue interconnected strategies in three key sectors: first, deepen energy efficiency while reducing demand; second, electrify as much as possible; and third, purchase 100 percent clean energy.

When it comes to buildings in the growing city, the report has stated, “Nearly every building in Boston will need to undergo retrofits that holistically and dramatically reduce energy consumption.” New buildings must meet high energy performance standards, and existing buildings will need deep energy retrofits. Through the implementation and utilization of daylight harvesting systems, Ver-Tex Construction has the opportunity and capability to help with both requirements, in order to aid the city in becoming carbon-free by 2050.

Daylight harvesting systems utilize daylight to offset the amount of electric lighting needed to light a space, thereby reducing energy consumption by using lighting control systems that dim or switch electric lighting in response to daylight levels. The most efficient daylight harvesting systems are automated and maintain a light level of 500 Lux (the commonly recommended light level for offices). Daylight harvesting can be sub-divided into passive daylighting and active daylighting.

daylighting also known as daylight harvesting used in a commercial office building setting

Passive daylighting collects sunlight using static, stationary systems that do not track the sun (like windows, skylights, and sliding glass doors) and simply reflect collected daylight into a building, using elements such as light wall colors, mirrored walls, glass paneling, and light shelves. Passive daylighting systems do not use mechanical means to track or follow the sun.

Active daylighting tracks sunlight using mechanical methods. Mathematical formulas based on sun path charts, in combination with sensors or lenses that detect light levels, are used to predict and maximize the amount of natural daylight present in the space. Electric lighting is then adjusted based on the available daylight in the space. A lighting control system module and automated light switching devices are used to dim or turn off fixtures as needed, in order to maintain optimal lighting in the space.

In commercial buildings in the United States, including Boston, the single largest operating cost is lighting, with lighting systems representing one-third or more of a commercial building’s total electrical energy costs. Additionally, lighting systems constitute 30% to 50% of U.S. office buildings’ total electrical energy consumption. By implementing daylight harvesting systems into new and existing buildings, Boston can drastically reduce its energy consumption while also ensuring that optimal lighting levels are maintained. This reduction in energy consumption through daylight harvesting would greatly assist the city in reaching its 2050 goal by allowing the massive amount of electrical energy previously needed for lighting these buildings to be redirected elsewhere.

In our next blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the daylight harvesting systems that Ver-Tex Construction offers, which can all be used to help Boston achieve its ambitious goal of becoming carbon-free by 2050.