December 13, 2012 | Chris Potter

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, 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 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 kind of information on energy usage and building performance that recool provides. The featured WRL projects offer details on resource usage, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing; as well as system summaries on building enclosure, controls/measurement, and more.

All of the project information recool provides is meant to help reach an overarching goal of accelerating the adoption of high-performance design practices in the U.S. for the building sector

As consumers, we use websites like Amazon, Trip Advisor, and every day. A key feature on these sites is the ability to view and share user feedback whenever purchasing 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 may be a bit obscure and technical, but we think ideas such as recool are, well, real cool.


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Meet the Author

Chris Potter

Former Communications Manager, IMT

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