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.
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The U.S. Department of Energy hopes lessons learned from the Research Support Facility will help guide green-construction practices around the world. Outside experts in efficient construction point out that some of the technology used at NREL is best suited for high-sunlight, low-humidity climates such as Colorado and would not work nearly as well elsewhere. The building also demands a lot from its employees, who must adjust to fluctuating temperatures throughout the day and pop up from their desks to open and shut windows; a workforce less dedicated to energy efficiency might rebel.
This article describes many energy efficiency features of the Research Support Facility and the adjustments employees need to make.
This guide provides design teams with best practices for parking structure energy efficiency in the form of goals for each design aspect that affects energy use.
This Fact Sheet provides an overview of the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines project. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) are working with industry stakeholders to develop voluntary national guidelines that will improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce training and certification programs for five key energy-related jobs.
Few third-party guidance documents or tools are available for evaluating thermal energy storage (TES) integrated with packaged air conditioning (AC), as this type of TES is relatively new compared to TES integrated with chillers or hot water systems. To address this gap, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a project to improve the ability of potential technology adopters to evaluate TES technologies. Major project outcomes included: development of an evaluation framework to describe key metrics, methodologies, and issues to consider when assessing the performance of TES systems integrated with packaged AC; application of multiple concepts from the evaluation framework to analyze performance data from four demonstration sites; and production of a new simulation capability that enables modeling of TES integrated with packaged AC in EnergyPlus. This report includes the evaluation framework and analysis results from the project.
The rooftop unit (RTU) Field Evaluation Checklist is intended to help identify damage, dysfunction, or degradation that requires more than routine maintenance. The checklist should be used to conduct a visual-based field evaluation to further refine the preliminary analysis.
The rooftop unit inventory spreadsheet can be used to gather basic RTU information, such as number, size, age, and general condition. The detailed fields in the spreadsheet can be used to gather additional information, such as controls, usage patterns, and features for additional analysis of the RTUs identified for retrofit, replacement, or further analysis.
The rooftop unit (RTU) decision tree can be used for preliminary screening for replacement of RTU units with more efficient units. This decision tree organizes RTUs into bins for “retrofit,” “replacement,” “no action,” or “needs further analysis.”
OpenStudio development efforts have been focused on providing Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) where users are able to extend OpenStudio without the need to compile the open source libraries. This paper will discuss the basic purposes and functionalities of the core libraries that have been wrapped with APIs including the Building Model, Results Processing, Advanced Analysis, Uncertainty Quantification, and Data Interoperability through Translators. Several building energy modeling applications have been produced using OpenStudio's API and Software Development Kits (SDK) including the United States Department of Energy's Asset ScoreCalculator, a mobile-based audit tool, an energy design assistance reporting protocol, and a portfolio scale incentive optimization analysis methodology. Each of these software applications will be discussed briefly and will describe how the APIs were leveraged for various uses including high-level modeling, data transformations from detailed building audits, error checking/quality assurance of models, and use of high-performance computing for mass simulations.