Paul Torcellini, principal engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discusses how we can achieve zero-energy buildings by integrating the cost of energy efficiency into design decisions. This is the first presentation captured from Ecobuilding Review’s 2014 Vision 2020 Sustainability Summit.
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This roadmap presents a high-level approach to net zero energy building (NZEB) planning, design, construction, and operations, based on NREL’s firsthand experience procuring NZEBs, and based on NREL and other industry research on NZEB feasibility.
Draft definitions for ZEB (zero energy buildings) open for public review comment. Information about submitting comments may be found in the Federal Register under docket: EERE-2014-BT-BLDG-0050.
For more information about submitting comments please see: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=EERE-2014-BT-BLDG-0050.
Momentum behind zero energy building design and construction is increasing, presenting a tremendous opportunity for advancing energy performance in the commercial building industry. At the same time, there is a lingering perception that zero energy buildings must be cost prohibitive or limited to showcase projects. Fortunately, an increasing number of projects are demonstrating that high performance can be achieved within typical budgets. This factsheet highlights replicable, recommended strategies for achieving high performance on a budget, based on experiences from past projects.
There is mounting evidence that zero energy can, in many cases, be achieved within typical construction budgets. To ensure that the momentum behind zero energy buildings and other low-energy buildings will continue to grow, this guide assembles recommendations for replicating specific successes of early adopters who have met their energy goals while controlling costs. Contents include: discussion of recommended cost control strategies, which are grouped by project phase (acquisition and delivery, design, and construction) and accompanied by industry examples; recommendations for balancing key decision-making factors; and quick reference tables that can help teams apply strategies to specific projects.
Historic preservation and net zero energy performance may seem like opposing goals. But the modernization of the nearly 100-year-old Aspinall Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse demonstrates that it is possible to restore the former glory of a building's historic features and cut energy use in half. The building is approaching net zero energy and is expected to achieve that goal after controls adjustments and other measures.
"Zero Net Energy (ZNE) is the future, and in a growing number of places the present, of building design and energy policy. A growing strategy to get to ZNE is to separate the building’s heating/cooling from the ventilation/dehumidification. Design firms and owners are striving to meet heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) loads with optimum comfort and minimal energy. Radiant systems can provide heating and cooling through pipes while ventilation and any humidity control requirements are efficiently met by a Dedicated Outdoor Air System (DOAS). This guide provides an overview of Radiant Heating and Cooling + DOAS systems."
"Improved lighting efficiency has long been a major strategy to reduce the energy use in buildings. These savings have traditionally come from improved efficiency of lamps and ballasts. Today, deep energy reductions and Zero Net Energy (ZNE) are possible by continually controlling each of these efficient fixtures in response to varying details within the space. This guide provides an overview of luminaire-level lighting control (LLLC). The full LLLC approach provides controllability at each fixture with real-time energy tracking and data collection."
NREL experienced a significant increase in employees and facilities on our 327-acre main campus in Golden, Colorado over the past five years. To support this growth, researchers developed and demonstrated a new building acquisition method that successfully integrates energy efficiency requirements into the design-build requests for proposals and contracts. We piloted this energy performance based design-build process with our first new construction project in 2008. We have since replicated and evolved the process for large office buildings, a smart grid research laboratory, a supercomputer, a parking structure, and a cafeteria. Each project incorporated aggressive efficiency strategies using contractual energy use requirements in the design-build contracts, all on typical construction budgets. We have found that when energy efficiency is a core project requirement as defined at the beginning of a project, innovative design-build teams can integrate the most cost effective and high performance efficiency strategies on typical construction budgets. When the design-build contract includes measurable energy requirements and is set up to incentivize design-build teams to focus on achieving high performance in actual operations, owners can now expect their facilities to perform. As NREL completed the new construction in 2013, we have documented our best practices in training materials and a how-to guide so that other owners and owner’s representatives can replicate our successes and learn from our experiences in attaining market viable, world-class energy performance in the built environment.
"Several states and local agencies have integrated a zero net energy goal into their long-term energy policy and program strategies. This slide deck presents opportunities and lessons learned that can benefit states and local jurisdictions as they develop similar policies and programs."