NET ZERO BUILDINGS • Highlighting the Path Toward Net Zero Building Design
POWER: ENERGY STORAGE + SOLAR HVAC: BENCHMARKING PRACTICES ENVELOPE: HISTORICAL RETROFITS
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NET ZERO BUILDINGS November 2015
Volume 4, Number 5
California’s setting a high bar for sustainability, from Title 24 to water mandates. Just look to the West for a peek at what’s next on the NZB landscape.
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In designing the West Berkeley Calif. Public Library, Harley Ellis Devereaux borrowed a little from the Old West in the form of its false Frontier-style upper façade, to make classic architectural ideas—namely natural ventilation—work in the face of a traffic-heavy front entrance.
project zero West Berkeley Public Library Berkeley, Calif. A $10M project stuffed in a $5M real-world budget, the library, located on the city’s main drag, overcomes noise, cost restraints and even client confusion to deliver a naturally ventilated and daylight-laden “Cathedral of Books.” By Megan Mazzocco ON THE COVER It appears that California is leading the charge in net zero practices—from Title 24 to water mandates to our project zero feature.
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06 Toward Zero Systems integration and early coordination are the keys to success in terms of delivering net zero buildings. By Jim Crockett
48 End Point The call for political action is an integral step in the net zero process. By John Mesenbrink
Efficient Fixtures Net Zero Water Wastewater Drainline Transport
By John Mesenbrink
P OW ER
EN V ELO PE
DAY L I G H T I N G
The combination of automatic control with manual selection gives users the best of both worlds, and optimizes visual performance, comfort and sense of ownership, all while controlling energy consumption. Finding the right balance is essential to success.
Energy storage has been making inroads in relation to solar systems, with better control features taking on a bigger role. Solar storage can provide a viable alternative to grid-supplied electricity when facilities are taking on more expensive charges.
Building owners armed with their building’s energy efficiency progress are ahead of the net zero curve. A solid benchmarking plan, which includes measurement and verification checks and balances, helps maintain sustained building health.
Historic preservation is about more than just aesthetics. It’s also about knowing which envelope improvements are working and which ones are window dressing. Finding the right balance of appropriate integrated components is key in building retrofit design.
Daylight modeling is being taken to new levels. Improved user friendly capabilities, newer daylighting metrics, software and cloud-based technology is making daylight modeling more efficient and useful, and has the potential to change the architectural landscape.
Wireless Control Choosing LEDs White Light Outdoor Luminaires
By Kevin Willmorth
The ability to manage water and its movement is taking center state in the overall push for better water conservation.
Onsite Storage Solar Research Inverters Integrated Energy By Chuck Ross
Energy Monitoring Geothermal Retrofit Building Automation Managing Analytics
By John Mesenbrink
Envelope Protection Passive Retrofit Hurricane Ready Retrofitting Tips By Alan Weis
Solar Tracking Shading Modeling Software Daylighting Tools
By Barbara HorwitzBennett NET ZERO BUILDINGS | 11.15 | 03
THE ANNUAL NZB AWARDS
VOL. 4, NO. 5
NET ZERO BUILDINGS
NET ZERO BUILDINGS
Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
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NET ZERO BUILDINGS Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
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NET ZERO BUILDINGS
NET ZERO BUILDINGS
Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
NET ZERO BUILDINGS
EDITORIAL E NVE LO PE
DAYL IGHT IN G
Barbara Horwitz-Bennett Contributing Writer email@example.com
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L IGHT ING
WAT E R
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One of the major criteria that differentiates net zero projects vs. say, a LEED-certified project, is that net zero certification typically requires verification of performance for at least a year’s worth of operation. In that spirit, for NZB’s inaugural awards program later this year, we’d like to highlight outstanding examples of product and technology in application, whether included as part of an efficient system or for more singular performance. In concert with our established “pillars,” we’ll be looking at technology applications within the categories of the building envelope, daylighting, lighting, HVAC, water/plumbing, and on-site power/renewables. These system-level entries do not necessarily have to be associated with a net zero project, but should be associated with a high-performance design. On the net zero level, we will also recognize a net zero project of the year, which may be a project already certified, or one under consideration. And to recognize the effort and work that goes into creating a net zero project we will also be issuing citations for:
BEST INTEGRATED PROCESS BEST ENERGY MODELING EFFORT BEST CONTINUOUS COMMISSIONING EFFORT
On a product level, we’d also like to recognize R+D and efforts to create products that will help further the net zero movement, in the following categories:
Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
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ART + PRODUCTION Dave Pape
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ADVERTISING SALES Gary Redmond
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847 838 0500 firstname.lastname@example.org
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MOST PROMISING NEW TECHNOLOGY BEST HYBRID PRODUCT PARTNERSHIP—Where two or more manufacturers have worked together to develop a single product that will better serve the part MOST PROMISING ELECTRONIC DESIGN TOOLS
Details and deadline information will be available soon. Questions about the program should be directed to Jim Crockett: firstname.lastname@example.org
Net Zero Buildings (NZB), Vol. 4, No. 5. Published five times per year by Construction Business Media. Publication Office: Construction Business Media, 579 First Bank Drive, Suite 220, Palatine, IL 60067; 847 359 6493; www.nzbmagazine.com. (Copyright © 2015 by Construction Business Media) A Publication of Construction Business Media
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| TOWARD ZERØ |
Rethinking Norms: A Good Exercise Like a shock of clear cerulean sky blasting through a gray miasma, critical daylight practices have been revealed of late; so let’s forge on for illumination enlightenment, albeit via a somewhat circuitous route.
Travel, they say, broadens the mind, and I was fortunate enough to be part of symposium in London featuring some of the world’s leading daylight experts. You’ll have to check out the current issue of Architectural Products for that story; but as I was writing it, I was also struck by a thought-provoking daylight piece I was editing for the October issue our other publication, Architectural SSL. The story was by our in-house lighting guru Kevin Willmorth, where he bluntly stated that daylight design must change radically, and specifically, lighting design and daylighting design must be done as one. Architects too, he said, must recognize the fact that in contemplating daylight, more often than not, they’re motivated by the notion of connecting the outside to the inside, rather than delivering functional illumination.
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In fact, daylighting done wrong, he said, too often creates cases where more energy, via electric lighting, must be spent to achieve a sense of balance in spaces where daylight is not functionally reaching. This, he says, means there generally needs to be a rethinking about building programs to maximize daylight’s delivery to the people and tasks that are most critical, while pushing non-critical tasks to spaces not in the reach of the sun. I recommend you check it out, as well as my piece in AP, where architect David Nelson of Foster+Partners equally calls out a number of corrective measures for his brethren to address. The message in both stories was clear: system integration and early coordination are the keys to success. It’s a universal message, I believe, that applies across all building systems, especially in context of delivering net zero buildings.
I’m reminded of a comment made by a speaker at the AHR HVAC expo earlier this year. The gentleman noted that the HVAC manufacturing world does a great job creating innovative and more efficient equipment. What it does poorly is communicate how all these disparate parts work together and to what end. I must confess we, ourselves, are guilty of this practice, for in reviewing content for this issue I realized we also need to do a better job connecting the dots. Moving forward, I promise we’ll do a better job, as I realize readers are not experts in every field, and one grey box often looks like another. Speaking of the latter, my fall travels also took me to the IBEW/ NECA Renewables Training Field in suburban Chicago. The project is not only a living lab for electricians, it’s also a showcase for the curious to come out and kick the tires.
It’s just kind of shot in the arm the net zero and renewable movements desperately need. You might say it’s the bomb—an “awesome bomb” in fact—the kind of thing that generates a buzz on social media. The unveiling certainly created a lot of buzz with local politicians, even garnering the attendance of Illinois’ powerful speaker of the house.
DATA POINT: In deep floor office plans, only 16% of natural light from windows effectively penetrates into a space, meaning the space must be augmented by other daylight means like skylights, or by electric light, or in reality—both.
Seeing the magnitude of the systems, and having a glimmer of a vision of what more installations like this could mean, was inspiring. I hope those visiting politicians picked up on the vibe— I had a feeling they did. Bombs away people.
Jim Crockett, Editorial Director firstname.lastname@example.org
The West Berkeley Public Library Berkeley, Calif. Market: Library Size: 9,300 sq. ft. Architect: Harley Ellis Devereaux Mechanical Engineer: AlphaTech Timmons Engineers Landscape Architect: John Northmore Roberts Lighting Designer: Miniscule Lighting Design General Contractor: West Bay Builders Energy Consultant: PG&E
| PROJECT ZERĂ˜ |
WEST BERKELEY PUBLIC LIBRARY
Key Team Members: Bernheim+Dean: Ed Deen HED: Michael Bulander, Gerard Lee AlphaTech Timmons Engineers: Sean Timmons AlphaTech Timmons Engineers: Sean Timmons City of Berkeley: Neil DeSnoo Lighting Designer: Max Pierson Text: Megan Mazzocco Photos: Courtesy, David Wakely, Kyle Jeffers, Harley Ellis Devereaux, Ed Dean
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Small Project, Big Statement The West Berkeley Library is the first ZNE verified publicly funded library and municipal building in the nation.
When a public bond became available for the reconstruction of the city of Berkeley‘s public library, it was a case of good news, bad news: money was available for the project, but because the city had passed a climate action plan—in which the city pledged an 80% reduction in CO2 by 2050—it meant all new construction would have to deliver high performance.
THE PRO J ECT WO N OVE R T H E C IT Y, T H E L IB R A R IA N S A N D THE COMMU NI T Y, CO MI NG I N O N T IM E , U N D E R B U D G E T AN D W IT H E N E RGY TO SPA R E .
Seeing this as an opportunity, Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED) architects entered their bid with a specific spin. “What I wanted to do was convince the city they should do net zero,” recalls then-HED architect Ed Dean, who is currently a partner at Bernheim & Dean. The notion appealed to the city, but library officials were protective of the budget. “The library director said ‘you’re not getting any extra money for this; if you’re on budget in the design-development phase, you can do it.’”
HED, in fact, was the only firm to enter a bid for a net-zero design, and this gesture won the attention and the respect of the city’s planning officials, who became convinced that this small project had the potential to make a big statement in California. The proposal was bolstered by PG&E’s “savings by design program,” and taking advantage of the resources offered by utility’s grant would allow the net zero project to compete with a standard budget for a conventional library building of comparable size. “It’s one thing to build a building and rely on previous projects and knowledge, but building a net zero building is like starting from scratch,” says Neil DeSnoo, chief sustainability officer for the city of Berkeley. With a design as precise and efficient as a Swiss watch, the meticulous plan for the roof’s skylights, solar panels has resulted in net-positive site-generated energy, ample daylight and optimal passive climate control. Impressive water conservation results were also achieved with the implementation of an on-site water filtration system that treats rainwater collected on the 10,000-sq.-ft. roof.
