The Spiral Collective

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What is It?

  • The Spiral Collective approached us for help with energy and comfort issues that they are experiencing.
  • The Green Garage has offered assistance in the form of a heating and cooling energy and comfort analysis.

Why is it Important?

  • Builds strong communities by improving the comfort and health of the environment for business owners and their community customers.
  • Creates equal economic opportunities and energy by reducing costs and maintenance needs.
  • Strengthens our relationship to the earth by reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint for heating and cooling.

When to Use It?

  • A five-year or less payback was considered optimal for the business owners in the Spiral Collective
  • The top priority recommendations could be paid for out of the energy cost savings we predicted
  • The next priority recommendations would help with energy use and comfort but were not formally evaluated for payback.
  • Major renovations would be disruptive to the existing businesses and would require a longer payback period.

The Spiral Collective's Energy and Comfort Review

Sustainability Goals


  • Reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint for heating and cooling


  • Improve the comfort and health of the environment for business owners and their community customers


  • Reduce energy related operational expenses
  • Affordability based on a five year or less payback that can be funded from monthly energy cost savings.
  • Support the long-term life of the building and equipment

Strategy and Conceptual Design

The Spiral Collective's building is approximately 2750 square feet with 11 foot ceilings. We used eQuest to model the building energy use and compared the simulation output with actual energy bills. Recommendations are primarily based on the experience and knowledge of Ken Byczynski of Kenco Energy Services and Tom Brennan of the Green Garage.

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  • Flat roof with no insulation
  • 8” block walls
  • Slab on grade foundation
  • 2.5 ACH
  • Windows single pane 1/4"
  • Doors hollow core steel w/o break
  • 100% retail use
  • Open 11-6 Tue.-Sat., closed Sun.
  • 15 people max.
  • HVAC DX coils with 8.5 SEER, 80% eff. furnace
  • Setpoints 76/82F clg, 70/64F htg

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  • Existing
  • R-50 roof
  • U 0.55 windows
  • R-130 roof
  • R-40 walls
  • 0.5 ACH
  • 90% eff. Furnace
  • R-30 roof with and w/o radiant barrier, 1.25 ACH
  • R-50 roof with and w/o radiant barrier, 0.75 ACH


  • The biggest difference (20-30% less energy use) comes from the combination of insulating the roof and reducing infiltration.
  • Substantial difference was noted in energy use by increasing the furnace efficiency to 90%.
  • The radiant barrier doesn’t seem to make a big difference in the model’s load and energy use estimates.

Recommendations: Top Priority

  • Seal all major sources of air infiltration (doors, windows, walls)
  • Insulate and ventilate the ceiling / roof
  • Install a digital thermostat w/ setback
  • Replace filters / clean air exchange coils / A/C charge

Next Priority

  • Install second pane for windows
  • Install energy efficient furnace
  • Install duct for A/C unit
  • Install energy efficient lighting

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Supporting science:

Proposed Materials / Suppliers

Byczynski, Ken (Building Science Consultant)

Kenco Energy Services

248-895-8161 - Mobile

7273 Tucker Road Holly, MI 48442

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