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 study analyzes the market needs for building performance evaluation tools. The purpose is to identify existing gaps and provide information for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to use in developing a linked set of tools for optimizing energy performance of commercial buildings over their life cycles.
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.
This Technical Support Document describes the process and methodology for the development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Large Hospitals: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Energy Building (AEDG-LH) ASHRAE et al. (2011b). The AEDG-LH is intended to provide recommendations for achieving 50% whole-building energy savings in large hospitals over levels achieved by following Standard 90.1-2004. The AEDG-LH was created for a “standard” mid- to large-size hospital, typically at least 100,000 ft², but the strategies apply to all sizes and classifications of new construction hospital buildings. Its primary focus is new construction, but recommendations may be applicable to facilities undergoing total renovation, and in part to many other hospital renovation, addition, remodeling, and modernization projects (including changes to one or more systems in existing buildings).
This report highlights the funding opportunities available to rural communities and small buildings. Most of these communities qualify for USDA programs and these incentives and grants can be used to make rural communities more efficient.
This report summarizes an evaluation of LED recessed downlight luminaires in the guest rooms at the Hilton Columbus Downtown hotel in Columbus, OH. The facility opened in October of 2012, and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) conducted a post-occupancy assessment of the facility in January–March of 2014. Each of the 484 guest rooms uses seven 15 W LED downlights: four downlights in the entry and bedroom and three downlights in the bathroom. The 48 suites use the seven 15 W LED downlights and additional fixtures depending on the space requirements, so that in total the facility has more than 3,700 LED downlights. The downlights are controlled through wall-mounted switches and dimmers. A ceiling-mounted wireless vacancy sensor ensures that the bathroom luminaires are turned off when the room is not occupied.
The BEDES Strategic Working Group Recommendations document is a guide to how the BEDES Dictionary can be brought to market and provide the services for which it was designed.
The U.S. Department of Energy created the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES) to facilitate the exchange of information on building characteristics and energy use in an inexpensive and unambiguous manner.
The BEDES Dictionary 1.0 was developed by DOE to support the analysis of the performance of buildings by providing a common set of terms and definitions for building
characteristics, efficiency measures, and energy use.
Access to foundational energy performance data is key to improving the efficiency of the built environment. However, stakeholders often lack access to what they perceive as credible energy performance data. Therefore, even if a stakeholder determines that a product would increase efficiency, they often have difficulty convincing their management to move forward. Even when credible data do exist, such data are not always sufficient to support detailed energy performance analyses, or the development of robust business cases.
One reason for this is that the data parameters that are provided are generally based on the respective industry norms. Thus, for mature industries with extensive testing standards, the data made available are often quite detailed. But for emerging technologies, or for industries with less well-developed testing standards, available data are generally insufficient to support robust analysis. However, even for mature technologies, there is no guarantee that the data being supplied are the same data needed to accurately evaluate a product’s energy performance.
To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Energy funded development of a free, publically accessible Web-based portal, the Technology Performance Exchange™, to facilitate the transparent identification, storage, and sharing of foundational energy performance data. The Technology Performance Exchange identifies the intrinsic, technology-specific parameters necessary for a user to perform a credible energy analysis and includes a robust database to store these data. End users can leverage stored data to evaluate the site-specific performance of various technologies, support financial analyses with greater confidence, and make better informed procurement decisions.
The small buildings and small portfolios (SBSP) sector face a number of barriers that inhibit SBSP owners from adopting energy efficiency solutions. This pilot project focused on overcoming two of the largest barriers to financing energy efficiency in small buildings: disproportionately high transaction costs and unknown or unacceptable risk. Solutions to these barriers can often be at odds, because inexpensive turnkey solutions are often not sufficiently tailored to the unique circumstances of each building, reducing confidence that the expected energy savings will be achieved. To address these barriers, NREL worked with two innovative, forward-thinking lead partners, Michigan Saves and Energi, to develop technical solutions that provide a quick and easy process to encourage energy efficiency investments while managing risk.
The pilot project was broken into two stages: the first stage focused on reducing transaction costs, and the second stage focused on reducing performance risk. In the first stage, NREL worked with the non-profit organization, Michigan Saves, to analyze the effects of 8 energy efficiency measures (EEMs) on 81 different baseline small office building models in Holland, Michigan (climate zone 5A). The results of this analysis (totaling over 30,000 cases) are summarized in a simple spreadsheet tool that enables users to easily sort through the results and find appropriate small office EEM packages that meet a particular energy savings threshold and are likely to be cost-effective.