The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory is devising a new design-build project delivery model for fast-tracked, net-zero energy building. The process is progressive, performance-based design-build.
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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 paper illustrates the challenges of integrating rigorous daylight and electric lighting simulation data with whole-building energy models, and defends the need for such integration in order to achieve aggressive energy savings in building designs. Through a case study example, we examine the ways daylighting – and daylighting simulation – drove the design of a large net-zero energy project.
McGraw Hill Construction Continuing Education Article December 2010 - This article discusses the energy efficiency and cost competitiveness of the Research Support Facility.
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.
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.