McGraw Hill Construction Continuing Education Article December 2010 - This article discusses the energy efficiency and cost competitiveness of the Research Support Facility.
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Despite the humid climate and lack of financial incentives, the American South is a hotbed of zero energy school construction.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is devising a new design-build project delivery model for fast-tracked, net-zero energy building. The process is progressive, performance-based design-build.
"When designers of the first net zero energy school in the U.S. considered how they would approach the lighting design differently using today’s LED technology, the results extended far beyond just switching out the lightbulbs. The hypothetical redesign of Richardsville (Ky.) Elementary classrooms involves rethinking the daylighting design based on the evolution of LED lighting and the cheaper cost of photovoltaics (PV)."
It is still early in the collection and analysis of energy performance data, but it is already clear that high-performance commercial buildings—some "almost net-zero buildings"—can be constructed cost effectively, providing productive environments for occupants, reducing operating costs, and enhancing the competitiveness of commercial properties.