Forming the Future

Read our blog for information on sustainable resource systems, resilient electrical systems, energy masterplans and more.

Advanced metering infrastructure valuable to dynamic electrical grid

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) represents a shift from traditional utility metering to a sophisticated system that uses smart meters, communication networks and data management to enhance the management of energy resources. With the development of residential, small commercial and community solar installations; the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations at homes, businesses and public spaces; and the increasing popularity of battery energy storage solutions, AMI will be even more important to help manage the next-generation energy grid that is no longer a delivery-only system.

AMI is a comprehensive system used to gather and transmit energy production and consumption information between utility customers and service providers. Unlike manually read utility meters, AMI meters automatically collect and transmit data at frequent intervals, often every 15 minutes or more frequently, if necessary. This data will become increasingly more valuable as utility system managers account for the ever-increasing variety of production and consumption now available.

A light pole with a data collection device at the top. The light pole is between two parking lots, with a small commercial building and an alley in the background.
An advanced metering infrastructure component is mounted on a light pole.

Customers also have access to real-time data regarding energy consumption or production. By providing more transparent data, management decisions can be refined to promote energy conservation and efficiency, leading to lower utility bills. This data can also be used to more quickly identify service disruptions and outages, minimizing customer inconvenience. This resolution also provides better utility location data to pinpoint trouble spots and reduce customer downtime.

Utilities with AMI technology can adopt dynamic demand pricing to better match the supply and demand of the electrical grid. This pricing model provides incentives for customers to better manage their energy usage and incentivizes energy conservation during peak demand and higher prices, versus lower demand and off-peak pricing. With the continued influx of weather-dependent, renewable electricity-generating resources, the utility customers and providers can benefit by the data given through AMI technology.

While AMI offers numerous benefits, it also presents challenges, particularly in terms of data security and privacy. Safeguarding customer data and the integrity of the communication networks is paramount. Utility companies must invest in robust cybersecurity measures to protect against threats. Redundancy in grid systems and the availability of dynamic data to inform utility managers of potential threats will be crucial to the reliability of the future electrical grid.

As the inflow and outflow of electricity becomes more variable between the customer and provider, AMI systems will play an increasingly important role in managing this new, dynamic electrical grid.

If you want to learn more about AMI, reach out to Matt Heyen at

Posted on September 14, 2023

Conlan appears on TV news show in Trinidad and Tobago

Screenshot from morning news show of Wade Conlan smiling
This screenshot from TTT News shows Hanson’s Wade Conlan on the “Now Morning Show.”

Hanson’s Wade Conlan, an ASHRAE vice president, was interviewed on a TV news show about ASHRAE during his visit to Trinidad and Tobago.

Wade and John Constantinide, ASHRAE Region XII’s director and regional chair, were in Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago for the Region XII Chapters Regional Conference Aug. 8–13, during which Wade delivered a society update.

While visiting the Caribbean nation, Wade and John appeared on the “Now Morning Show” on TTT News on Aug. 9 to talk about what ASHRAE is, its regional conference and trade show there, the Caricom Chapter and efforts around the globe. Watch the complete segment on YouTube.

Posted on September 14, 2023

Bradford, Conlan discuss indoor air quality topics

Headshot of Bill Bradford
Bill Bradford
Headshot of Wade Conlan
Wade Conlan

Two Hanson energy, sustainability and resiliency personnel from the Orlando, Florida, regional office, discussed aspects of indoor air quality during presentations this month.

Bill Bradford, P.E., a senior vice president and Hanson’s energy, sustainability and resiliency principal, and Wade Conlan, P.E., CxA, BCxP, LEED AP® BD+C, an assistant vice president and Hanson’s commissioning and energy discipline manager, presented “Ventilation: The Balancing Act Between Indoor Environmental Quality, Energy and Decarbonization” Sept. 6 at the Florida School Plant Management Association’s conference in Orlando.

