This zero energy building is a field house on the campus of a boarding school in Vermont. It incorporates a multi-purpose gym, offices, social gathering area, weight room, ski waxing room, and yoga/flex space.
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High performance or “Hi-R” windows use advanced technology to deliver up to a seven-fold improvement in a window’s thermal performance. At a GSA test bed location in Provo, Utah, Hi-R panel retrofits, which are installed on top of existing windows, reduced heating loads by up to 41%.
Chromogenic windows tint automatically based on outside temperature and brightness, or as determined by automated building controls. In an evaluation in Denver, Colorado, chromogenic windows significantly reduced heat gain over the baseline low-e window, reducing annual HVAC cooling electricity use by as much as 10%. GPG-010
For many buildings that do not require space cooling, non-centralized equipment such as unit heaters provide space heating to building occupants. Unit heaters are a major source of energy use nationally, accounting for nearly 18% of primary space heating energy use for commercial buildings, and most prominently appear in warehouses, distribution centers, loading docks, etc. Several high-efficiency gas-fired space heating, or gas heater, technologies exist that consume significantly less energy than a conventional gas heater and can produce substantial energy savings if widely adopted.
In 2014, NorthBay VacaValley Hospital became one of the first U.S. health care facilities to install an energy-efficient, ultra-smart outdoor LED lighting system. The award-winning project was so successful that the NorthBay Healthcare group is now considering expanding the VacaValley system and retrofitting the outdoor lighting at other sites.
UC Davis established the Smart Lighting Initiative (SLI), an effort to reduce campus-wide lighting electricity consumption at least 60% below 2007 levels. The first phase of this program included a large-scale deployment of over 1,500 network-controlled LED streetlights, area lights, post-tops, and wall packs. The “ultra-smart” lighting installation has reduced annual energy use by an estimated 1,231,758 kWh, saving $120,909 annually in energy and maintenance costs.
Evidence has shown that owning and operating energy-efficient, high-performance properties is a sound investment strategy that results in multiple financial benefits, including lower utility bills, higher rents, improved occupancy, and greater net operating income (NOI). To overcome difficulties in isolating moderating factors and identifying specific drivers behind sustainability-related improvements in financial performance and value to investors, DOE commissioned this pilot study; designed to test the logistical and empirical procedures required to conduct real estate research and contribute to the existing body of evidence in this field.
The General Service Administration's (GSA) Green Proving Ground (GPG) program worked with a team from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to identify buildings with office setups and equipment distributions typical of the wider GSA building stock. Eight buildings from GSA’s Mid-Atlantic Region, where plug loads average 21%, were selected. In each building, approximately 12 standard power strips with no control capability (the incumbent technology) were replaced with APSs, which monitored and provided power to an array of devices. More than 295 devices were monitored during the study, which consisted of three separate test periods, each four weeks in length. All buildings selected had workstation power management in place.
Commercial mortgages currently do not fully account for energy factors in underwriting, valuation and asset management, particularly as it relates to the impact of energy costs on net operating income. As a consequence, energy efficiency is not properly valued and energy risks are not properly assessed and mitigated. Commercial mortgages are a large lever and could be a significant channel for scaling energy efficiency investments.
"Green to the (Structural) Core: A home for environmental and social action is true to the legacy of its namesake."