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TIMELINE November 2008: City of Berkeley voters approved “Measure FF,” a bond measure to renovate, expand and make seismic, as well as access improvements at the city’s four branch libraries. 2009: Project awarded March 2010: Conceptual Design finalized. June 2010: Schematic Design finalized October 2010: Design Documents finalized January 2011: Start of construction December 2013: Construction completed. Official Grand Opening held on December 14. April 2015: Living Building Challenge 3.0 Certification awarded from International Living Future Institute. Book Report: Don’t Jump the Gun; Be More Flexible Soon after the opening, librarians held a community meeting. Unfortunately, it was uncomfortably warm in the space, recalls Dean, and when someone couldn’t get the window open, they forced it open, breaking the motorized actuator that had failed to position the window open, and into cooling Mode 3. Why didn’t the window open on its own? “The building hadn’t been commissioned yet,” says Dean and the CO2 sensor was set incorrectly.” He suggests avoiding that scenario in the future by giving at least one operable window at building user level, to give occupants a greater sense of control, “instead of feeling like prisoners.”
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Skylights are positioned at 25 degrees, which is optimal on an overcast or sunny day. It also avoids any shadows cast on skylights by the tilted PV panels.
The tiny site was situated on bustling University Avenue. This meant that a heavy stream of traffic, including engine-breaking semi trucks, would rumble down the street. “We measured 70dB right at the front door of the library,” recalls Dean—a conditioncounter to the peace and tranquility associated with a library. However, its visibility to patrons along this main drag was a calling card, and taking advantage of that accessibility is key to the library’s success.
Despite the library’s one-story plan, zoning codes allowed a twostory building; which, the design team decided would match up more fittingly with the façade of the neighboring hotel. “Its like an old western town: a box with a false front, so it has more of a presence,” says Dean. This façade is punctuated with large, bold letters advertising “Library”—an inviting design that beckons passersby. “Patronage has improved from 600 adult users per year to 1,200 per year, so it doubled in usage since it’s been open,” reports Gerard Lee, formerly of HED, now principal at HMC architects.
The building’s welcoming overhang, two-story identity, and location facing the bustling University Avenue, has doubled the library’s patronage since the new facility opened.
The heavily trafficked urban site posed a roadblock to a natural ventilation scheme because its southern elevation is situated on Berkeley’s main drag. Because of this, there could be no operable windows on this elevation. But the plan from the start was to design a very passive building, says Sean Timmons, ME and Principal at Timmons Design Engineers, formerly Alphatec Timmons.
After looking at wind conditions and solar perspectives, the designers studied computational fluid dynamics models of how wind would enter the building, and devised a simple, but sleek crossventilation strategy that exited via the University Ave. façade. In fact, the design team used the upper portion of the false façade to their advantage by creating from it a chimney-like
Five Passive Heating/Cooling Modes The one-story building is classified as an open offi ce space, so the air moves to conference rooms and offi ces via operative windows and transfer air ducts. The building system has five mixed modes of passive heating/cooling and a manual override. During cool condi-
thermal Trombe wall that allows air to exit up through the secondstory ‘tower’ spanning the front elevation. To address the outdoor noise factor, the ‘wind chimney’ is lined with a highly rated acoustic absorbing material—an inexpensive, off-theshelf fiberglass. Combined with triple glazing on the glass of the front reading room, “its beautifully quiet,” reports DeSnoo.
tions, the building operates in radiant heating mode with minimal air intake for fresh air requirements. Runtal radiant heaters run in front of operable windows to warm incoming air. Most days the system operates in “swing season” mode, simply on outdoor air pulled from the windows on the north elevation, exiting through the wind chimney. Skylights may open to let air out of the building, thereby providing increased air movement. In summertime, a nighttime purge process in the program precools the space to 65F. The building’s thermal mass can absorb heat most of the day, shifting the system’s peak load from 1:00 p.m. to around 3:00-4:00 p.m.—a time of less demand. “That’s how we made it to 18kBTU a square foot,” boasts Timmons. Low power back-up fans in the wind chimney and skylight apertures may run to produce maximum airflow and provide an expanded thermal comfort zone. If the building is still too warm, the radiant flooring system circulates cold water throughout the slab.
Under-floor radiant heating, the absence of ductwork, combined with the skylights, provides a bright and airy welcoming place for community, he says. “There’s no mechanical noise, no buzzing of light ballasts; it’s so open and light, it’s almost like a cathedral of books.” (See more on the HVAC system in the sidebar to the right). Linear and circular pendants are visible in the space, daylighting drove the design. It meets all IESNA recommendations for the tasks in the space, including reading the spine of a book.
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| PROJECT ZERO |
Despite a noisy main street location, and roof penetrations due to skylighting, the bright environment can be very peacful. Stack-mounted luminaires supplement the daylighting design.
Plug Loads vs. Predictability At the outset, the team measured and performed an extensive analysis of plug loads in the existing library building. Th is intelligence revealed what sources would require the most power. In fact, public computers and IT generated the greatest plug loads, a whopping 40% of the total power usage. And while IT usage may be consistent, public power use is more unpredictable: “There’s a tendency in libraries in general, as the stacks are minimizing, the plug loads are increasing,” comments Michael Bulander, architecture + design associate at HED’s L.A. office. “That’s part of the function of libraries as a community center, that we have to work with.” To address this, a building dashboard shows patrons building performance information in order to educate them about energy use within the library. “It creates awareness that energy isn’t free, and they should use it carefully,” comments Bulander.
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A big part of the project is the roof itself, which hosts PV panels and otehr essential machinery for the net zero aspect of the building. “It’s a very densely populated roof, but it all works really well because its every square inch is accounted for,” says Landscape architect and principal John Roberts of John Northmore Roberts.
A precise height (24 ft.) and angle was determined for a maximum of 176 PV and 18 solar thermal panels’ orientations such that they would receive maximum sunlight. Based on a local weather data file, the team determined the annual output of the PV systems, and that the design energy use index (EUI )for a ZNE-performing building at this location must be 20kBTU/sq. ft./year—or less.
In the case of the library, the original specification called for 240W solar panels to cover the entire roof; however, by the time of construction bids, that solar panel specification was outdated. “When bids came in, you couldn’t get them that low [240W/ panel] any more,” says Dean. “And so the PVs are at 435W/ panel—almost twice as powerful than the ones we specified.”
Despite the fact that the building is consistently net-positive—providing power in excess of 20% of the building’s energy requirements—plug loads and lighting drew more power than the anticipated, according to Lee, 15kBTU/sq. ft-year, in fact. The city is currently investigating the possibility of installing a curbside EV-charging station as a community resource, notes DeSnoo.
Software & Modeling Tools Timmons developed a thermal performance model for the façade and through multiple programs the team was able to conduct daylight analysis. He combined eQuest, EnergyPlus and IES to help model the building. “We knew what the nuances of the building would be, and where to look for energy and material selection to achieve net zero performance.”
The library was influenced by classical design. In fact, Dean studied Alvar Aalto’s daylighting strategies in Finland and is a staunch believer in daylighting libraries. That said, the daylighting scheme for the library drove the design—especially the roof. The solar PV panels and the solar thermal arrays are positioned around bands of sky lighting. Dean views the skylight as an “eye” and was interested in exploring how they could “see” the most and the brightest light. Skylights are positioned at 25 degrees, which is optimal regardless of whether its an overcast or sunny day— and in Berkeley, says Dean, their weather is dominantly overcast because of fog. “They get the brightest part of the sky, which is straight up on a cloudy day or 90 degrees opposite the sun on a clear day, which collects the most light that way,” explains Dean.”
This positioning also avoids any shadows cast by the tilted PV panels to affect the skylights. As a result, on the inside, the ceiling plane became a minefield of skylights and fans. But that just kept things interesting, says Lighting designer Max Pierson of Miniscule Lighting Design. To avoid strobing issues with the large fans, the lighting designer arrived at the idea of stack-mounted luminaires as the best solution.
By the time the panels for project were purchased, the minimum effi ciency available was twice the original specifi cation. Thanks to that, the library has a surplus of site-generated energy.
“ I T ’ S B E AU T I F U L LY Q U I E T; I T ’ S S O O PEN A N D L I G H T, I T ’ S A L M OS T L I K E A C AT H ED R A L O F B O O K S .”
Shadows make for visual interest. Below, the Young Adult room is the only space without an exterior wall, but a skylight with a motorized fan draws fresh air in from the transfer duct when needed.
Airpak software illustrated the computational fl uid dynamics (CFD) for the passive airflow of the space in the schematic design phase. Ecotect and Dayism (a simulation tool provided by Natural Resources Canada) were used in conjunction for daylight visualizations. The design team worked closely, never taking its eye off the net-zero prize, recalls Timmons. “Every time we’d develop the design, we’d return to the original goal to assure that those design decisions fulfi lled the original mission.” He’s happy to report that recent tests show the building currently performs to their modeling. Trinity DELTA System software runs the building management system and is integrated with daylight sensors and lighting controls to modulate the lights in spaces. Right now, “all the sensors and the brands and the controls are not all talking to each other, yet” reports Lee. But this is common when buildings are still in the commissioning and optimization phase.
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Because of misperceptions during construction,
supplemental lighting was required. Education is the key to make any daylighting scheme work.
Luminaires with photosensors integral to the controls systems will optimize the energy design as building controls systems are comissioned systems .
“ T H E L E S S O N L E A R N ED I S TO R E- A S S U R E T H E CL I EN T. YO U H AV E TO P O I N T TO A N OT H ER B U I L D I N G TO S H OW T H E M I T WO R K S” LIGHTING
Pierson verified that the daylighting scheme, including fixtures integral to the library’s book stacks, would meet all IESNA recommendations for the tasks in the space; including meeting even the minimum of 30-foot candles of light on book spine surfaces.
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However, according to Dean, the minimalist lighting plan was derailed during the construction phase, when the library director visited the site and felt the space was too dark. It was the wrong time to look, says Dean, when there were only steel studs with no drywall to boost light reflectance values, or book stacks with their integral light fixtures.
It gave the director anxiety about the building not being bright enough and she sincerely believed that the library would look closed if there were not light (fixtures) on when people looked in from the outside. As a result, suspended pendant lights were ordered and installed with photosensors integral to the controls systems. The librarians may override the lighting controls.
From the get-go they tended to operate with all lights on full power at all times of day, Dean observed. “The lesson I learned is to re-assure the client: If you have a new way of doing something, point to another building to show them that it works.” Pierson agrees that you must have buy-in from the people using the space—not just the client who’s buying the building.
The team worked with future library scenarios in mind, and installed junction boxes in the ceiling in case the self-luminaired book stacks were ever removed from that space. As a primary resource of the net-positive design, the daylighting scheme is woefully underutilized, says Dean, “You can’t even see all the working daylighting architecture that’s happening in here, because your eye stops at the pendant lights.”
Still, the project was awarded an IESNA Illumination Award of Excellence for its contributions to the art and science of lighting design.
The project emphasized low-flow toilets and faucets, and a drought-resistant native landscape; but when it came to real estate for the landscape, there was little area available, recalls John Roberts, principal at John Northmore Roberts & Assoc. He was heavily involved in the design of the garden and low-flow planters in which to collect and pretreat rainwater, for the one-story building, which took up almost the entire site. “What we had left was critically important for the success of the building.”
