The Pennsylvania Department of Education recently released changes to PlanCon instructions that will have a significant impact on project reimbursement and feasibility studies for educational facilities. The updated instructions can be downloaded from the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) website.
These changes are to take effect for all forms submitted after January 31, 2011 and now allow the inclusion of photovoltaic, wind and geothermal systems as part of site costs and the requirement to have facility benchmarking analyses performed as well as comprehensive (8760 hour) energy modeling for existing and new buildings.
These changes will affect both how costs are allocated within the reimbursement process as well as the level of effort required during the feasibility study phase. It will be more important than ever to have competent and experienced engineers to accurately develop and evaluate energy efficient systems that integrate both with the building architecture and site.