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
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At the time this Wall Street Journal article was published, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory was midway through construction of a $64 million project to be the greenest office building in the nation. This article explores efforts by architects and engineers who spent hundreds of hours calculating the energy use of every aspect of the building, from the elevator to the exit signs.
A net zero-energy community (ZEC) is one that has greatly reduced energy needs through efficiency gains such that the balance of energy for vehicles, thermal, and electrical energy within the community is met by renewable energy. Past work resulted in a common zero-energy building (ZEB) definition system of “zero energy” and a classification system for ZEBs based on the renewable energy sources used by a building. This paper begins with a focus solely on buildings and expands the concept to define a zero-energy community, applying the ZEB hierarchical renewable classification system to the concept of community. A community that offsets all of its energy use from renewables available within the community’s built environment and unusable brownfield sites is at the top of the ZEC classification system at a ZEC of A. (A brownfield site is where the redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant.) A community that achieves a ZEC definition primarily through the purchase of new off-site, Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) is placed at the lowest end of the ZEC classification but is still considered a good achievement.
The Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Hospitals and Healthcare Facilities can help in the design of new healthcare facilities that are 30% more energy efficient than current industry standards using ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999 as a benchmark. This saves energy but also supports the other design goals important to healthcare facilities: to improve the patient experience, enhance the healing environment, increase staff retention, lower construction and operating costs, contribute to an environmentally conscious building design, and improve the bottom-line performance of the healthcare facility.
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.
After the town was nearly wiped out by a massive tornado in May 2007, citizens saw the opportunity to make Greensburg something even better than it had been before. Living close to the land, they knew the value of solar and wind power and using water efficiently. When they rebuilt, they took those values to heart in a new way. The result: Greensburg is a truly green burg.
Brochure on Greensburg, Kansas and the Greensburg High Performance Buildings Database.
This guide is intended to show how communities—big or small—can incorporate green principles and technologies like energy efficiency and renewable energy into their rebuilding plans.
These are the appendices to the report "Rebuilding Greensburg, Kansas, as a Model Green Community: A Case Study on NREL’s Technical Assistance to Greensburg June 2007 – May 2009".
The Research Support Facility's (RSF) origins as an intended symbol of energy efficiency goes back more than a decade to when the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposed an administrative facility setting the national standard for energy efficiency and can be traced in the project's exhaustive specifications document