The landscapes were strategically situated to form a pleasant green screen in front of large expanses of window walls. “When you’re inside, you feel as though you’re on the street, but you’re sitting by a garden; and those looking in, look in through vegetation,” says Roberts. Trees also provide shade to the western exposure and filter light to the children’s reading room and a multi-purpose room that holds community events. “Its largely about the light, but also filtering the water,” reminds Roberts.
T H E R O O F I S L A R G ELY A B O U T L I G H T, B U T F I LT ER I N G R A I N WAT ER R EQ U I R ED CO N S I D ER A B L E O R CH E S T R AT I O N . The entire landscape scheme is plotted around four large planters that act as stormwater treatment systems, he explains. As water filters, the planters required a great deal of orchestration on the rooftop, and precise calculations were
needed to subdivide the roof area into four quadrants that guide water into the designated planter/filters at the proper pitch, flow and volume to correspond with the size of each planter.
Dean’s and Timmons’ fi rst pass at passive techniques remained consistent even as the design developed.
10-lb. Project on 5-lb. Budget The big idea has to be zero, and committing to champion this kind of effort can be a painful process, admits Dean, who value-engineered a $7.1 million design to fi t a $5 million budget. “We did not touch any of the net-zero energy strategy, stresses Dean; the fi rst thing they did was “get rid of all the jewelry”—which meant replacing a curtainwall with a panel system. These changes left some people back in the offi ce in L.A. very unhappy, but it’s a reality of the net zero process. “The big idea here is that when you’re dealing with all these typical architectural issues you keep the zero-energy idea branded on your forehead, so you make decisions that are integrated to the other architectural solutions and that plan becomes the zero-energy,” says Dean. Th is philosophy paid off in the end, and the city of Berkeley scraped together some extra money it had saved on other library bond projects at the time, boosting the budget to $5.5 mil. The construction bid came in at $5,495,000.00.
A Dream Team Come True A close second to Dean’s commitment to making the design work within budget constraints, were several other committed team members to help assemble all of the high-performance aspects of the net-zero design into one holistic system. “Ed assembled a
really talented team; everybody was a leader in their own category,” says Timmons. It was not a profi table endeavor for those involved, he speculates, “I think many of them took it on because they believed it was a statement that needed to be made.”
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| NZB: WATER | Conservation of water is the ultimate goal, and it is the movement of water— whether it is increased flow or the restrictive uses of it—that can have just as a dramatic effect on a building’s water and energy use.
In the wake of this year’s drought in California, more attention has been placed on water conservation. The state has cut water use more than 25% every month since its water mandate.
California is now halfway to meeting its goal of 1.2 million acre-feet of water saved by February 2016.
WATER WORKING THE ABILITY TO MANAGE WATER AND ITS MOVEMENT IS TAKING CENTER STAGE IN THE OVERALL PUSH FOR BETTER WATER CONSERVATION.
Innovative—and in some cases, just common sense approaches as to how we can curb our consumption of water— has been on the forefront of everyone’s mind lately, especially in light of this year’s drought conditions out West. When we start take a look at water with a more discernible eye, not only can we preserve this valuable resource, ultimately we can also save energy.
The End Point column in the September issue of NZB cited a report from a GMP Research/PMI study that stated that only 5.5% of California’s 33.5 million installed residential and commercial toilets are high-efficiency fi xtures that use 1.28 gallons per flush. While the message is not to change legislation on flow, it iterates the importance of using available inventory from store shelves to swap out outdated fi xtures.
Good news, however, is on the horizon. A WaterSense bill supported and developed with assistance from IAPMO was introduced in congress. The Water Advanced Technologies for Efficient Resources Use Act of 2015 (The WATER Use Act), introduced by Pennsylvania Rep. Matt Cartwright, will help consumers identify more efficient water products (including
faucets, toilets, and washing machines) by codifying the EPA’s WaterSense certification program. WaterSense certified services and products are at least 20% more efficient than average products in the same category.
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IN THE NEWS
Sloan CEU Course Focuses on Green Restroom Design Sloan’s newest continuing education course , “Maximizing Water Efficiency for Sustainable Restroom Design,” focuses on highefficiency solutions for sustainably designed restrooms. The AIAand Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI)-approved course offers architects and LEED accredited professionals 1.0 credit hour upon completion. The course explains LEED v4 and legislative issues affecting water use, along with charts showing design calculations of specifying highefficiency plumbing.
GREEN DESIGN Th e Sloan CEU provides an overview of new technologies in high effi ciency plumbing products and fixtures for sustainable restroom design.
SUSTAINABLE RESTROOMS The overview includes practical, economical and environmental benefi ts of water use and trends.
EFFICIENT FIXTURES Choosing products and providing an explanation of how they apply to high performance buildings is key.
M O R E AT T EN T I O N H A S B EEN PL ACED O N WAT ER CO N S ERVAT I O N FO R LO N G -T ER M WAT ER A N D EN ERGY S AV I N GS O F CO M M ERCI A L B U I L D I N GS . W H EN W E LO O K AT WAT ER M O R E CR I T I C A L LY, T H E M O R E WAT ER W E C A N CO N S ERV E , A N D U LT I M AT ELY S AV E EN ERGY A LO N G T H E WAY.
NET ZERO WATER
To pilot the concept of Net Zero Water (NZW), an initiative to develop a toolkit to support NZW planning at the building scale was recently launched. A team of five Fort Collins, Colo. companies partnered to develop a userfriendly Microsoft Excel-based analysis tool and companion guidebook.
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In addition, this legislation directs all federal agencies to give purchase preference to WaterSense-certified products and services, providing greater certainty than existing Executive Orders addressing the issue. Further, the bill provides assistance to state, local and tribal governments; wastewater, water, and energy utilities; and nonprofit organizations to support incentive programs for consumer purchases of residential water-efficient products and services.
And there is more good news: That report about Californians not using optimum water conserving fixtures? Well, they must be doing something right. It has since been reported that Californians statewide reduced their water use by nearly 27% in August—despite exceptionally hot, dry weather—exceeding Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate to cut water usage by 25% over 2013 levels, according to figures released by the State Water Resources Control Board. It is the third month in a row the state has exceeded the 25% mark.
The August numbers dipped slightly from July figures in which Californians saved 31.4% water. Officials said savings moving forward might be more “incremental” since water use in cooler weather is already low, making increased savings more difficult. Cumulatively, the state is halfway to meeting its goal of 1.2 million acre-feet of water saved by February 2016. “For June, July and August the cumulative statewide savings rate was 28.7%, which equates to 611,566 acre-feet of water saved,” says Dain Hansen, vice president, government relations, IAPMO group.
Drainline Transport v2.0
In any event, according to Ron George, P.E., 20,000–46,000 10,000–20,000 Plumb-Tech Design & Consulting Services, with 5,000–10,000 87% of the water use in the United States for 2,000–5,000 0–2,000 non-residential water use and only a little over 8% of the water use for residential use, increases WATER WITHDRAWALS in population place an increased demand on In 2010, more than 50% of the total withdrawals in the United States were freshwater resources as each person needs water accounted for by 12 States: California, Texas, Idaho, Florida, Illinois, North for drinking, bathing, growing the crops they Carolina, Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan, New York, Alabama, and Ohio. California accounted for 11% of the total withdrawals for all categories and 10% of consume, processing the goods they consume U.S. Average total freshwater withdrawals for all categories nationwide. Source: USGS and making power that they use. “We need to > 12.6% 6.3%-12.6% seriously consider limiting development in arid3.2% -6.3% regions of the world or simply raise water rates0%-3.2% to discourage development and to help pay for the more expensive infrastructure costs to support Percent of Electric Generation from Nonhydro Renewable Sources 2013 the developments in arid regions,” says George. 20 40,000 Megawatts Installed photovoltaic generation IN THE NEWS
capacity worldwide as of 2010. Germany now accounts for 43% of the total PV installations in the world.
In the six months following the shower switch, KSU reduced dormitory water use by about 28% of the water used in the dorms, saving $6,500 in water bills.
WaterSense Awards Cobb County Georgia’s water system earned a Promotional Partner of the Year award for promoting every major WaterSense campaign, including providing WaterSense labeled showerheads to dormitories of Kennesaw State University for Shower Better Month. Elsewhere, the Sonoma-Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership was recognized as the Professional Certifying Organization Partner of the Year for accepting four organizations that adopted its Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) certification program. QWEL organizations certified 200 new landscape irrigation professionals in 2014.
Cobb County Water System purchased 3,600 WaterSense labeled showerheads for all KSU dormitories and athletic facilities on campus.
IN THE NEWS
Cobb County Water System helped Kennesaw State University save more than 650,000 gallons of water in just six months by donating WaterSense labeled showerheads.
The Plumbing Efficiency Research Coalition (PERC) announced that the report, The Drainline Transport of Solid Waste in Buildings – Phase 2.0, has been released and is now available on the PERC website: http://www. plumbingefficiencyresearchcoalition.org. The study builds on the findings of the Phase 1 report of the same title and provides new and important insights into the performance of building drains as water flows are incrementally reduced as a result of water efficiency related regulations. The PERC Phase 2.0 report addresses several important areas of study that were not included in the Phase 1 effort. Importantly, the study evaluates the potential for a sanitary pipe size reduction to improve drainline transport characteristics and help to facilitate further flow reductions in plumbing fixtures. As with the Phase 1 report, the study applies to commercial building drains, as they present the greatest risk for chronic blockages resulting from water flow reductions. According to Peter DeMarco, technical director for the study, Phase 2.0 provides insights regarding conditions that can trigger a tipping point where incremental flow reductions are increasingly likely to result in chronic drain blockages in commercial buildings.
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WATER D O W E N EED TO S ER I O U S LY CO N S I D ER R A I S I N G WATER R ATE S TO H EL P PAY FO R T H E M O R E E X PEN S I V E I N FR A S T RU C T U R E COS T S? WATER SAVINGS Caesars and its U.S. properties replaced more than 16,000 showerheads. Guests went from using 2.5 gpm to 18.8 gpm with every shower, saving an estimates 50 million gallons of water annually in properties nationwide.
CAESARS ENTERTAINMENT United States From 2008 to 2013, Caesars Entertainment reduced its water use by 18%, saving 430 million gallons of water throughout its 39 U.S. properties in the process. The savings come in part by replacing existing fixtures with WaterSense labeled models, tracking its water use, and engaging employees.
The casino company’s efforts to take the “guest” work out of saving water are all part of its CodeGreen strategy focused on water conservation and reduction. This multi-year, organization-wide strategy is helping the entertainment gaming giant significantly reduce its water use across the globe.
Wireless Tech Designed for plumbing systems without a recirculation line, the ecocirc wireless uses unique ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) technology to achieve significant energy savings while operating on as little as 20 watts of power. Bell & Gossett www.bellgossett.com CIRCLE 307
That’s a debate for another time, but no matter how you slice it, it all comes down to environmental responsibility. Especially in times of drought, we all should be looking at how we can take the bull by the horns and get on the right side of water conservation.
