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.
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This guide provides user-friendly guidance for achieving a net zero energy K-12 school building. It includes a set of energy performance targets for all climate zones. Strategies on how to achieve these energy targets are provided throughout the guide and include setting measurable goals, hiring design teams committed to that goal, using energy simulation throughout the design and construction process, and being aware of how process decisions affect energy usage.
The how-to tips address specific project aspects-building and site planning, envelope, daylighting, electric lighting, plug loads, kitchens and food service, water heating, HVAC, and renewable energy generation. Each section contains multiple tips that move the design incrementally toward the zero energy goal. Case studies and technical examples show how the energy goals are achievable at typical construction budgets as well as demonstrate the technologies in real-world applications.
The intended audience of this guide includes educators, school administrators, architects, design engineers, energy modelers, contractors, facility managers, and building operations staff.
The "download" link will take you to the ASHRAE website, where you can download a free PDF of the Design Guide.
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.
K–12 schools are ideal candidates to lead the market shift from buildings that consume energy to buildings that produce as much renewable energy as they use. There are now resources to guide owners and project teams as they make the shift to these “zero energy” buildings, notably the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K–12 School Buildings: Achieving Zero Energy (K–12 ZE AEDG).
This 10-page paper provides a concise overview of the K–12 ZE AEDG (200 pages), as well as a nice explanation of the energy modeling and analysis methodology used to create the Design Guide.
PNC has opened a zero-energy building that is 57% more efficient than ASHRAE 90.1-2004. Exterior features include shading to control glare from sunlight and photovoltaic solar panels to produce as much electricity as the building consumes annually.
A report with case studies on 15 Zero Energy schools in the U.S., prepared to help Baltimore City Schools in its building planning.
The University of Hawaii at Manoa (UHM) partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to retrofit existing buildings to reduce energy consumption by at least 30% as part of DOE’s Commercial Building Partnerships (CBP) Program.
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.
A detailed two page case study on the Zero Energy Ready Turkey Foot Middle School.
"Turkey Foot is revolutionizing the way kids learn, all within a new building that uses half the energy of the previous school despite being twice the size. Turkey Foot leveraged the practices and experience on other high performance goals in the District."
A detailed two page case study on the Zero Energy Ready Redding School of the Arts in Redding, CA.
"In 2011, the charter school opened a new facility with an ambitious goal of zero net energy, while dedicating only 2% of the budget to renewable energy systems."