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Introducing recool

Published: Dec 13, 2012 Blog Post

Christmas has arrived early for those seeking more transparency within the architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) marketplace.

Roger Chang, a principal and the director of sustainability at Westlake Reed Leskosky (WRL), one of the country’s top green design firms, just launched recool.com, a new website that serves as both a resource and a venue for professionals to share green building design and construction experiences, with an emphasis on the application of technologies.

What the heck does “recool” mean?

The name “recool” was inspired by the heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) term, “reheat.” Reheat coils are used in HVAC systems to prevent overcooling of spaces for temperature and humidity control. “On a global scale, we view our impact on climate change as a form of reheat. recool is intended to counteract this global issue, through open and candid discussion of design and product applications,” it says in the recool mission statement.

What does it provide?

The website showcases projects, products, and relevant blogs—with the topics ranging from high-performance architecture to energy benchmarks, metrics, usages and efficiencies, including predicted versus actual energy usages.

Every architecture firm has a website, usually with lots of beautiful photos of the buildings they’ve designed. But very few -- perhaps none -- of them share the gold nuggets of information on energy usage and building performance that recool provides. The WRL projects featured give information on major costs; resource usage, in the categories of HVAC, electrical, and plumbing; and system summaries on building enclosure, controls/measurement, and more.

All of the information recool provides with each project is part of its overarching goal of accelerating the adoption of high-performance design practices in the U.S.

Amazon.com for the building sector

As consumers, we use websites like Amazon, Trip Advisor, and CNet.com every day. One of their key features is having the ability to view and share user feedback whenever we are going to or have already purchased a product. Chang and WRL think it’s time we do the same for the building sector.

“The goal of recool is to bring the innovations of Google, Amazon, and Apple to the AEC marketplace. Unlike the consumer products marketplace, the AEC product market has suffered from a lack of transparency and slower progression of improvements to products, services, and software- barriers to addressing energy efficiency and climate change,” Chang said in a press release.

Removing barriers

As an advocate for removing market barriers to address energy efficiency and increasing building energy transparency, IMT applauds WRL’s efforts to create transformative and possibly disruptive change in the design industry (something IMT’s Jessica Lawrence has previously blogged about). The name of the website / project may be technical and slightly nerdy, but we think the goals of recool are, well, real cool.