Graywater Diversion GreenSmart Sustainable Concept’s wireless remote-controlled graywater diverter redirects graywater drainage and sends it directly into the garden, or to a graywater collection/irrigation system. Another push of a button diverts the flow back to the sewer system. GreenSmart www.greensmartsc.com CIRCLE 306
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As part of its strategy, Caesars and its U.S. properties replaced more than 16,000 showerheads with WaterSense labeled models. Guests went from using 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) to 1.8 gpm with every shower, saving an estimated 50 million gallons of water annually in properties nationwide.
Jackpot Water Savings Across the country, innovative uses of water are being used. For example, from 2008 to 2013, Caesars Entertainment reduced its water use by 18%, saving 430 million gallons of water throughout its 39 U.S. properties in the process. The savings come in part by replacing existing fixtures with WaterSense labeled models, tracking its water use, and engaging employees. The casino company’s efforts to take the “guest” work out of saving water are all part of its CodeGreen strategy focused on water conservation and reduction. This multi-year, organization-wide strategy is helping the entertainment gaming giant significantly reduce its water use across the globe.
Beginning in 2008 as an employee-driven initiative, CodeGreen continues to grow through employee participation and interest. Each property has a CodeGreen team made up of employees from different departments and job functions, such as facilities, food service, and housekeeping, which take ownership over environmental initiatives at Caesars.
WATER REDUCTION The Californians statewide reduced their water use by nearly 27% in August—exceeding Gov. Jerry Brown’s mandate to cut water usage by 25% over 2013 levels. POWER POINT Water officials say the $470 million system will shrink the plant’s overall carbon footprint by one-third.
D.C. Water Turns Sewage to Power
D.C. Water uses hydrolysis system to convert the sludge left over from treated sewage into electricity. The system, which took four years to build, will end up paying for itself. The facilities include a dewatering building, 32 sleek thermal hydrolysis vessels, four concrete 80-ft. tall anaerobic digesters that hold 3.8 million gallons of solids each and three turbines the size of jet engines. “This project embodies a shift from treating used water as waste to leveraging it as a resource. We are proud to be the first to bring this innovation to North America for the benefits of our ratepayers, the industry and the environment,” said George S. Hawkins, D.C. Water general manager.
From Poop to Power The next time you flush in the nation’s capital, you might consider this: You—or, more precisely, whatever you have flushed—will help generate clean energy. D.C. Water, which also treats sewage from much of the Maryland and Northern Virginia suburbs, recently became the first utility in North America to use a Norwegian thermal hydrolysis system to convert the sludge left over from treated sewage into electricity. This new system will provide one-third of the 157-acre plant’s power, saving about $10 million annually. Vast amounts of water and sewage need a lot of power to move through pipes and pumps, making D.C. Water the city’s biggest consumer of electricity. The utility expects to save an additional $2 million annually on treatment chemicals and $11 million annually in trucking expenses. The project, which broke ground in 2011, was only viable through the use of innovative technology never before used in North America. DC Water brought the CAMBI thermal hydrolysis process to the continent. Thermal hydrolysis uses high heat and pressure to “pressure cook” the solids
E S PECI A L LY I N T I M E S O F D RO U G H T, W E A L L S H O U L D B E LO O K I N G AT H OW W E C A N TA K E T H E B U L L BY T H E H O R N S A N D G E T O N T H E R I G H T S I D E O F WAT ER CO N S ERVAT I O N .
left over at the end of the wastewater treatment process. This weakens the solids cell walls and the structure between cells to make the energy easily accessible to the organisms in the next stage of the process—anaerobic digestion. The methane these organisms produce is captured and fed to three large turbines to produce electricity. Steam is also captured and directed back into the process.
Hybrid Urinals Falcon Waterfree Technologies launches a multi-patent pending hybrid urinal technology. Industry-wide highefficiency urinal (HEU) adoption now allows plumbing fixtures to respond to nationwide severe drought by minimizing flush volumes. Research has shown that supplemental water flows help keep the pipes behind HEUs clean. Falcon Waterfree Tech. www.falconwaterfree.com CIRCLE 305
Finally, the solids at the end of the process are a cleaner Class A biosolids product that DC Water uses as a compost-like material. Biosolids products are currently being used around the District for urban gardens and green infrastructure projects. DC Water is also working to bring a compost-like product to market.
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LI G HTIN G
| NZB: LIGHTING |
Balancing Manual and Automatic The combination of automatic control with manual selecion gives users the best of both worlds, and optimizes visual performance, comfort and sense of ownership, while controlling energy consumption. Finding the right balance is key to operational success.
Kevin Willmorth is a lighting professional who has emphasized lighting conservation for more then 30 years. He helped create Architectural SSL magazine and remains its editor. He is also the owner of Lumenique, a consultancy focused on deploying SSL products.
ithout question, building automation delivers opportunities to control operational costs and energy consumption. Lighting controls that include occupancy sensing, time-of-day scheduled programming, daylight response, load shedding and coordination with HVAC amplify gains made. Further, the addition of automated controls interaction includes consideration of human physiological responses to light, from circadian rhythm support to variability, to enhance visual comfort on both conscious and subliminal levels. None of these approaches can be accomplished with any consistency using manual controls. However, that does not mean that manual controls are irrelevant. Manual control integration is an integral part of building automation, enhancing total system performance beyond simple code compliance by effectively serving the needs of human occupants.
more variations will occur that fall outside the parameters of the global controls. Failure to include this in automation design leads to systems being eventually defeated or abandoned regardless of the mandates and codes that put them in place. The best defense against this is careful application of manual controls that allow individuals to adapt lighting needs to suit task requirements.
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LIGHTING CONTROL Automatic lighting controls, which can include occupancy sensing, programming, load shedding and daylight response, benefi t the end user. However, donâ€™t be quick to discard manual controls, which are an integral part of building automation.
ASHRAE 90.1, Title 24, and the IECC all require inclusion of individual manual control for any space surrounded by floor-to-ceiling partitions. The former also requires a layer of automatic control to turn loads off in the form of time switches or occupancy sensors. Full automatic control is primarily reserved for traffic and egress spaces, where occupants would be endangered. This is best coupled with override control when natural light provides sufficient illumination to satisfy these requirements. While these codes lead to design of controls by prescription, they cannot be effectively applied without consideration of the needs of the humans who will occupy the spaces affected. Controls automation requires a level of averaging and assumption that fails to include fluctuations in human activity. The more local one gets, the
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Th e balance of automatic controls and manual selection optimizes comfort, visual performance, while putting more control on energy consumption and costs.
Every day, we waste over 18 trillion lumens. Isnâ€™t it time to look at light in a whole new way?
At Amerlux, we understand the value of what the right light in the right place can do. Discover the new lighting value metric at amerlux.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerluxLighting.
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22 CASE STUDY
Wireless Control As part of a campuswide upgrade plan, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., has decided to adopt wireless lighting control. Specifically, the institution is adopting Lutron’s protocol as the campus standard. First on the docket was the school’s new library, where nearly 300 wireless occupancy/vacancy sensors and associated controls were installed. Planned work includes the installation of vacancy sensors throughout the residential commons, as well as lighting and shade control systems for the university’s science hall, the LaHaye Student Union, and the DeMoss Student Center.
If there are demand areas where occupants perform a wide range of activities with varying illuminance requirements, local manual controls deliver superior results. Conference/ training rooms, employee break rooms, classrooms, hospitality guest rooms and corporate reception lounges also present a range of changing needs that make programmed controls less effective. Local manual control is more than switching lights on and off. It may include dimming control, as well as selection of color (CCT), optical focus, physical aiming, circadian rhythm effect and visual stimulation to enhance occupants’ well-being and sense of space.
To comply with ASHRAE 90.1, IECC and Title 24, most manual controls must include a hybrid connection to some form of automatic control. One example of this is in hospitality guest rooms, where occupants can choose what lights are turned on or off, and to what level, as long as their room keys are placed in a receptacle indicating the room is occupied. On departure, the room key is removed, signaling the BAS to take control and shut off all non-essential loads. This can also be applied in work environments, classrooms and conference spaces, where occupied, local manual control is made available in addition to automatically controlled, daylight-responsive components. When vacant, automatic controls step in to cut power of loads left on, including HVAC and other unnecessary local loads.
A LOAD OFF
The use of wireless sensors with reactive receptacles, such as those in Wattstopper’s Wireless Receptacle Controls Series, allows even the smallest local task and under-cabinet lighting loads to be included in combined manual/automatic controls systems, facilitating auto-on/ off without the need to wire receptacles to power packs. Wattstopper www.wattstopper.com CIRCLE 304
ONE FOR THE BOOKS The Jerry Falwell Library is the first building to break in the wireless control system. Nearly 300 sensors were installed as part of the lighting control system.
A specific goal for the renovation projects was to standardize on a system that provides essential, beautiful lighting and shade control when installed. School officials also wanted the system to be scalable so it can be expanded easily as the university continues to grow. Beyond energy savings, Lutron’s standalone wireless and Quantum Total Light Management systems were chosen for their ability to measure and analyze lighting use. Wireless protocols, school officials believe, will help future proof the system, allowing for changes and reprogramming without a need for rewiring, or otherwise disrupting previously installed controls.
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LI G HTIN G NEW YORK CITY
Luxury Lodging Gets Green Light
All guestroom lighting, HVAC and audiovisual systems in 1 Hotel Central Park are controlled by a computer that allows guests to adjust light levels to their personal comfort using a mobile app.
W H EN VAC A NT, AU TOM ATI C CO N TRO L S S TEP I N TO CU T P OW ER A N D LOA DS LEF T O N , I N CLU D I N G H VAC A N D OTH ER U N N ECE S S A RY LO C A L LOA DS .
Spaces using advanced lighting technologies to enhance human experience—such as warm lighting for restful periods, higher CCT light for intense task work, and higher intensity/high CCT (with enhanced blue content) for melatonin suppression periods—require some level of manual control to select the mode of operation, while automatic controls deliver baseline minimums and vacancy shut down. In other instances, these features are integrated into automatic programming, requiring no occupant interaction. Manual controls also present opportunities to raise consciousness in educational environments.
While automatic control of all lighting is possible, the concept presents one distinct disadvantage: Lighting is out of conscious thought for people living in spaces where interaction with lighting is no longer intimate. The end result can be a lowering of awareness of the energy consumed, and an overly restricted lighted environment that delivers sub-par performance because of a lack of adaptability. More careful thought in the combining of automatic control with manual selection and/or overrides delivers the best of both universes and optimizes visual performance, comfort and sense of ownership, while controlling energy consumption.
HEAT IS ON, ERR OFF
Vacancy sensors require that loads be manually turned on, then shutoff when occupants aren’t present. Leviton’s passive infrared vacancy sensor detects motion from a heat-emitting source within its field-of-view to automatically switch lights off. Leviton www.leviton.com CIRCLE 303
In the heart of the city is Manhattan’s new luxury eco-hotel—1 Hotel Central Park. Lighting for the LEED-certified project was designed by Focus Lighting in collaboration with AvroKO, the project’s designer. The latter extensively incorporated natural materials, including reclaimed wood walls, with live botanical installations. Focus designed an energy-efficient lighting plan, using mostly LEDs, for the hotel’s public areas, restaurant, corridors and guestrooms to complement the theme. A challenge of the technology, is that it can leave spaces feeling harsh. However, by using multiple layers of LED, the firm was able to create warm spaces that brought forth the complexities of the materials. For example, downlights reveal the texture of stone and brick walls in the lobby, while decorative pendants accent moss-lined niches in the upstairs corridors. In the guestrooms, LED tape was used to silhouette reclaimed wood headboards, and in bathrooms it was used behind mirrors, producing a halo effect. In all, the lighting added a stylish, yet sustainable touch, resulting in a system that uses 24% less energy than the maximum allowable usage.
