This report describes the psychrometric bin analysis that was conducted for the ASHRAE recommended and allowable operating environment zones as well as a modified allowable operating environment, discusses control strategies, and presents examples of energy-efficient data centers using alternative cooling strategies.
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NREL's sustainability vision is to build a laboratory of the future that is committed to sustainability, which is built on a framework of economic viability, environmental health, and public responsibility over the long term through appropriate investment decisions and operating practices.This report shows NREL’s progress in making sustainability an integral part of its corporate culture and providing a global sustainability model
This report presents a set of 15 best practices for owners, designers, and construction teams to reach high-performance goals and maintain a competitive budget. These best practices are based on the recent experiences of the Research Support Facility owner and design-build team for the Research Support Facility (RSF) on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL) campus in Golden, Colorado, and show that achieving this high performance outcomes requires that all key integrated team members understand their opportunities to control capital costs.
The purpose of this handbook is to furnish guidance for planning and conducting a highperformance building charrette, sometimes called a "greening charrette." The handbook answers typical questions such as, "What is a charrette?", "Why conduct a charrette?", "What topics should we cover?", "Whom should we invite?" and "What happens after the charrette?". Owners, design team leaders, site planners, state energy office staff, and others who believe a charrette will benefit their projects will find the handbook helpful.
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.
This paper describes how net-zero energy buildings will produce, during a typical year, enough renewable energy to offset the energy they consume from the grid.
This conference paper discusses four well-documented definitions of net-zero energy: net-zero site energy, net-zero source energy, net-zero energy costs, and net-zero energy emissions, along with pluses and minuses of each.
This paper reviews the novel procurement, acquisition, and contract process of a large-scale replicable net zero energy (ZEB) office building. The owners (who are also commercial building energy efficiency researchers) developed and implemented an energy performance based design-build process to procure an office building with contractual requirements to meet demand side energy and LEED goals. The key procurement steps needed to ensure achievement of the energy efficiency and ZEB goals using a replicable delivery process are outlined.
This paper documents the methodology developed to identify and reduce plug and process loads (PPLs) as part of NREL's Research Support Facility's (RSF) low energy design process. PPLs, including elevators, kitchen equipment in breakrooms, and office equipment in NREL’s previously occupied office spaces were examined to determine a baseline. This, along with research into the most energy-efficient products and practices, enabled the formulation of a reduction strategy that should yield a 47% reduction in PPLs. The building owner and the design team played equally important roles in developing and implementing opportunities to reduce PPLs. Based on the work done in the RSF, a generalized multistep process has been developed for application to other buildings.
The Research Support Facility at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a 220,000-ft office building designed to serve 822 occupants, to use 35.1 kBtu/(ft2·yr), to use half the energy of an equivalent minimally code-compliant building, and eventually to produce as much renewable energy annually as it consumes. These goals and their substantiation through simulation were explicitly included in the fixed price design-build contract. The energy model had to be repeatedly updated to match design documents and the final building, as it was built, to the greatest degree practical. Computer modeling played a key role in diagnosing the energy impacts of program and decisions and in verifying that the contractual energy goals would be met within the specified budget. The primary tool used was a whole-building energy simulation program. Other simulation tools were used to provide more detail or to complement the primary tool as required by the delivery schedule, including tools to calculate thermal bridging, daylighting, natural ventilation, data center energy consumption, transpired solar collectors, thermal storage in the crawlspace, and electricity generation by photovoltaic panels. Results were either fed back into the main whole-building energy simulation tool or used to post-process model output to provide the most accurate annual simulations possible. This paper details the models used in the design process and how they informed important program and design decisions from design to completion.