2023-11-06 Building & Energy Committee Minutes

Warwick Buildings and Energy Committee Meeting Minutes

November 06, 2023

Call To Order: 4:05 p.m. Present: Jack Cadwell, Dan Dibble (at 4:18 then off then back around 4:40 (?), Janice Kurkoski (Chair), Steve Kurkoski (BEC members). Also present were Claudia Lewis, Zac Marti, and Nadia (for a short time).

Public Comment: None

Discussion, Updates & Action Items: The Committee approved our draft minutes from the 9/22 meeting.

Green Communities Grant projects update:

Heat pumps and almost all associated equipment are now on site at WCS and at the New Fire Station. The contractor John Hicks will make a site visit at the fire station this Wednesday afternoon to look at the equipment and discuss placement, esp the outdoor unit. Zac will try to come as well. We should have some fire dept. personnel present to make sure things can be installed appropriately. The large hydronic heat pump will be installed out back of the fire station. It measures about 4’X4’X2’. It is intended to be mounted on a stand that requires concrete supports in the ground. The 71 gal DHW tank will be indoors. If the supply pipe to the office area cannot be located now then it will be capped off until the time comes to decide. Brian Gale and the plumber for the office area should be made aware of this option for DHW. Jim Toth is the Clerk of the Works for the GC projects – he will not be involved in the office buildout.

Fire Stations (s):

Jack said the fire station buildings are a source of pride in the town in that both were built by volunteers mostly from the volunteer fire department. The tradition lives on in the minds of some people that it is important to try to finish the office buildout in the same way. It is complicated because it is now a town building. Feelings continue to be important and we don’t always listen well to each other. Zac said maybe we can use some of the $40k approved at TM and then pay it back with cookouts over time.

Dan will continue installing the last several propa vents in the office area. Steve can help on Wednesday. Brian Gale plans to continue the office buildout his way. There is grant money to add cellulose to the ceiling later. Both insulation companies who looked at the job said it would be better to blow cellulose up there because it is truss construction, but this can be done later on top of what Brian plans to put there. JK also researched insulation incentives from NGrid: $0.08/per added R value/per sq. ft. of existing building for ceilings and $0.12 for exterior walls.
More urgent is the situation with the upper wall of the equipment bay – this needs to be insulated, air sealed, and accessed before the ceiling goes up in the office area. Janice has two quotes so far.

We really need to listen to each other and understand that what is being proposed will not have to be undone later, and that we are taking advantage of all the available rebates at this time, and not getting not each other’s way, and helping as much as we can.

A face-to-face public meeting at the Town Hall, with Joe the fire chief, Brian Gale, Kieth Ross, BEC members and others should happen asap to keep us all on the same page (more or less). Janice will reach out to Joe to pull that together. Jack also mentioned the old fire station as an example of what not to do – exterior plastic on the windows will fail shortly, is ugly and an insult to the people who built it years ago. It does however help keep the building from freezing. Zac mentioned seeing the door left open.

JK mentioned that heat pump incentives are still $2500 per ton to existing commercial buildings that are currently heated by fossil fuels. Five tons of heat pumps = $12,500K worth of rebates. New construction buildings will only $800/ton. This needs to be done by an approved installer using approved equipment. Hopefully these incentives will continue into 2024.

Process for Ongoing Communications:

Brian Gale, Joe Larson and Keith Ross will be ccd on all important issues. Brian and/or Joe should keep us informed of the time frame and progress.

Green Corner: Ideas? Jack will write up something about owning a PV system vs leasing it. Solar installers are going door to door in town soliciting customers for a lease agreement. This could go out on the “L” ahead of time.

Janice proposed attending Senior meals as an info source for the upcoming electricity town aggregation.

Meeting was adjourned at 5:49 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Janice Kurkoski