Cool roofs can help many building owners save money while protecting the environment. This guidebook has been created to help you understand how cool roofs work, what kinds of cool roof options are available, and how to determine if cool roofing is appropriate for your building. If you are planning a new building or replacing or restoring an existing roof, cool roofs should be considered as an energy efficiency option. Cool roof products exist for virtually every kind of roof
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This conference paper describes the creation of DOE's commercial reference building models and their use in simulation studies.
This paper illustrates the challenges of integrating rigorous daylight and electric lighting simulation data with whole-building energy models, and defends the need for such integration in order to achieve aggressive energy savings in building designs. Through a case study example, we examine the ways daylighting – and daylighting simulation – drove the design of a large net-zero energy project.
Rising energy costs and the desire to reduce energy consumption dictates a need for significantly improved building energy performance. Three technologies that have potential to save energy and improve sustainability of buildings are dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS), radiant heating and cooling systems and tighter building envelopes.
Whole-building simulation and analysis has demonstrated a significant energy savings potential in a wide variety of design projects. Commercial building design, however, traditionally integrates simulation and modeling analyses too late in the design process to make a substantial impact on energy use. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) commercial building group created an optimization platform called Opt-E-Plus that uses multivariate and multi-objective optimization theory to navigate a large parameter space and find economically valid, energy-saving solutions.
Walmart opened two experimental stores—one in Colorado and one in Texas—in 2005 to serve as test beds for several advanced building systems. Each store embodied more than 50 experiments covering materials, water systems, energy systems, and renewable energy production. The energy system performance was compared to the measured performance of a prototypical Walmart store and to other benchmarks where appropriate.
This report documents outcomes of the effort to rebuild Greensburg, Kansas, a town devastated by tornado damage in 2007. Key strategies include a sustainable comprehensive master plan, an ordinance specifying LEED Platinum ratings and 42% energy savings for city-owned buildings, focus on integrated design processes, and linkage of renewable and energy efficiency technologies with business development.
This paper presents a method for harnessing a discrete optimization algorithm to obtain significantly different, economically viable building designs that satisfy an energy efficiency goal. The method is demonstrated using NREL’s first-generation building analysis platform, Opt E-Plus, and two example problems. We discuss the information content of the results, and the computational effort required by the algorithm.
NREL has developed the novel concept of a desiccant enhanced evaporative air conditioner (DEVap) with the objective of combining the benefits of liquid desiccant and evaporative cooling technologies into an innovative “cooling core.” Liquid desiccant technologies have extraordinary dehumidification potential, but require an efficient cooling sink. Today’s advanced indirect evaporative coolers provide powerful and efficient cooling sinks, but are fundamentally limited by the moisture content in the air.
This fact sheet published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory discusses the lab's newest building, the Research Support Facility (RSF). The RSF is a showcase for ultra-efficient workplaces. Various renewable energy and energy efficiency features have been employed so that the building achieves a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.