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SLOVER LIBRARY Norfolk, Va.
The interior of the Slovar Library in Norfolk, Virginia possesses two very distinctive features. It is an adaptive reuse that combines the restored historic 115-year-old Seaboard Building, a renovated adjacent commercial building, and a new seven-story glass enclosed addition. Inside the addition, the ceiling of the multi-level addition in the Forum space is covered with an open leaf-like metal sculpture. A three-way sculptural approach was applied by Newman Architects with Tymoff+Moss; sculptor Kent Bloomer; and lighting designers Patrick B. Quigley + Assocs. The spaces in the new library are structured to link with each other through the Forum, a three-story central atrium featuring the Bloomer sculpture. “In the Forum, ambient light levels draw the user’s views to central stair, and provide illumination for the working spaces that surround it,” says lighting designer Patrick Quigley. “For special events, the original façade of the Seaboard Building that forms one wall of the Forum is lit with RGB fixtures.” LEDs are employed throughout the Forum, including 34W adjustable downlights by Lumenscape mounted to the atrium superstructure. Recessed 19.9W adjustable downlights by Focal Point are installed below the two bridges. For the Youth Library, the fluorescent grid contains packs of 12W recessed adjustable “combo” style fixtures (seen in the left of the upper right photo).
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SKY-LIGHTING The newly transformed reading room features 6W LED-G lamps from Baga positioned in the skylight wells.
W H I LE AU TO M ATI C CO N TRO L O F A LL LI G HTI N G IS P OS S I B LE , TH E CO N CEP T PR E SEN T S O N E D IS TI N C T D IS A DVA NTAG E : LI G HTI N G IS O U T O F CO NSCI O US TH O U G HT FO R PEO PLE O CCU P Y I N G TH OSE SPACE S .
Zumtobel’s SUPERSYSTEM outdoor luminaire boasts extremely flexible luminaire heads. They can be configured with 6 to 34 LED tubes featuring the most diverse beam patterns. Each tube can be aligned with high precision toward the object to be illuminated. Thus, depending on the object and distance to be covered, narrow-beam, wide-angle or asymmetrical light distribution can be provided.
This allows emission of light in a considerably more precise and targeted way than is possible with other outdoor luminaires, and to precisely adjust it to the lighting tasks at hand. Zumtobel www.zumtobelgroup.com CIRCLE 302
Luminaires enhance complex spatial structures and also provide orientation for varied buildings in the dark.
HIGH-BAY HVAC A CHALLENGE?
LSW Architects used Juno Lighting Group’s Indy ChromaControl luminaires to access a wide spectrum of white light.
The Right White Not all white light is created equal. Factors like the correlated color temperature of a white light source play a big role in determining how it will appear to a viewer. Knowing the power of the right white light, architecture and interior design firm LSW Architects added color-tunable white LED luminaires to the new materials lab in its recently renovated Vancouver, Wash. , office.
M A N UA L CO N TRO L I N TEG R ATI O N IS A N I NTEG R A L PA RT O F BU I LD I N G AU TO M ATI O N , EN H A N CI N G TOTA L S YS TE M PER FO R M A N CE B E YO N D S I M PLE CO D E CO M PLI A N CE
The firm selected Juno Lighting Group’s Indy ChromaControl luminaires to provide the tunable white light in this space, which it uses to consult with clients on color palettes, fabrics and finishes.
Using a remote control, LSW can adjust the color of the lighting to any CCT between 1600K and 4000K to produce a range of white light that varies in color from close to candlelight to near daylight.
The adaptable luminairesCM also allow LSW to MY manipulate color saturation and hue, enabling CY it to simulate its clients’ CMY lighting environments in the lab. K
The integration of automatic dimming and occupancy sensing with manual, wireless remote controls not only complies with energy codes, but enhances visual performance while optimizing energy savings. The CR Series LED architectural troffer delivers up to 5000 lumens of 90+ CRI light while achieving up to 130 lumens per watt—and it has a 10-year warranty.
You work hard to create stunning high-bay spaces, but they can have a unique set of HVAC challenges. With Airius fans, we can help to gain control of your space by mixing the air from ceiling to floor to reduce temperature layering known as stratification. We offer a range of styles, sizes, voltages, colors, motors and control options. Give us a call at 303.772.2633 or visit www.airiusfans.com
COMPACT TROFFER The CR Series LED architectural troffer’s compact, lightweight design easily accommodates recessed, surface mount or suspended installations.
The World Standard rd d For Destratification n
Cree www.cree.com CIRCLE 301
| NZB: ONSITE POWER |
Bringing Solar and Storage Together Energy storage has been making inroads in relation to solar systems, with better control features taking on a bigger role. Solar storage can provide a viable alternative to grid-supplied electricity when facilities are taking on more expensive demand charges.
Chuck Ross is a freelance writer covering building design and technology topics. He has been writing about building efficiency issues, including onsite energy and demandside management topics, for more than 20 years.
rusaders for combining energy storage— especially battery-based energy storage—are beginning to make some inroads in several states with high electricity rates and aggressive utility incentives. While energy storage hasn’t yet hit that much-touted “holy grail” status, it is proving itself to be a useful addition to new or existing solar systems, with sophisticated control systems now more important than any particular battery chemistry.
Storage As Service—Today’s Revenue Model But the lack of a direct connection shouldn’t imply that battery systems don’t add value for facilities with planned or existing PV systems. In fact, says Gabe Schwartz, marketing director for energy-storage developer Stem, the combination can provide a valuable alternative to grid-supplied electricity during times when facilities are most likely to incur expensive demand charges.
Solar and Storage: An Indirect Relationship The most net zero of onsite energy visions would combine batteries with onsite renewable resources, such as ground- or roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) panels, to create a self-perpetuating energy system. Directly recharging batteries with a connected solar system could, theoretically, enable grid-independent operation. However, in almost all of today’s installations, such direct PV/ storage integration simply isn’t happening. There are a number of reasons why such integration is not yet the norm, and the structure of today’s net metering programs leads the list.
SIZING THE SOLAR + STORAGE MARKET Th e U.S. solar-plus-storage market is very nascent today—less than 0.1% of 2014 solar PV installations were paired with storage. Source: SEIA/GTM Research U.S. Solar Market Insight report
“With net metering, you only get credit if you export your electricity to the utility grid,” says Darren Hammell, co-founder and chief strategy officer for Princeton Power Systems. The company manufactures inverters and designs integrated packages combining its inverters with battery packs and a proprietary controls system. Hammell explains that diverting that solar energy to an onsite battery system would lessen a facility’s metered contribution to the grid and result in a lower credit in the next month’s bill. So, for the time being, most grid-connected storage systems are recharged using utility-supplied power—a process generally scheduled for lowdemand, off-peak hours.
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Performance WRAPPED in Style Intense Lighting now offers the performance of the Gravity downlight in an elegant cylinder fixture. Available in 6 and 8 inch surface, pendant, and wall mount styles. This latest cylinder delivers up to 7000lm and shares all the configurability of the feature rich Gravity Family.
■ Unified light engine and trim profile across the entire Gravity family ■ 3 Step Macadam binning for greater color consistency ■ Field serviceable optic options in spot through flood ■ Lumen packages from 1000lm/ 12W to 7000lm/ 90W ■ Standard, slope ceiling and smart canopy ■ Discrete 4mm flange reveal
Intense Lighting, LLC | Anaheim, CA Visit us at www.IntenseLighting.com CIRCLE 29
POWER WHILE ENERGY STORAGE HASN’T HIT YET THAT MUCHTOUTED ‘HOLY GRAIL’ STATUS, IT IS PROVIDING ITSELF TO BE A USEFUL ADDITION TO NEW OR EXISTING SOLAR SYSTEMS. CASE STUDY
Testing More Sustainable Energy Storage Hybrid and electric vehicle makers frequently suggest their cars’ used batteries would be the perfect complement to onsite renewableenergy systems, and a new installation at a premier national park is putting that claim to the test. Toyota has installed 208 batteries recovered from hybrid Camry vehicles at Yellowstone National Park to store up to 85 kilowatt-hours of electricity in what it calls a first-of-its-kind commercial energy-storage system. The recovered batteries, which feature nickelmetal hydride chemistry and not the lithium-ion models used in battery electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, were connected to a solar array at the Yellowstone National Park’s Lamar Buffalo Ranch field campus in May. While they have reached the end of their usable life in automobile applications, the batteries still retain significant power-storage capacity, according to Toyota. In fact, the company’s engineers believe applications like this one could double the overall lifespan of hybridvehicle batteries.
“It provides the yang to the solar’s yin,” he says. He notes that energy storage can kick in to help support a portion of a facility’s load during the critical evening hours when a PV array’s production is beginning to fade. “That’s when they set their monthly peak.” Stem has a unique business model, in that it neither sells nor leases its equipment to its customers—instead, owners pay a set monthly fee for the services Stem provides. This differs from the approach SolarCity and some other companies are taking, in which system developers essentially lease space at their customers’ facilities to install solar and storage. The customers then sign a power-purchase agreement with the developer allowing them to buy electricity at a reduced rate over an extended contract period.
In addition to using its proprietary algorithms to manage each site’s storage operations, Stem also is able to operate a number of systems together, in aggregate. The collective capacity of multiple storage systems can become valuable to the connected grid, enabling the company to offer revenue-producing services to the local utility, including demand response and voltage regulation. “We manage that at a portfolio level, across a fleet—[we have] a really good sense of what’s available at any one time,” Schwartz says, explaining the capabilities of Stem’s cloud-based software. The system takes each site’s particular demand requirements into account as it bids into a system operator’s ancillary services market, adding a new income stream for building owners. “All the revenues flow directly back to the customer.”
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
Solar panels generate the renewable electricity stored within the 208 used Camry Hybrid nickel-metal hydride battery packs.
ZERO EMISSION Hybrid battery packs result in sustainable, zero emission power to the ranger station and education center for the fi rst time since it was founded.
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New Solar Research Center Launched The Lawrence Berkeley National Lab has christened a new 40,000-sq.ft. research center devoted to advancing the technology of photovoltaic and electro-chemical solar-energy systems.
Named Chu Hall, in honor of Steven Chu, the lab’s former director and a former U.S. Energy Secretary, the center will house the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis and the Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute.
Developers of the $59 million facility are aiming for LEED Gold certification. Designed by SmithGroupJJR, Chu Hall features solar hot-water panels for domestic hot water, and PV panels are powering electrical outlets in offices on the building’s third floor.
