This case study details the design and operations of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Research Support Facility data center and its contributions to energy efficiency.
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As efficiency gains are made in building lighting and HVAC systems, plug loads become a greater percentage of building energy use and must be addressed to meet energy goals. HVAC and lighting systems are targeted because they are typically the highest energy end uses, but plug load reduction and control should be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to energy reduction.
This article, published in High Performance Buildings Magazine, presents the process used for delivering NREL's Research Support Facility (RSF) as a replicable blueprint to achieve a large reduction in building energy use and to adopt a net zero energy approach for large-scale commercial buildings (ZEB) without increasing cost.
Empirical techniques for characterizing electrical energy use now play a key role in reducing electricity consumption, particularly miscellaneous electrical loads, in buildings. Identifying device operating modes (mode extraction) creates a better understanding of both device and system behaviors. Using clustering to extract operating modes from electrical load data can provide valuable insights into device behavior and identify opportunities for energy savings. We present a fast and effective heuristic clustering method to identify and extract operating modes in electrical load data.
Despite the humid climate and lack of financial incentives, the American South is a hotbed of zero energy school construction.
This case study describes a successful zero energy school project in Utah.
This case study details the successful achievement of Passive House performance and zero energy at the Friends School of Portland.
The Energy Lab at Hawai’i Preparatory Academy is the third building worldwide and the first K–12 school facility to achieve “Living” certification through the Living Building Challenge (LBC). This case study details how the project succeeded in these goals.
On the night of May 4, 2007 an EF5 tornado 1.7 miles wide ravaged Greensburg, Kansas, destroying 95% of the city's homes and businesses. In the wake of the disaster, it became apparent that changes would need to occur to sustain the town for future generations. The Greensburg School District selected BNIM Architects to provide comprehensive design services for new school facilities.
In direct alignment with the town's Sustainable Comprehensive Master Plan, the USD decided to rebuild to LEED Platinum. This decision led the way for the city, which later mandated that all public buildings attain a Platinum rating. This K–12 facility combines the resources of three rural community school districts into a single facility, thereby right-sizing at a regional scale.
The General Service Administration's (GSA) Green Proving Ground (GPG) program worked with a team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to identify buildings with office setups and equipment distributions typical of the wider GSA building stock. Eight buildings from GSA’s Mid-Atlantic Region, where plug loads average 21%, were selected. In each building, approximately 12 standard power strips with no control capability (the incumbent technology) were replaced with APSs, which monitored and provided power to an array of devices. More than 295 devices were monitored during the study, which consisted of three separate test periods, each four weeks in length. All buildings selected had workstation power management in place.