This Fact Sheet provides an overview of the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines project. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) are working with industry stakeholders to develop voluntary national guidelines that will improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce training and certification programs for five key energy-related jobs.
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This video presentation highlights whole building design using a large office building located on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's campus in Golden, CO as an example.
A recast of a presentation done for the Fairfax Chapter of Association of Energy Engineers in November of 2013. Presentation focuses on the the Advanced Energy Design Guides published by ASHRAE with association of AIA, USGBC, and IES with funding and technical support from DOE, NREL, and PNNL. In addition, the DOE Advanced Retrofit Guides are also discussed. Both sets of guides are available for download from this resource database.
While the availability of “big data” about building energy performance is increasing in response to market demands and public policies, the lack of standard data formats is a significant ongoing barrier to its full utilization. To overcome this barrier, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) developed the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES).
BEDES is designed to enable the exchange, comparison, and combination of empirical information by providing common terms and definitions for data about commercial and residential building’s physical and operational characteristics, energy use, and efficiency measures.
This paper describes the BEDES development process, scope, structure, and plans for implementation and ongoing updates.
In 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technology Office (DOE’s BTO), with help from the Better Buildings Alliance (BBA) members, developed a specification (RTU Challenge) for high performance rooftop air-conditioning units with capacity ranges between 10 and 20 tons (DOE 2013). In April 2013, Carrier’s 10-ton WeatherExpert unit model was recognized by DOE to have met the RTU Challenge specifications. Carrier also committed to have its entire line of WeatherExpert models for commercial buildings compliant with integrated energy efficiency ratio (IEER) meeting the RTU Challenge requirement. This report documents the development of part-load performance curves and their use with the EnergyPlus simulation tool to estimate the potential savings from the use of WeatherExpert units compared to other standard options.
A detailed EnergyPlus model was developed for a prototypical big-box retail store. The model used the performance curves from the new model along with detailed energy management control code to estimate the energy consumption of the prototypical big-box retail store in three locations. The energy consumption by the big-box store was then compared to a store that used three different reference units. The first reference unit (Reference 1) represents existing rooftop units (RTUs) in the field, so it can be considered the baseline to estimate potential energy savings from other RTU replacement options. The second reference unit (Reference 2) represents RTUs in the market that just meet the current (2015) Federal regulations for commercial equipment standards, so it can be used as the baseline to estimate the potential for energy savings from WeatherExpert units in comparison with new RTUs that meet the minimum efficiency requirements. The third reference unit (Reference 3) represents units that meet ASHRAE 90.1-2010 requirements. For RTUs with cooling capacity greater than 11,000 Btu/h, ASHRAE 90.1-2010 (ASHRAE 2010) requires two-speed fan control or variable-speed fan control.
The following conclusion can be drawn about the comparison of energy cost for WeatherExpert unit compared to the three reference units:
• Using Reference 1 as the baseline, WeatherExpert units result in about 45% lower heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) energy cost in Houston, 55% lower cost in Los Angeles, and 35% lower cost in Chicago. The percentage savings of electricity cost is more than 50% for all three locations.
• Using Reference 2 as the baseline, WeatherExpert units result in about 39% lower HVAC energy cost in Houston, 52% lower cost in Los Angeles, and 32% lower cost in Chicago. The percentage savings of electricity cost is 44%, 55%, and 57%, respectively for the three locations.
• Using Reference 3 as the baseline, WeatherExpert units result in about 25% lower HVAC energy cost in Houston, 35% lower cost in Los Angeles, and 18% lower cost in Chicago. The percentage savings of electricity cost is 29%, 38%, and 37%, respectively.
Based on the simulation results, the WeatherExpert RTU Challenge unit, if widely adopted, could lead to significant energy, cost and emission reductions. Because the cost of these units was not available and because the costs would be specific to a given installation, no attempt was made to estimate the potential payback periods associated with any of the three reference scenarios. However, if the incremental cost relative to any of the three reference cases is known, one can easily estimate a simple payback period.
The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado (The Alliance) is a nonprofit organization aiming to transform sustainability from vision to reality. Part of its mission is to change the operating paradigms of commercial building design to make them more sustainable. Toward that end The Alliance uses its headquarters, The Alliance Center at 1536 Wynkoop Street in Denver, as a living laboratory, conducting pilot studies of innovative commercial-building-design solutions for using and generating energy.
Walmart partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in 2009 to develop and demonstrate energy retrofits for existing buildings. The goal was to reduce energy consumption by at least 30% versus ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007, as part of DOE’s Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) Program. The project presented here, the retrofit of a 213,000 square foot store in Centennial, Colorado, with efficiency measures across multiple building systems, is part of Walmart’s ongoing environmental sustainability program, which originated in 2005.
This case study describes a successful zero energy school project in Utah.
Report by the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Green Sports Alliance looks at ways the nation’s sports venues can make an impact by reducing their energy and water use. The report considers the potential water and energy reductions the U.S. sports sector could make, and highlights the financial savings some leagues and teams are already seeing from putting such efficiency initiatives into place. The report looks at the progress already being made in the nation’s sports venues, challenges to widespread improvement and opportunities to move forward.
In 2016, a project team of representatives from the National Institute of Building Sciences and the Green Sports Alliance began working on this project with input from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The team looked at the existing data; conducted workshops and webinars; launched an industry survey; and interviewed representatives from across the sports industry. More than 125 industry representatives participated in these activities, and an additional 20,000 stakeholders received information on the project. This report compiles that data and sets a path for future implementation.
The goal of the study was to determine the extent to which empirical evidence gathered via existing studies demonstrates that efficiency contributes to better financial performance.
Over 50 relevant studies from the market were reviewed and compiled into this summary.
While this review originally sought to cover all research on energy efficiency and financial performance, the final product focuses on “green labeled” buildings. The majority of research to date uses LEED or ENERGY STAR certifications as the means of distinguishing between efficient or sustainable buildings and conventional buildings. Specific energy efficiency measures, while proven to result in energy cost savings, have not yet been extensively evaluated for broader impacts.
This study does not represent new analysis conducted by DOE. It is a comprehensive survey and summary of the current body of research on the impacts of green labels on key components of commercial buildings’ operating statements. It does not exclude any studies or evaluate the quality of analysis.