Momentum behind zero energy building design and construction is increasing, presenting a tremendous opportunity for advancing energy performance in the commercial building industry. At the same time, there is a lingering perception that zero energy buildings must be cost prohibitive or limited to showcase projects. Fortunately, an increasing number of projects are demonstrating that high performance can be achieved within typical budgets. This factsheet highlights replicable, recommended strategies for achieving high performance on a budget, based on experiences from past projects.
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There is mounting evidence that zero energy can, in many cases, be achieved within typical construction budgets. To ensure that the momentum behind zero energy buildings and other low-energy buildings will continue to grow, this guide assembles recommendations for replicating specific successes of early adopters who have met their energy goals while controlling costs. Contents include: discussion of recommended cost control strategies, which are grouped by project phase (acquisition and delivery, design, and construction) and accompanied by industry examples; recommendations for balancing key decision-making factors; and quick reference tables that can help teams apply strategies to specific projects.
Plug loads are often not considered as part of the energy savings measures in Commercial Buildings; however, they can account for up to 50% of the energy used in the building. These loads are numerous and often scattered throughout a building. Some of these loads are purchased by the owner and some designed into the building or the tenant finishes for a space.
"Zero Net Energy (ZNE) is the future, and in a growing number of places the present, of building design and energy policy. A growing strategy to get to ZNE is to separate the building’s heating/cooling from the ventilation/dehumidification. Design firms and owners are striving to meet heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) loads with optimum comfort and minimal energy. Radiant systems can provide heating and cooling through pipes while ventilation and any humidity control requirements are efficiently met by a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS). This guide provides an overview of Radiant Heating and Cooling + DOAS systems."
"As the connection point between the glazing and the perimeter details, curtain wall and window framing can help combat heat transfer."
An analysis of the energy and environmental consequences of pavement materials and construction, with comparison to the much larger building energy savings that can be achieved from cool roofs.
"Bigger apertures are not necessarily better. They can cause too much heat loss or heat gain, or too much brightness and glare. Choosing just the right sizes for apertures ("right-sizing") is key. One way of measuring side light apertures is the Window-to-Wall Ratio (WWR)."