Renewable and recycled materials
will be incorporated throughout the facility, such as DHW and PV panels. ALL ABOUT CHEMISTRY
This new 2.6 kWh battery features lithium ferrous phosphate chemistry, making it both safer and longer lasting than more traditional lithium cobalt-based products. The modular units operate at 98% efficiency for 5,000-plus cycles with no heat build-up, so no extra cooling or ventilation is required. SimpliPhi Power www.simpliphipower.com CIRCLE 300
HIGH-EFFICIENCY POWER INVERTER Th e crux was to design and deliver research space—adhering to stringent vibration
and light requirements—on a small site within a compact core of interactive research facilities, on a sloping hillside.
Software Makes Chemistry Less Important So, while backup-power support might seem the natural role for a commercial battery system, the bigger market today is in allowing facilities to either cut their peak demand, provide added capacity or voltage and frequency regulation to the connected utility grid or, in some cases, all these functions. For full-load backup, diesel or natural gas generators still make more economic sense. “Backup is a big discussion point, but it obviously needs to be combined with some other kind of payback,” Hammell says. Like Schwartz, he sees great opportunity for software and controls that are creating new revenue opportunities for owners. This advanced technology enables near-instantaneous communication with—and response to—electric-utility signals.
Wet labs occupy the top fl oor, and
offi ces and common spaces promote interaction and collaboration.
Such advances have made the type of battery powering the system almost irrelevant, and put integrators, such as Princeton Power Systems and Stem, into the project-development driver’s seat, which is a major shift from the early days of battery-based storage.
Designed for commercial and distributed utility PV arrays, the Sunny Tripower 60-US inverter packs a maximum efficiency rating of 98% into a package weighing only 165 lbs. Rated at 60 kVA, the units work in concert with an Inverter Manager offering easier commissioning and complete grid-management capabilities. SMA www.sma-america.com CIRCLE 299
“Most of our projects came through battery companies, and they enlisted us to do the integration,” Hammell says, describing his company’s early days. Today, however, Princeton Power is the project mover, sourcing its batteries—whether lead-acid, lithium-ion or one of the cutting-edge “flow” models now hitting the market—from a handful of trusted suppliers. “Sixty percent of our business is in California and the West Coast, and 90% of that is lithium-ion. In New York City, it’s 90% lead acid.” 32
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Th e fi nal design involved rigorous testing, which included a 2,000-hour runtime
period; the units were subjected to a range of load and temperature conditions.
Testing the Smart Grid’s Synapses A $2 million effort now underway in San Diego is focused on developing a standardized smartinverter communications protocol that would help ensure these inverters are all speaking the same language. The project will put the de facto standard developed by the SunSpec Alliance, an industry-led standards-development coalition, to a real-world test by integrating inverters from a number of manufacturers into the state-of-the-art microgrid on the campus of the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego). Additionally, SolarCity will be installing battery systems in the homes of 50 residential customers on a single distribution circuit to test the standard’s ability to support aggregating the resulting storage capacity to help support various grid functions. Beyond simply validating the SunSpec standard, the goal of the threeyear project is to determine how much renewable energy a distribution circuit can handle. Currently, that limit has been set at 15% of that circuit’s total demand capacity–expanding that capacity could enable significantly greater penetration of distributed energy technologies.
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POWERED BY THE BENZ
The new 4R0120 and 6R120 generator sets feature Mercedes-Benz on-highway diesel engines, more commonly found in medium-duty trucks and buses, that have been adapted for power-generation applications. Power output ranges from 80 kWe to 200 kWe, and the engines are equipped with EPA Tier 3 electronic fuel systems. MTU Onsite Energy mtuonsiteenergy.com CIRCLE 298
SOLAR AND STORAGE ARE A MUCH MORE RELIABLE SOURCE OF INSTANTANEOUS BACKUP POWER.
Inverters are key to integrating distributed resources, such as solar arrays and storage, to a larger grid.
Inverters are integrated from manufacturers into the microgrid at on the campus of UC San Diego.
Synapses for the smart grid, inverters provide communication between utility and customer equipment.
The choice between lithium-ion (li-ion) and lead acid is often driven by incentive-program requirements and corresponding battery-chemistry limitations, Hammell says. California’s SelfGeneration Incentive Program calls for storage with a 2-hour discharge capability—a sweet spot for li-ion batteries—while New York City programs require 4-hour discharge capability. Additionally, local fire codes also can play a role in battery selection.
Gensets Remain in the Mix With batteries not yet the backup-power holy grail renewable-energy supporters have sought, Hammell sees an ongoing role for diesel and natural gas generators as part of a facility’s fully integrated energy system. He cites the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in his explanation of the ways solar, storage and traditional backup generation can complement each other in emergency situations. “Solar and storage are a much more reliable source of instantaneous backup power,” he says, noting a statistic that up to 50% of backup diesel generators failed in the wake of the 2012 storm. However, he adds, diesel (and natural gas) generators are a better source of long-term backup power, and definitely should be included in integrated projects where such equipment is already in place. “It’s important that those pieces play well together—it’s much more effective and much more cost-efficient.”
Finding Value in the Integration New York is leading the nation in backing creative energy installations with its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) effort, and new solar/ storage system at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT) in Brooklyn, N.Y., is one example of both the opportunities and possible hurdles facing the kinds of innovations its REV projects present. The project is earning BAT income through utility-sponsored demand-response (DR) programs, but facility managers faced some permitting and construction challenges in putting the system in place.
Payback has been extended because fire and building codes required developers (including the New York City Economic Development Corporation and Con Edison) construct a dedicated ventilated and sprinklered battery room. However, as developers noted in a recent report on the effort, evolving battery technology could mean less permitting and site requirements in the future.
The new, integrated energy installation combines a 100-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) array with a 400-kilowatthour (kWh) valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery system—Princeton Power supplied the battery inverter.
PV SUPPLY When charged by PV panels, the batteries can supply up to 100 kW for up to four hours, when called on by utility managers.
TECH CAMPUS Once serving as a supply terminal for overseas troops, the 97-acre BAT is more of a tech incubator campus.
Its efficiency might be less than half that of panelized photovoltaic (PV) products, but filmbased PV can be less expensive to manufacture and much easier to install in buildingintegrated applications. These advantages helped the selection of Heliatek’s HeliaFilm product at a Singapore industrial park. The first phase of the project, a 320-sq.-ft. covered walkway, was completed in just a few hours, despite the walkway canopy’s unevenly shaped aluminum structure. Heliatek www.heliatek.com CIRCLE 297
Distributed wind turbines installed in 2014, by sector capacity (kilowatts)
Number of projects 9
PERCENTAGE FOLLOWING IN SOLAR’S PATH With battery prices dropping quickly, makers of related power-conversion equipment and software and controls developers (collectively termed “energy storage enabling technologies, or “ESET”) are under pressure to follow suit.
This parallels progress in the solar industry, which has seen increased attention to balance-ofsystem costs as prices for panels, themselves, have fallen dramatically. Analysis by Navigant Research indicates indicates ESET market revenues are set to boom over the next 10 years, potentially hitting $21.5 billion by the end of 2024.
Heliatek’s Heliafi lm
contributes to labor savings with its ease of installation.
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| NZB: HVAC |
Measuring Up Building owners armed with their building’s energy efficiency progress are ahead of the curve. A solid benchmarking plan, which includes measurement and verification checks and balances, helps maintain sustained building health.
John Mesenbrink has been covering the building and construction industry for more than 15 years, focusing his efforts on the plumbing and HVAC industries— including the launch of his website, which focuses on the installation side of mechanical systems.
s it relates to energy efficiency, California has long been considered a leader on legislative progressiveness. In fact, California Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed AB 802 Energy Efficiency into law, which details the state’s commercial building benchmarking program which will finally be implemented and will be expanded to cover large multifamily housing, making California the first state in the country with such a program. According to the Pat Remick, senior energy communications strategist, National Resource Defense Council, benchmarking is the process of measuring and tracking energy use over time so that building owners, who spend over $400 billion annually on energy use nationally, can create more prosperous buildings and cities, and help clean the air. The energy efficiency law also provides that owners of many residential and commercial buildings will have access to their total energy usage information, enabling them to make smart energy efficiency and renewable investments to improve building performance.
Many of the same utilities do not give owners basic information about how much energy is used in their buildings. This problem occurs in thousands of buildings occupied by multiple tenants with their own utility accounts, such as apartments, shopping malls and offices. The building owner needs to know the total kilowatt hours of electricity used in the building to assess energy improvement projects. Giving the owner a “whole-building” total means the owner does not have to read meters manually or collect paper bills from tenants, which is timeconsuming, error-prone and unnecessary. Yet building owners in many cities cannot obtain this basic information from their utility, even if only on a monthly basis, and even if new “smart meters” are in place, continues Henderson.
A recent blog by Philip Henderson, Natural Resources Defense Council staff, states that many electric utilities have contradictory policies in place. It’s like they are trying to drive forward while pushing on the brakes, said Henderson. The recently signed bill cures the problem for California utilities, and utility regulators in other states should consider how to implement a similar solution. Many large utilities operate programs to help building owners improve the energy performance of their buildings, such as by paying a portion of the cost to install high-efficiency air conditioners or heat-pump water heaters.
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Healthy buildings = happy building owners. To achieve optimum building effi ciencies, a robust measurement and verifi cation plan should be in place.
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HVAC MADISON, WISC.
Seventhwave performs checks and balances on its own offi ce space by monitoring and analyzing daily data and looking for energy usage trends.
749 UNIVERSITY ROW Madison, Wisc.
Seventhwave is a nonprofit organization that consults with owners, architects, and engineers to design better buildings. The company designs and runs utility efficiency programs. It does field research on efficiency technologies, shares the results, and uses that real-world feedback to be better consultants. “We’re not in the business of producing design drawings or selling equipment. Sustainability is not a sideline part of our business; it’s what we all do every day. Our work with government and utilities gives us a unique high-level perspective on the industry. We’ve invested in building the technical depth to solve difficult low-level design problems for high-performance buildings. Since we’re not competing for the same type of work, we have great partnerships and relationships with design firms,” says Ben Heymer, PE, senior product manager. For its own office monitoring, Seventhwave uses the Tridium building automation system and the dashboard interface that used to compile, display, and analyze data is from Deck Monitoring. TAKE A LOOK:
Seventhwave is a living case study of its own building performance. For its own office monitoring, it uses building automation and a dashboard interface to compile, display and analyze data.
Tridium BAS, combined with a Deck Monitoring dashboard interface. is used to compile, display and analyze building data.
Photos courtesy of Nels Akerlund Photography
Several leading utilities have adopted sensible solutions, such as Commonwealth Edison in Chicago, PEPCO in Washington, D.C., Eversource in Boston, National Grid in New York, and Consolidated Edison in New York. Some have created online “portals” for building owners to obtain summary information (such as Landlord Manager from DTE Energy or PEPCO’s system). These utilities implemented solutions because it is good for their customers. Enabling greater energy efficiency is not only good for customers in the affected buildings, but it’s good for all the utility’s customers by lowering the utility’s costs. But for individual building owners and facility managers, where should you begin? For new buildings, owners should challenge designers to work together to come up with ways to reduce cost, complexity and energy.
