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The Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC) has developed a set of criteria for test conditions, minimum energy, and water use performance for prototype cooling equipment. The WCEC has identified these conditions as indicative of western state climates. These criteria, named the Western Cooling Challenge (WCC), have been set forth as a challenge to manufacturers to improve the state-of-the-art space cooling products. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is to verify these criteria through laboratory testing at its heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) test facility in Golden, Colorado, which is uniquely suited to accurately measure the cooling performance, energy, and water use of advanced cooling systems.
The purpose of this handbook is to furnish guidance for planning and conducting a highperformance building charrette, sometimes called a "greening charrette." The handbook answers typical questions such as, "What is a charrette?", "Why conduct a charrette?", "What topics should we cover?", "Whom should we invite?" and "What happens after the charrette?". Owners, design team leaders, site planners, state energy office staff, and others who believe a charrette will benefit their projects will find the handbook helpful.
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.
Rising energy costs and the desire to reduce energy consumption dictates a need for significantly improved building energy performance. Three technologies that have potential to save energy and improve sustainability of buildings are dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS), radiant heating and cooling systems and tighter building envelopes.
Whole-building simulation and analysis has demonstrated a significant energy savings potential in a wide variety of design projects. Commercial building design, however, traditionally integrates simulation and modeling analyses too late in the design process to make a substantial impact on energy use. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) commercial building group created an optimization platform called Opt-E-Plus that uses multivariate and multi-objective optimization theory to navigate a large parameter space and find economically valid, energy-saving solutions.
This report documents outcomes of the effort to rebuild Greensburg, Kansas, a town devastated by tornado damage in 2007. Key strategies include a sustainable comprehensive master plan, an ordinance specifying LEED Platinum ratings and 42% energy savings for city-owned buildings, focus on integrated design processes, and linkage of renewable and energy efficiency technologies with business development.
This fact sheet published by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory discusses the lab's newest building, the Research Support Facility (RSF). The RSF is a showcase for ultra-efficient workplaces. Various renewable energy and energy efficiency features have been employed so that the building achieves a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council.
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.