Climate Mitigation

Project 1: Super Energy Efficient Building Initiative for Climate Action (SEEBICATM)

A Non-for Profit & For-Profit interwoven Proposal for leap frogging US housing sector to high levels of energy efficiency performance, and with integration of renewable energy technologies to achieve net-zero standards


Dennis Ramdahin, MSc., Thomas A. Peterson, MBA, Doug Zolby, MBA, Arpita Basu, MSc.

Super Energy Efficient Building Initiative for Climate Action (SEEBICA) represents the birth of a national action program for using the basis of high energy efficient performance in building design & construction to spin off profit generating businesses in the construction and renewable energy sector (all the while, delivering scaled action on carbon reduction for climate action).

The goal of SEEBICA is to promote Super Energy Efficient (SEE) concepts, along with “actionable” SEE projects in the U.S. housing and light commercial sectors, and eventually globally. SEEBICA’s impetus is fueled by 36 years of research and development in SEE building design (with execution of live prototypes in North East United States). This is coupled with business development prospect in this sector, merged with the current call to climate action (which demands solutions designs for scaled carbon reduction intervention).

Super Energy Efficiency (SEE) developer is Thomas A. Peterson, of Portland Maine. SEE is a cost effective design & construction standard (using inexpensive and commonly available building materials and relatively common construction techniques) that promotes a very high level of residential and light commercial building envelope energy efficiency. By definition a SEE home or building uses at least 75% less energy for “just”heating and cooling, than an identical home or building built to the “minimum” insulation standards of the 2006 IECC (International Energy Commission Codes).

A SEE home is also a pre-requisite to economically achieve a net-zero/net-positive energy home. The only thing necessary to be added to a SEE home is a renewable energy system.To effectively introduce the SEE initiative into a housing market, there is the pre-requisite of setting up SEE Training Facilities to teach SEE methods and techniques to the existing housing construction industry. These facilities will also help to create jobs and stimulate the local economy. The setting up of such a facility with a full curriculum is currently being discussed with a key institution of the City University of New York.

To launch this promising business development and climate action plan successfully for U.S. national and international benefits, SEEBICA is currently soliciting prospective and interested Universities and Business Development Financiers.



Research Commission Date: January 2006
Research and Proposal Developers: Ambassador Byron Blake; Dennis Ramdahin, MSc.; Raymond Myrthil, Ph.D.; Agostin Antwi, ABD; Late Muriel Glasgow, MPh
Presentation Forum: 4th International Sustainability Conference, Malaysia
United Nations Commission for Sustainable Development – May 2010 Session

The impact of climate change caused by global warming threatens the livelihood of sustainable living and agriculture, particularly in India and Africa, food baskets of the world. 40 percent of the global carbon emissions stems from buildings energy use, particularly large energy consuming building across the globe.

Across big cities in America and globally, operators of high rise commercial buildings (skyscrapers) are unknowingly experiencing very large energy wastage arising from inefficient building design. This results in total unquantified but huge amounts of money being lost through higher than necessary operational costs. Cumulative national and global economic waste in this order is estimated in trillions of dollars over the next decade. These inefficiencies cut into companies’ profits, and are identified sources of carbon causing increasing environmental degradation, climate change and global warming. Compounding this problem, many companies do not have risk assessment tools and appropriate and user friendly financing mechanisms available to address these major concerns.

To serve an emerging global niche market for energy efficiency and sustainable development, Vihara Foundation have developed a risk assessment process/tool to help building managers identify and quantify their economic and carbon impacts – termed Total Life Cycle Valuation. This energy-economic-carbon risk assessment methodology has been researched and developed, and is intended to help the banking industry make creative financing possible – using established measures of energy waste.

This assessment “tool” was used in 2008 to model a sample high rise commercial office building of 1 million square feet in New York City(20 stories). The simulated results generated carbon and cost saving values over the first 10 years of magnitude: 22 million dollars in energy cost; 100 million productivity loss (at 3 percent risk); and 200,000 dollars in carbon tradable value (one percent value of total savings). This means that this skyscraper will have these operational and profit losses and carbon impacts from its operations over this time period. If a readily available energy-economic-carbon financial decision making risk management tool and complementary green financial instrument were available on the market, buildings could invest in mitigation measures to offset these considerable losses.

The intention is to make this assessment tool accessible to building owners and operators through commercial banks. Banks can commission energy-economic-carbon risk assessment service for existing building owners and new building developers. This assessment can establish energy-economic-carbon savings potential. Further, as a win-win-win situation for banks, building owners and the environment, it is intended for big lenders to enable a fraction of this “assessed” amount (energy equity) as a loan participation service to building owners (for financing the necessary detailed engineering surveys and capital improvements needed for mitigating these business/environmental risks).

Benefits the economy and lending industry may experience while helping mitigate climate concerns:

1) Activation of a previously non-existing energy-economic market service given the national and global potential for this tool, energy savings potential is estimated in the trillions of dollars – a tremendous stimulus for the economy.

2) Banking profits by lending to the high rise building community for energy efficiency improvements, the future savings could be loaned to building owners at a reasonable interest rate for maximizing energy efficiency capital improvement.

3) A leading position as a global pioneer in the green finance business race and financial champions helping to save the environment and climate – a powerful sustainable value proposition and green company branding.

We are networking with big commercial banking industry and financial analytical firms to leap frog this R&D product into a software design, and green financial service products for addressing global threats posed by carbon emissions.