Wade joined Phil Arnold and Erik Malmstrom from SafeTraces and ASHRAE’s Bill Bahnfleth to present “Planning and Commissioning for ASHRAE Standard 241: Applying Equivalent Clean Airflow Rate in Real World Settings” for a SafeTraces webinar Sept. 13.

Posted on September 14, 2023

Hanson commemorates partnership with airport authority

Seven men standing next to each other, two holding a decorative panel
From left, the Greater Orlando Airport Authority’s (GOAA) Brad Friel, Hanson’s Wade Conlan and Bill Bradford, GOAA’s Kevin Thibault, Hanson’s Jonathan Noordzy, GOAA’s Tony Davit and Hanson’s Marcus Ruecker.

Hanson recently celebrated our partnership with the Greater Orlando Airport Authority in Orlando, Florida.

Hanson’s Bill Bradford, P.E., a senior vice president and Hanson’s energy, sustainability and resiliency principal; Wade Conlan, P.E., CxA, BCxP, LEED AP® BD+C, an assistant vice president and Hanson’s commissioning and energy discipline manager; Jonathan Noordzy, P.E., QCxP, CxA, EMP, Hanson’s commissioning and energy technical discipline chief; and Marcus Ruecker, E.I., CxA, a commissioning specialist, all from Hanson’s Orlando, Florida, regional office, presented a panel Aug. 28 commemorating the teamwork with the authority on Orlando International Airport’s Terminal C.

Hanson provided building systems commissioning for the first two phases of the project, which included the automated people mover and integrated transfer facility, new 15-gate terminal that is capable of handling narrow-bodied through super-jumbo aircraft, parking garage expansion and new resilient central energy plant.

Posted on September 14, 2023

Capitalizing on energy and tax-saving opportunities in Inflation Reduction Act

A stock image of a stack of paper with “Inflation Reduction Act” on the top paper and $100 U.S. bills placed on it

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 introduced a wealth of opportunities for owners of commercial buildings. This act, designed to mitigate inflation, offers provisions that can enhance profitability and sustainability.

One of the act’s key provisions is the extension and expansion of the energy-efficient commercial buildings deduction, known as Section 179D. This deduction, made permanent in 2021, has been significantly updated for new construction.

Under the new rules, this deduction can be claimed for commercial buildings in which energy efficiency has been increased by 25% or more, with additional bonuses for higher-efficiency improvements. The act lowers the minimum required savings from a 50% reduction to a 25% reduction, relative to ASHRAE Reference Standard 90.1 that was in effect four years prior to the building’s initial occupancy. To validate the savings, an energy model of the building is required and must be done in an energy modeling software that is approved by the Department of the Treasury and the IRS.

The act has a sliding scale for deductions. For instance, if the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are met and the building achieves a minimum 25% reduction in energy costs or a corresponding decrease in the building’s energy use intensity, the deduction increases to $2.50 per square foot. For an energy reduction greater than 25%, the deduction increases by $.10 per additional percentage of energy reduced, up to $5 per square foot. Furthermore, the lifetime limit has been removed, allowing the 179D deduction to be taken every three tax years (four in some situations). And the allocations to all tax-exempt entities falling under IRC 501(c) have been expanded.

The types of equipment that qualify for these rebates and incentives include energy-efficient appliances, heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems, insulation and renewable energy systems such as solar panels and wind turbines. However, these incentives come with stipulations. For instance, the equipment must meet specific energy efficiency standards, and the tax credits or rebates may only apply to certain types of buildings. Therefore, it’s crucial for commercial building owners to consult with a tax professional or energy efficiency expert to understand the requirements and potential benefits of these programs.

