Engineers have spent untold manhours trying to solve issues presented by the Sun. It’s a bit of a catch-22 as well, because the source of light and heat on our planet can at times be overbearing or come up short. Stephen Troese Jr, an expert on energy efficiency within the construction field, knows that there are plenty of options to address the “building envelope.” This all-encompassing term is something that owners and operators of commercial buildings need to be increasingly aware of in the wake of climate issues. An unprecedented heat wave, summer rainfall deluge or record-smashing cold snap can spell disaster if a number of factors haven’t been accounted for. These can include the roof, walls, windows, doors, skylights, insulation and sealing. Stephen Troese Jr, co-founder of LRI Energy Solutions, says that addressing building envelope issues now, before the full weight of winter bears down on much of the U.S., can help with energy costs.
According to an October 2019 winter forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), some regions of the country “could still experience a colder-than-average winter. Wetter-than-average weather is most likely across the Northern Tier of the U.S. during winter, which extends from December through February.” Flooding come the spring is also predicted, with wetter-than-average conditions predicted in “portions of the Northern Plains, Upper Mississippi Valley, the Great Lakes and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.”
That’s a huge swath of the country, says Stephen Troese Jr, who is here to explain why addressing the building envelope before inclement weather is so important. A poor seal or compromised part of insulation that’s leaking heat or air-conditioned air can add up over time. A window or door that was installed improperly can do much more than let a draft of air in; it can cause a leak that contributes to structural damages over time. Some of these issues may be invisible to the naked eye – except when utility bills come due. According to Stephen Troese Jr, a skilled team of inspectors with diagnostic tools, blower door and infrared thermography technology in tow can conduct an audit of the building envelope. This process will then pinpoint where there’s room for improvement. A path forward, as identified by the LRI Energy Solutions team, would help building managers seal any leaks, make improvements to insulation and generally maximize their energy efficiency.
NOAA’s prediction for the coming four months still leaves a window opportunity to fix structural shortcomings. An industry veteran in this sector, Stephen Troese Jr knows that companies who take the time to address these issues as early as possible stand to gain in the long run.
If you’ve ever set foot on a professional-level golf course, then you know that these tracts of land are as much about sporting as they are nature. The weaving of grass, sand, trees and water into a place where men and women can escape the hustle and bustle is one of the major perks of the sport. This all-natural aspect also makes the modern golf course an environmentally-friendly facility — and that’s something Stephen Troese Jr. greatly appreciates. That’s because Mr. Troese is both an avid golfer as well as CEO and co-founder of LRI Energy Solutions, which is a contracting firm that helps companies implement energy-saving equipment and best practices. In this article, we’ll explore the intersection of Earth-friendly golf courses, according to Links magazine, and Stephen Troese Jr.’s professional background in sustainability.
“As America becomes increasingly urbanized, golf courses are more important than ever as providers of green space for wildlife habitat,” Links states in an article on the most eco-friendly golf courses in the U.S. “The most visionary owners and operators have sought to make their courses environmentally accountable and sustainable by reducing water consumption and chemical use and finding alternative energy sources such as solar and geothermal.” Stephen Troese Jr. appreciates the fact that course owners and operators are considering operations investments that will have a net energy-use benefit. The company that Mr. Troese co-founded is especially useful for consultations on these exact topics. Since he’s a golfer, traveling to courses that have made the commitment to be more conscious of consumption is a trip he’s happy to take.
- The Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown, Massachusetts is “America’s only truly organic course,” according to Links. This designation was achieved through the use of “bio-stimulants and composted fertilizers that help protect the island’s single-source aquifer.” The reason why the course took this route is because local elected officials wanted it to be all-organic. According to Stephen Troese Jr., this is one of the reasons why some companies will make the initial inquiry into energy-efficient commercial development options.
- The Westchester Country Club, located in Rye, New York, was able to abandoned its energy-guzzling heating-cooling system and install a new one that cost $3.5 million. While the infrastructure upgrades were on a grand scale (installation of a geothermal heating-cooling system and digging more than 200 wells) Stephen Troese Jr. says projects in this vein should be par for the course across the U.S. “Holding ponds have been enlarged to capture rainwater for irrigation, while algae-eating fish (white amurs) have replaced chemicals like copper,” the magazine adds.
- It’s often the little things that add up to have the largest impact. In his role with LRI Energy Solutions, Stephen Troese Jr. would lobby for companies doing away with Styrofoam cups, “K-Cups” used in instant coffeemakers and other items that have a negative effect on the environment. According to Links, Pebble Beach Golf Links took similar steps and now “annually recycles more than 6.5 million pounds of plastic, glass, and cardboard.” On-site restaurants also compost their food scraps and even its irrigation water has been recycled. Clearly, reducing and reusing are the keys to recycling and Pebble Beach is on the right track.
- Stone Creek Golf Club, in Oregon City, Oregon, has recognized the negative impact that pesticides and fertilizer can have on the very surroundings they are being used to treat. It’s sad irony so it’s no surprise that Mr. Troese was happy to see Stone Creek adopt a new pest management program “that uses pesticides sparingly and irrigates only the in-play areas, allowing other areas to go fallow in the summer and provide habitat for ground-nesting birds.” The course is also keeping annual tabs on its lakes through water testing that ensures minimal pesticides and fertilizers are detected.