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Th e geothermal system—the Daikin ground source heat pumps—are monitored and data analyzed by Seventhwave.
HVAC Monitoring The most efficient HVAC system is the one that doesn’t need to exist. The importance to balance HVAC efficiency with efficient lighting and envelope, for example, is critical. “Achieving this balance between architecture, engineering, construction, and operation is not easy; it requires excellent communication between disciplines and it is as much art as it is science,” says Ben Heymer, PE, senior product manager, Seventhwave. Once the cohesion of the team is set, it is important to have your energy checks and balances in place. As a building owner, when seeking toward zero or net zero objectives, why wouldn’t you want to ensure that the entire design team takes proper measurement and verification steps to achieve optimum efficiency in the overall building design? It starts with a proper benchmarking plan.
IN THE NEWS
Viessmann Celebrates 25 Years in the U.S.
KENTLANDS COMMUNITY CENTER Gaithersburg, Md. Harvey Hottel utilized four 6-ton horizontal Bosch FHP geothermal pumps, single and two-stage, to provide heating and cooling for Kentlands Community Center.
Early in 2013 the Kentlands Community Center’s 15-year-old air source cooling system with gas furnace heating had reached the end of its useful life. The center’s staff considered various replacement options and elected to go with a geothermal system for the retrofit. Concerns over the amount of drilling that would be needed for a closed-loop geothermal system were put to rest through the recommendation by a geothermal consultant to use standing columns, which allowed the drilling contractor to bore just two well holes. The two column wells were drilled 900 ft. into granite rock and cased to 100 ft. The static water level settled at 14 ft. with a pumping yield for each of 4 gallons per minute.
A SU CCE S SFU L EFFI CIEN C Y PROJEC T M AY H AV E SO F T B EN EFITS TH AT E XCEED TH E VA LU E O F TH E EN ERGY COS T S AV IN GS . DATA H ELPS E S TA B LISH A N D CO N FIR M TH E SE R EL ATI O NSHIPS .
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Heymer says that looking at peer buildings and historical data help evaluate risk, and measurement and verification plans promote accountability and quality of execution. There are a lot of free resources for benchmarking like the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) or Energy Star Portfolio Manager to help compare your building against other buildings.
According to Heymer, “I like to think about measurement and verification as having three distinct parts: benchmarking, fault detection and diagnostics, and optimization.” 38
A successful efficiency project may have soft benefits—maintenance, comfort, or marketing— that exceed the value of the energy cost savings. Data helps establish and confirm these relationships.
BOILER TALK The Viessmann open house showcased the newly-introduced Vitrocrossall 300A boiler.
Viessmann recently celebrated 25 years in the United States at the company’s headquarters in Warwick, RI, with a special VIP and open house event. The celebration was highlighted by speeches from Prof. Martin Viessmann, CEO and president of the executive board, Dr. Michael Luz, managing director of Viessmann U.S., Rhode Island’s lt. governor, Daniel McKee, its secretary of state, Nellie Gorbea, and the mayor of Warwick, Scott Avedisian. In his keynote, Viessmann (pictured above) spoke about the evolution of the company’s investment in the U.S. market, and its commitment to sustainability. Viessmann specifically talked about reaching high standards of energy efficiency and German climate policy targets well before the 2050 date established by the German government. “We have increased energy efficiency by more than 20% and increased our share of renewable energy by 60%. In doing so, fossil fuel consumption has been reduced by 70%, and CO2 emissions by 80%.”
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IN THE NEWS
Johnson Controls, Hitachi Announce Global Joint Venture Agreement Johnson Controls, Hitachi and Hitachi Appliances announced the companies have completed their global joint venture agreement and will immediately commence operations of Johnson ControlsHitachi Air Conditioning to provide global customers with a full range of world class air conditioning products and technology. Through the agreement, Johnson Controls has acquired a 60% ownership stake of the new entity, which has more than $350 billion in sales annually (approximately $2.8 billion). Hitachi Appliances retains ownership of the remaining 40% of the company. The joint venture has approximately 14,000 employees and 24 global locations dedicated to design, engineering and manufacturing throughout Asia, Europe and Latin America. It will build on both organizations’ technology, research and development leadership, as well as expanding marketing channels. Customers globally will now have Hitachi’s variable refrigerant flow systems, residential airconditioning solutions, high-efficiency chillers and leading-edge rotary and scroll compressors— in addition to Johnson Controls’ industry leading HVAC and building automation solutions.
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Benchmarking is the comparison of actual building performance against some representative data set. The representative data could be historical data from the same building, it could be a theoretical energy model from an engineer, or it could be a collection of measurements from peer buildings. There are ways to adjust for weather and other differences to make comparisons fairer, but these are gross approximations. Benchmarking answers the highest-level question: “Is my building performing like I expect it to?” Fault detection and diagnostics is organized troubleshooting and answers the question: “Is my building operating as it was designed to?” This usually involves gathering data from a building automation system, processing it to look for a set of pre-defined problems, and reporting exactly where and when the problems occur. The process can be manual and retrospective or it may be automatic and happen in real time. Fault detection and diagnostics helps a building achieve its original design potential—where everything works and keeps working the way the design engineers intended.
Optimization describes further steps to improve upon the original design. This might involve fine-tuning the control system or installing new equipment. An operator might use measurement and verification while carefully performing live experiments on the building to evaluate the potential long-term energy benefits. Or rather than disrupting a real building, an engineer might gather data from a measurement and verification system to build a calibrated energy model for evaluating improvements. Asking “how much better can my building be?” is usually more important for older buildings than for newer buildings, since new buildings tend to incorporate more efficiency strategies from the start.
LO O K I N G AT PEER B U I L D I N GS A N D H I S TO R I C A L DATA H EL P E VA LU AT E R I S K , A N D V ER I F I C AT I O N PL A N S PR O M OT E ACCO U N TA B I L I T Y A N D Q U A L I T Y O F E X ECU T I O N .
BIG BEAR AREA REGIONAL WASTEWATER AGENCY Big Bear, Calif. When most people think of radiant heat or hydronic snowmelt, the usual applications come to mind: warm floors, heated sidewalks and snow-free driveways. The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency (BBARWA) in Big Bear, Calif., contacted Viega Radiant Design Services with a project that needed an innovative solution. A byproduct of the water treatment process is sludge, which must be hauled by a truck to an off-site disposal area. BBARWA needed to reduce the water content and weight of the sludge, making it less expensive to haul.
BBARWA tried several different methods to dry the sludge with only marginal success, so they decided to devise a new system that would be more effective, more efficient and would reduce the odor complaints.
The team focused on requirements to generate enough heat from the slab, and used finite element analysis (FEA) to determine tubing size, spacing and install-depth based on the water temps supplied by the generator’s exhaust.
Due to the size of the heated slab, it was clear that Viega’s Climate Mat was an ideal solution.
HVAC OGDEN, UTAH
WEBER STATE UNIVERSITY Ogden, Utah
Facility management teams often lack access to the concrete ROI data that finance requires to fund efficiency projects. Lucid’s BuildingOS provides detailed ROI figures, enabling you to not only make a compelling business case for your projects, but also to continually maintain those projects over time.
Of the projected savings, 9% of total energy savings came directly from scheduling optimizations and operational effi ciency improvements enabled by BuildingOS’ intuitive analytics applications.
Lucid’s BuildingOS www.lucidconnects.com CIRCLE 295
FAU LT D E T EC T I O N A N D D I AG N OS T I C S I S O R GA N I Z ED T R O U B L E S H O OT I N G A N D A N S W ER S T H E Q U E S T I O N : “ I S MY B U I L D I N G O PER AT I N G A S D E S I G N ED TO ? ” DATA POINT
Monitoring Technology 6.6 billion
2.7 billion Global Revenue 2014
ENERGY COMPARISON According to Navigant Research, global revenue for building commissioning services is expected to grow from $2.7 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2024. Global revenue from building commissioning services is expected to total nearly $50 billion from 2014 to 2024.
Heymer suggests that if you’re willing to invest in technology, you get higher-resolution data with less manual effort. The first thing you should measure is whole-building energy consumption on hourly intervals—or more granular. This provides clarity not available from monthly bills and might spark questions like “why is my building using so much electricity at night”? It’s even better if you’re able to separately meter different systems—lighting, plug loads, and each piece of major HVAC equipment. These whole-building metering solutions do not necessarily tie in to an automation system.
For buildings without automation, or for measuring things where sensors are not installed, it’s common to install temporary data loggers for several weeks or months. This is cheaper than installing permanent sensors and can be extremely helpful in diagnosing and fixing specific issues, says Heymer. To take full advantage of an automation system, ask the installer about setting up fault detection and diagnostics; many systems are capable of sending alarms for common issues via email or text message so that owners and operators can react quickly. Ask how the data is being stored and for how long. Many systems start overwriting data after a couple of weeks, but there are great data solutions now for storing lots of data—for uploading it to an internet server—and for sharing it and accessing it from anywhere.
Weber State University uses BuildingOS to facilitate a campus-wide transformation to Net Zero Energy. By leveraging BuildingOS to bring all metering and building systems online in 2013, the sustainability team was able to identify and target $1.4 million of energy savings on the campus in 2013, resulting in a 33% reduction of their planned annual energy budget. “BuildingOS allows us to identify good energy projects, verify those projects, and then maintain those projects. From our baseline this year, we’re on track to save $1.6 million out of a roughly $5 million budget,” says Jacob Cain, director of Plant Operations, Weber State University.
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E NVE LOPE
| NZB: ENVELOPE |
Allowing History to Continue Historic preservation is about more than just aesthetics. It’s also about knowing which envelope improvements are actually improvements and which ones are simply window dressing. Finding the right balance of integrated components—all working well together—is key in building retrofit deign.
Alan Weis, a contributing writer for Architectural Products, covers thermal management issues, including building envelope and HVAC systems.
few years ago, when my family and I lived in an old wood-framed Chicago bungalow, my wife and I decided to get new front windows to replace the originals. These venerable portals had not only been rendered inoperable, but let in enough cold in the winter that we might have well been sitting outside. New vinyl windows which we selected to replace the old ones, were great—not cold to the touch and could to be opened and closed at will! In addition, we were hioing to offset the cost of the retrofit from the savings on heating bills. Well, those aspirations didn’t quite work out. You see, even had we installed the most efficient windows in the world they can’t keep the cold out if they’re installed in an inefficient, un-insulated exterior wall and, in our case, adjacent to a front door whose sealing had deteriorated over the years.
cold weather, the benefits may, in fact, be small. According to the NPS Brief No.3, vapor retarders must be continuous to work properly, which is often difficult in existing buildings. Also, if moisture moves from both the interior and exterior, depending on the season, a vapor retarder may not be required. 42
Energy efficiency concepts are the same for renovations as they are for new buildings—and in both situations, it’s not about one particular component but rather all of them working together. For retrofit projects, it’s a matter of finding out which existing envelope components are working well and which ones need to be upgraded so that the entire envelope can work together as a whole. One of the most important considerations is to know the existing building and take into account how it was intended to function and what really needs to be replaced vs. haphazardly upgrading a system or component just because of the promise of improved performance. For example, the Whole Building Design Guide Historic Preservation Subcommittee, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences explains that in certain climactic conditions, a vapor retarder may reduce the moisture contribution from interior spaces. “However, in well-insulated walls during
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REINVENTING THE PAST Th e integration of multiple, energy effi cient envelope components is the key to successful building design. For retrofi ts, it’s all about fi nding which components work well together and which ones need to be upgraded so the entire envelope can work together as a whole.
