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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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.
This 17-page guide from the Rocky Mountain Institute and Johnson Controls recommends 8 steps to achieve net zero energy in existing buildings. Four case studies are used to illustrate the concepts.
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.
Website with information on what is anticipated to be the first
zero energy renovation of an existing building in the District
of Columbia. This building is one of the first in the United States to use sewer heat recovery (an energy technology that is more common in Europe.)
"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."
A five-step guide for successful achievement of zero energy, including tips for goal-setting, communication, and integrative process
Four-page case study of the Los Osos Middle School zero energy retrofit, which is classified by NBI as “ZE emerging”—it has a stated
ZE goal, but its performance has not yet been verified with 12 months of energy use and generation data.
This resource provides energy models from the Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) for Large Hospitals that have been incorporated into Building Component Library (BCL). The AEDG series provides design guidance for buildings that use 50% less energy than those built to the requirements of the ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2004 commercial code, and are specific to prominent building types across each of the eight U.S. climate zones. More information on the AEDGs can be found at http://energy.gov/eere/buildings/advanced-energy-design-guides and http://www.ashrae.org/aedg.The Building Component Library (BCL) is the U.S. Department of Energy’s comprehensive online searchable library of energy modeling building blocks and descriptive metadata. Novice users and seasoned practitioners can use the freely available and uniquely identifiable components to create energy models and cite the sources of input data, which will increase the credibility and reproducibility of their simulations. More information about the BCL can be found at https://bcl.nrel.gov.
These models are EnergyPlus version 7.0 and were completed in 2012. A Technical Support Document (TSD) that details these models can be found at http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy13osti/52588.pdf. This Technical Support Document describes the process and methodology for the development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Large Hospitals: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Energy Building (AEDG-LH). The AEDG-LH is intended to provide recommendations for achieving 50% whole-building energy savings in large hospitals over levels achieved by following Standard 90.1-2004. The AEDG-LH was created for a 'standard' mid- to large-size hospital, typically at least 100,000 square feet, but the strategies apply to all sizes and classifications of new construction hospital buildings. Its primary focus is new construction, but recommendations may be applicable to facilities undergoing total renovation, and in part to many other hospital renovation, addition, remodeling, and modernization projects (including changes to one or more systems in existing buildings).
Six-page case study of the Santiago High School Science Building and the Ralston Intermediate Building K: Multipurpose Room and Kitchen retrofits. These projects are classified by NBI as “ZE emerging”—they have a stated ZE goal, but their performance has not yet been verified with 12 months of energy use and generation data.