As a respected thought leader in energy-efficient policy, Stephen Troese Jr. has a long career in advising businesses on how to position themselves for the future. In some cases, he can find ways for companies to go digital and ditch paper print-outs. At other times, he’s helped find ways for employees to adopt “remote” work and complete their jobs from home rather than driving to work and adding to Greenhouse gas emissions. The best way to discover the opportunities for your business (whether golf course of other) is to hire individuals like Stephen Troese Jr. to conduct a total audit of resources being used on a daily basis. As the above golf courses demonstrate, if there’s a will then there’s a way — and this should be the way forward.
Although the perception of college is that it’s all parties, tailgating, and late night video game tournaments, the truth is that college is not all fun and games. Students are asked to spend the majority of their day attending classes, studying, working on projects, contributing to activist group or that, working to make ends meet, etc. They may be away from home for the first time and away from the people they know and can be sure would have their back. Even just learning how to live on one’s own and manage their time and money can be difficult for the first-time college student.
When you consider all of these things, Stephen Troese Jr. says it’s no shocker that many college students will experience symptoms of anxiety. The actual number is one in five, which means 20 out of 100 students in college will be anxious. Many won’t seek a doctor for help or express their feelings to a peer who may be of some help. Stephen Troese Jr. says there are many different resources out there that you may want to consider using if you are a college student who is looking for help with your anxiety.
Visit Your Student Center: Your college will most likely offer some kind of mental health services, so you should take advantage of them. Most of these services are either free or very inexpensive. You can also talk to a professor or guidance counselor who can lead you in the right direction.
Use Technology: Although social media is generally considered more of a stressor and cause of anxiety than a cure, there are many digital resources that you may want to use if you don’t feel comfortable going to a medical professional in person. For example, telehealth is very big right now and it may be covered by your insurer. Stephen Troese Jr. says you can literally have a healthcare professional see you at your dorm room through your computer or mobile device.
Avoid Drugs and Alcohol: Yes, alcohol or marijuana may temporarily loosen you up and make you feel better, but they are not a long-term solution. If fact, alcohol abuse has been linked with anxiety and depression, and everyone knows someone who has a story about smoking pot and freaking out. Try other ways to destress that are safer and have long-lasting benefits.
Are you ready for spring yet? Stephen Troese Jr. certainly is. Although the winter season is only a few short days old, it has been quite cold in the Northeast. While it hasn’t nearly been as bad as say Erie, PA where they are still digging out, it is still downright freezing in Washington D.C.
If you are heading back to college in a week or two (hopefully somewhere in Florida or Arizona) now is the perfect time to get ready as advance planning could make things so a lot smoother for the rest of the semester. Stephen Troese Jr. says you should try the following if you don’t have every thing squared away just yet.
Make Sure Your Schedule Is in Order: Did you sleep in and now have a bunch of 8 am classes? Do you have a class with a professor who you know is way too difficult? Now is the time to go over your schedule and make sure there weren’t any last minute cancellations. Things happen, and it might be possible to change your schedule around to make your life a lot easier.
Set Up a Meal Plan or Exercise Program: Did you overindulge this holiday season? You’re not alone, which is why so many people sign up for gym memberships this time of year. Don’t be the victim of the Freshman 15. Take the time you ave off to set up a plan that will keep you healthy and in shape for Spring Break.
Take Some Time to Relax: You’re on holiday break. Act like it. Be sure to get some sleep and pamper yourself a bit as you know things will get crazy once the semester starts. Trust Stephen Troese Jr. You will be happy you took some time to relax in February when midterms come up.
Stephen Troese Jr. hopes these tips will help you when it comes time to go back to school. The truth is that college is tough and it can be incredibly stressful at times. By preparing when you can and allowing yourself to relax and enjoy yourself, you can have a successful and manageable spring semester.
Are you going to be a freshman in college this upcoming fall? There is probably a lot on your plate right now, but one thing Stephen Troese Jr. would encourage you to do is attend your college’s freshman orientation. This is an easy way to make contacts within your school, meet your fellow classmates, and get better acquainted with the school and its programs.
Why Is Freshman Orientation Important?
If you are moving away from home to attend college, you might have a lot of questions and concerns. This could especially be the case if you are attending a large university. Freshman student orientation allows students to get acquainted with the physical campus, meet with their academic advisor, learn any safety rules, and view the academic calendar for the year.
In addition to that, student orientation allows incoming freshmen to become more comfortable with being away from home for the very first time. Although Stephen Troese Jr. was a freshman in college more than thirty years ago, he remembers some of the growing pains that he experienced in the beginning. Orientation enables these students to transition to college life easier, so they can prepare themselves for the academic challenges ahead of them.
Please keep in mind that many colleges nowadays also offer orientation for parents as well. If you are attending a school that offers such a program, you should encourage your parents to make an appearance. Parent orientation could include opportunities to meet the school’s dean, seminars on letting go, and information sessions on paying for school, financial aid, and more.