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Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, an innovative tool that enables property owners to make investments in water and energy efficiency, has been gaining momentum across the country. Through the PACE program, financing is secured by a special property tax assessment, all without incurring upfront costs. PACE has acted as an economic development tool to improve buildings, creating jobs, reducing energy consumption and grid demand, and enhancing water conservation.

2,000 PACE projects...

Read More - PACE Program: How To Get Started

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TagsPACE. Pace program, Energy, Sustainability, financing, Energy Efficiency, facilities, utilities,

(All Images Courtesy of SARA/MGC Contractors)

Sustainability has become a word mentioned across our lives and the industry but isn’t as clearly defined as other terms like efficiency, safety factor or effluent quality.

According to the United Nations Brundtland Commission Report of 1987, “Sustainable development is…development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Its lack of specificity can make...

Read More - Silver Lining: Lessons Learned from an Envision-Rated Treatment Plant

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TagsEnvision, Sustainability, treatment, wastewater treatment plant, Design,

Although an essential element for living cells, Phosphorus can have serious environmental effects when found in natural or engineering environments.

Major sources of Phosphorus pollution can come from wastewater effluent, commercial chemicals and agricultural waste. Phosphorus minerals, such as struvite and vivianite, can precipitate and form scales in drinking water and wastewater systems.

Although these minerals are problems when left uncontrolled and unmonitored, their recovery is beneficial.

With limited Phosphorus sources...

Read More - Phosphorus: Turning a Problem into a Resource

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TagsWater, Wastewater, treatment, effluent, phosphorus, pollution, Recycling, Sustainability,

Last fall, Freese and Nichols' Todd Buckingham reinforced the importance of sustainability to an Oklahoma State University senior class.

Todd presented its definition, some implementation strategies and an overview of the Envision Rating System. Todd is one of two Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) trainers in Texas and one of 62 in the world.

Freese and Nichols also offered to those in the class a partial reimbursement...

Read More - Bringing Sustainability to the Next Generation of Engineers at Oklahoma State University

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TagsEnvision, ENV SP, Sustainability, Oklahoma,

The City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability recently recognized our Austin office as a platinum-level Austin Green Busines​s Leader (AGBL) — the program’s highest level. By the City’s definition, a green business operates in a way that protects the environment, enhances the community and maintains a healthy workplace.

After documenting the office’s green practices in seven categories, Austin staff members met with a City representative to verify and discuss the initiatives...

Read More - Austin Office Earns Highest Sustainability Recognition

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Sabrina Joplin is an Environmental Scientist in Freese and Nichols' Austin office.

Striving to live sustainably is a daily challenge in this age of convenience. Luckily there are many small changes you can adopt in your daily life that make a huge dent in your individual carbon footprint. Changes on the individual or family scale do make a difference and add up, but as we all know, our actions can get us only...

Read More - From the Family Scale to the Community Scale: An Environmental Scientist Shares Her Approach to Sustainability

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In Austin, Freese and Nichols staff have rescued coffee grinds and fruit peelings for their home compost heaps for several years. Now, we have new community gardens at our Austin offices. With the help of property management, who shared large containers and space on the property, the Austin team has enlarged composting activities and promoted healthier lifestyles.

Environmental Scientist Patrick Garnett led the effort, and the office produces a steady supply of compost...

Read More - Composting, Community Garden at Austin Office

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Spencer Schnier is an engineer in Freese and Nichols' Water Resource Planning group.

The month of May was National Bike Month , but just because it's now July doesn't mean we can't get out and support bicycling as viable, everyday transportation. For me, it's like any day and month because I commute 6 miles daily. I made the decision to live close enough to bike to work as I...

Read More - Encouraging Sustainability through Biking and Diet

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