This is the eighth in a series of white papers from Building Design+Construction magazine on the green building movement. It includes contributions from several sources, and focuses on zero and net-zero energy buildings and homes.
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Low energy or high-performance buildings form a vital component in the sustainable future of building design and construction. Rigorous integrated daylighting design and simulation will be critical to their success as energy efficiency becomes a requirement, because electric lighting usually represents a large fraction of the energy consumed. We present the process and tools used to design the lighting systems in the newest building at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Research Support Facility (RSF). Daylighting had to be integrated with the electric lighting, as low energy use (50% below ASHRAE 90.1-2004) and the LEED daylight credit were contractually required, with a reach goal of being a net-zero energy building (NZEB). The oft-ignored disconnect between lighting simulation and whole-building energy use simulation had to be addressed, as ultimately all simulation efforts had to translate to energy use intensity predictions, design responses, and preconstruction substantiation of the design. We present preliminary data from the postoccupancy monitoring efforts with an eye toward the current efficacy of energy and lighting simulation methodologies.
This case study describes National Renewable Energy Laboratory efforts design a world-class, energy-efficient data center to support the operations of a new office building. These efforts resulted in a highly efficient data center that demonstrated considerable energy savings in its first 11 months of operations. Using legacy data center performance as a baseline, the new facility cut energy use by nearly 1.45 million kWh, delivering cost savings of approximately $82,000.
This case study highlights the design, implementation strategies, and continuous performance monitoring of NREL's Research Support Facility data center.
This paper reviews the novel procurement, acquisition, and contract process of a large-scale replicable net zero energy (ZEB) office building. The owners (who are also commercial building energy efficiency researchers) developed and implemented an energy performance based design-build process to procure an office building with contractual requirements to meet demand side energy and LEED goals. The key procurement steps needed to ensure achievement of the energy efficiency and ZEB goals using a replicable delivery process are outlined.
The Research Support Facility is designed to be one of the world's largest net-zero energy buildings. It incorporates new technologies and techniques and draws on centuries-old concepts. Its operable windows allow natural ventilation. It monitors indoor and outdoor temperatures and displays messages on each computer about opening or closing windows.
This presentation highlights the importance of modeling the off-design performance of equipment in data centers as a consequence of their dynamic behavior and describes an experimentally validated tool for modeling the energy use of the data center and cooling infrastructure.
This presentation describes how the designers, owners, and occupants can take advantage of opportunities to reduce plug loads in the Research Support Facility.
This presentation shows how the Research Support Facility is a showcase for sustainable, high-performance design, how it incorporates the best in energy efficiency, environmental performance, and advanced controls using a “whole building” integrated design process, and serves as a model for cost-competitive, high-performance commercial buildings for the nation’s design construction, operation, and financing communities.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Technologies Program has set the aggressive goal of producing marketable net-zero energy buildings by 2025. This goal will require collaboration between the DOE laboratories and the building industry. We developed standard or reference energy models for the most common commercial buildings to serve as starting points for energy efficiency research. These models represent fairly realistic buildings and typical construction practices. Fifteen commercial building types and one multifamily residential building were determined by consensus between DOE, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and represent approximately two-thirds of the commercial building stock.