If you’re looking for further information, check out the following resources below that were used to help develop this article. You can also reach out to Mathew Coalson at

“The Federal Building Performance Standard,” Council on Environmental Quality

Requirements and Submission Process for Qualified Software website, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

“Commercial Building Incentives” policy brief, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

“Building a Clean Energy Economy: A Guidebook to the Inflation Reduction Act’s Investments in Clean Energy and Climate Action,” the White House

Posted on August 15, 2023

Increase airport efficiencies with commissioning

Orlando International Airport external terminal photo
Hanson provided commissioning for Orlando International Airport's South Terminal C Complex.

Energy resiliency is a critical factor in the future of every airport, and now is the time to start planning for a future that will demand energy-intensive facilities.

Last month's airport-focused Forming the Future post discussed energy and resiliency roadmaps for existing facilities and highlighted their role as a living document that can be used to set goals for:

  • reducing energy consumption
  • decreasing production of greenhouse gases (GHGs)
  • increasing resiliency

The future of aviation holds many unknowns. Electrification, renewable energy and resiliency are all necessary steps on the way to the use of hydrogen or some other fuel source. One of the most important functions of the energy roadmap is thinking ahead and making certain new buildings and systems meet your goals.

Commissioning MCO South Terminal C

New buildings, systems and equipment should operate as efficiently as possible when they are turned over to the owner because, according to articles published by Airport Cooperative Research Program Report 139: Optimizing Airport Building Operations and Maintenance Through Retro-commissioning: A Whole-Systems Approach, the performance and energy efficiency of these types of systems degrade by approximately 4%-8% annually. An example is the commissioning Hanson provided for Orlando International Airport at the South Terminal C Complex, which includes the $700 million automated people mover complex, intermodal transportation facility and passenger drop-off lobby. Commissioning on this portion of the project was completed approximately three years ago. The South Terminal C Complex is a massive project and includes the new, approximately $2.7 billion South Terminal, which Hanson also commissioned. The new South Terminal C chilled water plant includes seven chillers totaling up to 12,000 tons of chilled water capacity, as well as all the peripheral equipment.

The energy use for these types of facilities and systems is enormous and includes all mechanical systems, baggage claim systems and more, so you need to make certain everything runs efficiently at turnover.

The Orlando International Airport South Terminal also has a dedicated emergency power generation plant that includes seven 4-megawatt diesel generators and underground fuel storage tanks that can store 120,000 gallons of fuel to provide emergency power. Hanson’s commissioning of this facility included:

  • pull-the-plug testing of the whole facility and by automatic transfer switch
  • fire alarm testing
  • power quality monitoring

Make sure the law is on your side

With that in mind, airports should prepare for the future, look closely at energy and resiliency and begin to develop energy-resilience master plans. 

Bill Bradford can be reached at

This article first appeared on Hanson’s Ascend blog on May 30, 2023.

Posted on August 15, 2023

Conlan to discuss new ASHRAE standard at regional event

headshot of Wade Conlan

Wade Conlan, P.E., CxA, BCxP, LEED AP® BD+C, an assistant vice president and Hanson’s commissioning and energy discipline manager, will deliver a technical presentation Aug. 20 at the ASHRAE Region X Chapters Regional Conference (CRC).

Wade, who works at the Orlando, Florida, regional office, will discuss the new ASHRAE Standard 241-2023: Control of Infectious Aerosols as an ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer. The event is being hosted by the Northern Nevada Chapter and is being held in Reno, Nevada. Visit the chapter’s CRC website for more information.

As a vice president of ASHRAE, Wade delivered society updates during CRCs for Region VII in Louisville, Kentucky, last month and for Region XII that was held Aug. 8–13 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Posted on August 15, 2023

Three from Hanson talk about road, infrastructure resiliency in Florida at conference

One person stands behind a lectern while two others sit at a table behind microphones in a meeting room

Hanson’s Jeff Bowen speaks during the “Raising Resiliency of Florida’s Transportation System” July 28 at the annual conference of the Florida Engineering Society and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida. Sitting at the table are Hanson’s Clint Smith, center, and Kurt Bialobreski.

