The purpose of this handbook is to furnish guidance for planning and conducting a highperformance building charrette, sometimes called a "greening charrette." The handbook answers typical questions such as, "What is a charrette?", "Why conduct a charrette?", "What topics should we cover?", "Whom should we invite?" and "What happens after the charrette?". Owners, design team leaders, site planners, state energy office staff, and others who believe a charrette will benefit their projects will find the handbook helpful.
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Adaptive exterior lighting is a relatively new concept recognized by the lighting industry and energy regulators as a potential method to increase energy savings in outdoor applications. Many adaptive exterior lighting products are being developed and have been introduced into the marketplace, allowing users to implement dynamic lighting designs that offer 30%–75% energy savings over traditional systems. These savings are achieved by coupling advanced lighting controls with an efficacious, dimmable source.
This report summarizes the findings from research conducted at NREL to assess the technical potential for zero-energy building technologies and practices to reduce the impact of commercial buildings on the U.S. energy system. Commercial buildings currently account for 18% of annual U.S. energy consumption, and energy use is growing along with overall floor area. Reducing the energy use of this sector will require aggressive research goals and rapid implementation of the research results.
This report outlines the technical protocol used to generate Department of Energy's Commercial Building Energy Asset Score for commercial buildings, explains the scoring methodology, and provides additional details regarding the Asset Scoring Tool. This report also describes alternative methods that were considered prior to developing the current approach. Finally, this report describes a few features of the program where alternative approaches are still under evaluation.
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.
First costs, or capital costs, for energy efficiency strategies in office buildings are often a primary barrier to realizing high-performance buildings with 50% or greater energy savings. Historically, the industry has been unable to reach deep energy savings because of a reliance on energy cost savings and simple payback analysis alone to justify investments. A more comprehensive and integrated cost justification and capital cost control approach is needed. By implementing innovative procurement and delivery strategies, integrated design principles and cost tradeoffs, life cycle cost justifications, and streamlined construction methods, first cost barriers can be overcome. It is now possible to attain marketable, high-performance office buildings that achieve LEED Platinum and reach net zero energy goals at competitive whole building first costs, as illustrated by the U.S. Department of Energy’s and National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s latest high-performance office building, the Research Support Facility (RSF) on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory campus in Golden, Colorado.
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 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.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy's Building Technologies Program (BTP) evaluated a number of control strategies that can be implemented in a controller, to improve the operational efficiency of the packaged air conditioning units. The two primary objectives of this research project are: 1) determine the magnitude of energy savings achievable by retrofitting existing packaged air conditioning units with advanced control strategies not ordinarily used for packaged units and 2) estimating what the installed cost of a replacement control with the desired features should be in various regions of the U.S. This document reports results of the study.
This document, developed in response to the hospitality sector’s increasing interest in using HVAC occupancy-based control (OBC) systems to reduce the energy used by unoccupied guest rooms, provides information on a technology demonstration evaluating the energy-savings potential of OBC systems produced by five manufacturers. These systems were deployed in six different hotels in three metropolitan areas and the report documents the research team’s calculation of aggregate and location-specific energy savings across four study periods, from December, 2011 to August, 2012.