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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McGraw Hill Construction Continuing Education Article December 2010 - This article discusses the energy efficiency and cost competitiveness of the Research Support Facility.
This article, published in High Performance Buildings Magazine, presents the process used for delivering NREL's Research Support Facility (RSF) as a replicable blueprint to achieve a large reduction in building energy use and to adopt a net zero energy approach for large-scale commercial buildings (ZEB) without increasing cost.
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.
"Each year K–12 schools spend more than $8 billion on energy — more than they spend on computers and textbooks combined. Too commonly overlooked is the opportunity to cost-effectively improve our nation’s schools and enhance student performance by tackling the performance of the very buildings in which children, faculty and staff spend more than eight hours each day."
It is still early in the collection and analysis of energy performance data, but it is already clear that high-performance commercial buildings—some "almost net-zero buildings"—can be constructed cost effectively, providing productive environments for occupants, reducing operating costs, and enhancing the competitiveness of commercial properties.
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.
This article describes many energy efficiency features of the Research Support Facility and the adjustments employees need to make.
As environmentally friendly features become a mainstay of commercial property, learn what it takes to excel at selling and leasing green space.
"This year’s winning projects act as revolutionary models for a variety of challenging building types."