Three Hanson representatives discussed road and infrastructure resiliency in Florida at the annual conference of the Florida Engineering Society and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida.

Jeff Bowen, P.E., a senior vice president and senior project manager, and Clint Smith, P.E., CFM, an assistant vice president and the Florida disciplines manager, both from Hanson’s Jacksonville, Florida, office, joined Kurt Bialobreski, P.E., PTOE, a vice president and Hanson’s chief innovation officer from the Peoria, Illinois, office, to present “Raising Resiliency of Florida’s Transportation System” July 28 at the event in Marco Island.

They talked about steps for preparing for future severe weather and potential sea level rise, including the advantages of asset investment planning software such as Decision Optimization Technology™ (DOT™), which is offered by Decision Optimization Technology-United States LP (DOT-US), a partnership between Hanson and Infrastructure Solutions Inc.

Posted on August 15, 2023

Learn more from Benavides in latest ‘Discussions With Energy Leaders’ chat

Screenshot from Discussions With Energy Leaders shows Bill Bradford and Jeff Benavides smiling

Bill Bradford, P.E., a senior vice president and Hanson’s energy, sustainability and resiliency principal who works at the Orlando, Florida, office, talks more with Jeff Benavides, a senior adviser for the U.S. Green Building Council, in the sixth “Discussions With Energy Leaders” video.

Jeff talks about incentives for municipalities that have become available through the Inflation Reduction Act, building performance standards and benchmarking policies in USGBC’s Arc platform and clean energy programs. He also encourages our listeners to support their peers and help develop the skills of those working in this field, as well as promote the tools available.

“We have to put ourselves out there and … spread this message and also spread these action-driven tools that we have as a collective industry to move these other markets forward.”

Listen to the extended podcast version here.

Posted on August 15, 2023

How to make renewable energy stable for power grids

Stock graphic of renewable energy power distribution with residential buildings, solar panel plant, wind and high voltage electricity grid pylons, electric transformer, battery storage

The introduction of renewable energy sources into local power grids often creates an unstable flow of power due to the nonsteady generation rates of renewables. This could adversely affect power distribution within the power grid, overpowering some portions while underpowering others. Neither is desirable for utility companies, nor for consumers of electric power. Therefore, it is necessary to compensate for these unstable power sources in a way that provides stable power.

An effective solution is to store the excess power generated by the renewable sources when they produce at rates that exceed demand, then feed it back into the power distribution grid when consumer demand exceeds the generation rates. Without this power-leveling capability, renewable sources would not be a viable option.

An innovative solution to this need for storage has been developed by Wärtsilä in its GridSolv Quantum battery energy storage system (BESS) enclosures. To best service utility owners’ requests for BESS installation projects, Wärtsilä and Shackelford General Contractors have teamed to offer best-in-class solutions. For these projects, Shackelford performs the site, structural and electrical design and construction, while Wärtsilä furnishes and maintains the electrical equipment. Shackelford has contracted with Hanson to perform civil and structural engineering services for these facilities.

The small footprint occupied by these installations presents unique site design challenges, including the need to maintain critical offsets between electrical equipment, fences, buildings and other features while keeping a compact yet maintainable installation. Other key considerations are the safety of the personnel using and maintaining the equipment, firefighting accommodations and vehicular access. Because these units are very heavy, a substantial crane is required to set them, and crane access and accommodation is a key component of site planning for BESS sites. Structural designs for the installations can be slabs on grade, deep foundations or strip foundations, depending on site-specific considerations.

The strength of this Wärtsilä-Shackelford-Hanson engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) team is in its ability to work effectively within all 50 states and develop appropriate and cost-effective solutions for any type of site or group of sites. With the power-leveling capability offered by Wärtsilä’s leading energy storage system and this EPC team, renewable sources can be used as a cost-effective and stable supplement to carbon-based power generation methods.

To learn more, contact Bill Meyer at

Posted on July 18, 2023