New Buildings Institute has been at the forefront the zero net energy buildings movement, working to accelerate adoption of next practices for better energy performance in the built environment.
Marin County Day School | Corte Madera, CA Photo Courtesy: Josh Partee
Our work would not be possible without the ongoing support of our sponsors.
For more information on the work we have accomplished, please download our 2013-14 Progress Report available on our website.
Find us on the web: newbuildings.org Follow us on Twitter: @ZeroEnergyBldgs
THE EAGLE CENTER
Washington, D.C. When designing the Eagle Center, the fi rst early childhood public charter school in Washington D.C., the Eagle Academy was seeking an intellectually stimulating, sustainable environment for more than 900 students that resembled their previous castle-like building. But, for the new 27,000-sq.-ft. facility, located in the southeast side of D.C., security was also a big concern.
CPI worked to create the totally custom seamless glazed look desired without any exposed aluminum connectors. Th is included a bi-colored design, alternating 27-ft.-tall blue (Eagle Academy’s color) and white panels on the inside, while the outside panels are matte fi nished for enhanced security and daytime privacy.
“The school is in a zone that would be prone to some vandalism. If there is a problem, the panels can removed one at a time,” Carlos Talero with Shinberg Levinas Architectural Design.
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The team specified 13,000 sq. ft. of UniQuad panels by CPI Daylighting. Providing building envelope protection with its advanced Removable Skin Technology (RST) that allows the exterior panel to be replaced as needed, UniQuad panels gave the Eagle Center a U-value of 0.22, per NFRC, and 100% haze, per IBC code.
Assessing Needs Mike Nicklas, business development manager with JE Berkowitz (an independent Guardian Select fabricator), notes that renovations aren’t just about preservation. “Many existing buildings are structurally sound but need to updated to meet current energy codes, or to be more marketable or just more energy efficient,” he says. In fact, these renovated buildings can potentially be more energy efficient than new construction. “I am seeing firms creating ‘building assessment’ divisions to help building owners navigate the myriad potential energy upgrades for existing buildings,” says Nicklas. According to Brian Schulz, commercial product manager for Guardian Industries, for new construction, architects typically look to design for façade appearance first, in conjunction with energy savings. “For retrofits, energy savings is often the most critical requirement so that the
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return on investment can be maximized,” says Schulz. “High-performance, low-emissivity (low-E) glass in double or triple-glazed insulated glass units can significantly improve the energy efficiency of older buildings.” Furthermore, replacing older, single-pane windows improves energy performance and can update the aesthetics of the façade. “It’s perfect timing for this economical solution, considering how many government buildings are currently being mandated to make energy efficiency improvements.” In the case of replacement glass, the most popular types are clear float glass with a low-E coating having a light blue, gray or green appearance. Low-iron glass, alternatively, may be specified to reduce the greenish cast of standard float glass for enhanced clarity. In addition, Schulz says the use of laminated glass has increased significantly from five to 10 years ago.” It’s primarily used as www.nzbmagazine.com
ENVELOPE the inboard lite of the insulated glass unit for improved safety, sound control and security.”
Let the Sun Shine in Core daylighting is another solution, one that starts at the envelope but goes much deeper into the building—but with relatively minimal disruption to the façade itself. And it is especially helpful in retrofit situations, particularly those where daylight doesn’t penetrate very far into the building. “Most of our space is existing, and much of it is void of natural light, or the natural light from perimeter windows is poor in quality and often blocked by shades or blinds,” says Peter Novak, CEO of Sundolier, a maker of core daylighting systems. “The EPA says the average American spends 87% of our time inside, 6% in cars and a miniscule 7% outside. It is essential that we bring the outside inside to excel. By design, a building retrofit driven by purpose will strive for high quality daylight in all occupied spaces easing goals to meet or transition at a later date to near or net zero environments.”
He acknowledges that retrofit projects bring additional challenges and notes that a building’s location, shell and structure play a significant role in determining where and how to employ renovations—or in cases of purchasing an existing building for renovation, whether a specific building should be considered at all. “For those considering renting or purchasing a building, the first step is to eliminate buildings from consideration that do not support the business goals,” he explains. “From a daylighting perspective, shade from other buildings or geographic elements can be good and bad. Shade can eliminate or reduce glare, but it also reduces the amount of natural light that is available to impact the space and how deep the daylight will penetrate into the space. A good understanding of windows and/or skylights in place and solutions under consideration to improve the availability and manage the daylight is essential to a great design.”
IN THE NEWS
The Metal Construction Assn. Takes on New Projects The Metal Construction Assn. has announced three new research projects. 44
BU ILD IN GS N EED TO B E U PDATED TO M EE T CU R R ENT EN ERGY CO D E S , O R E V EN TO B E MO R E M A R K E TA B LE .
Washington, D.C. Weinberg Commons, a 1960s brick and block housing project is now undergoing extensive retrofitting to meet innovative and rigorous standards of sustainable building, and provide comfortable home for 36 low-income families. This retrofit is being guided by the principles of passive house design, using energy efficient materials and extensive insulation. This approach will lower energy use in the building up to 90%. It also reduces carbon expenditure during construction, and the true environmental cost for the lifetime of the building. Weinberg Commons is D.C.’s first multifamily passive house and designed to be net zero energy efficient.
A centerpiece of the project is the roof membrane—black EPDM. It was chosen for its long-term sustainability and its energysaving potential in a cold climate.
The EPDM, along with polyiso insulation and low VOC singly ply adhesive, was donated to the Weinberg Commons project by Carlisle SynTec.
The black EPDM membrane provide long-lasting, sustainable, energy-efficient service for buildings of this type and the people who will live in them.
Project one is evaluating the air permeability in metal roof panels to measure the level of wind uplift this type of roofing can withstand. Taking place at the University of Florida, this research will evaluate and characterize the performance of discontinuous metal panels, such as modular metal roof panels and snap-together standing seam roofing. The second project, being funded by a grant to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is a study on cool wall panels to reduce building energy usage and that will impact the urban heat island effect. The project will evaluate wall materials now in three climate zones in California.
The housing project incorporates the principles of passive house design, using extensive insulation and other energy efficient materials.
The third project, in conjunction with the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) and the Metal Building Manufacturers Assn. (MBMA), studies the effects of spray polyurethane foam insulation on metal panels.
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ENVELOPE THE GOLD STANDARD
Gold Bond BRAND XP Fire-Rated 5/16-in. Radius Wall, for radius applications requiring fire-rated assemblies, is used in double-layered construction. A one-hour UL tested assembly can be achieved with two layers, and a two-hour UL tested assembly can be achieved with four layers. The PURPLE XP paper protects against mold, mildew and moisture and is also abrasionresistant.
IN THE NEWS
Layered Protection from Hurricane-level Weather Solar Decathlon is an international competition in which students and faculty collaborate to produce energyefficient homes. One of these entries, by the New York City College of Technology, involved a multi-family building in New York that needed to be durable, adaptable, and resilient. The team needed a membrane product that could withstand the toughest weather conditions, including hurricanes, and chose SOPREMA. To complete the net-zero roof, the team installed SOPRAVAP’R vapor barrier membrane, composed of selfadhered SBS modified bitumen and a polyethylene woven composite facer. They then installed a layer of mineral wool insulation material adhered by DUOTACK, a solvent-free, low-rise, two-part polyurethane insulation adhesive. SOPRABOARD was then installed, a semi-rigid, asphaltic roofing coverboard for use in approved multi-ply membrane and flashing assemblies. The team then installed a SOPRALENE self-adhered base with a self-adhered cap.
The Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to compete in solar design.
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National Gypsum www.nationalgypsum.com CIRCLE 293
For the Solar Decathlon, New York City College of Technology’s DURA entry—Diverse, Urban, Resilient and Adaptable—took an approach that meets the needs of its people.
DURA aims to mitigate disaster damage, such as the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, while proving adaptable in use.
TH E K E Y IS TO K N OW TH E E X IS TIN G BU ILD IN G, TA K IN G INTO ACCO U NT TH E INTEN D ED FU N C TI O N .
Intended to plug into a typical New York City lot, DURA can be configured as a standalone unit or four-unit high configuration.
A key component in the project is a liquid resin from SOPREMA that was used to seal the roofi ng granules and further waterproof the building.
Un-Bridging the Gap While building one type of bridge (of sorts) can help illuminate a building’s interior, another type of bridge—the thermal type—needs to be broken in order to prevent energy loss through the envelope. Laura Dwyer, North America marketing manager for DuPont Building Innovations, explains that thermal bridging occurs when a poorly insulated material allows an easy pathway for heat flow across a thermal barrier. “In a typical wall, for example, insulation is installed between the studs—but the uninsulated framing members can allow heat to flow through the wall assembly at a rate that is faster than the surrounding insulation, she says. “Eliminating thermal bridging in envelopes by use of continuous exterior insulation helps improve the structure’s energy efficiency. Addressing both air leakage and thermal bridging in a building envelope helps achieve the building’s goal of using as little energy as possible to get to net zero energy usage. Engineering the right mix of insulation methodologies combined with preventing air leaks helps minimize thermal bridging and maximizing the benefit of insulation choices.”
ENVELOPE But like fenestration, thermal bridging is one component that must be considered along with everything else—and the impact of changing any one component in an existing building must also be considered. “The role each individual component plays in the envelope’s performance and the impact that changing any of the envelope components may have on the overall performance of the structure must be acknowledged,” she says. “Some of the upgrades that are intended to improve energy efficiency can be completed without considering the implications on other aspects of the building. This can result in a piecemeal approach that can ultimately compromise the durability of the structure.” In other words, knowing thy structure and considering whether retrofitting an assembly or assemblies is an improvement instead of just assuming it is will help ensure that any upgrade is just that.
IN THE NEWS
The Whole Building Design Guide Historic Preservation Subcommittee, a program of the National Institute of Building Sciences, lists several considerations when designing and specifying components for a building envelope retrofi t:
Retain window oper-
Consider the archi-
ability but install locks and/or stops when necessary in order to control tenant use. Use operable windows for natural ventilation during temperate spring and fall months whenever possible. Use weather stripping and insulating doors and windows instead of replacing or sealing windows.
tect’s original energy conservation methods, such as operable windows, porches, overhangs, etc., and incorporate these features into the overall energy conservation plan. Retain original “tried and true” ventilation systems—e.g., attic vents, crawl spaces and airflow pattern).
insulation options and ensure that the chosen method/materials will not create condensation in a building’s interior. Maintain good breathability/permeability of the envelope, and be mindful of the original structure’s inherent tolerance to moisture.
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Tyvek Fluid Applied Weather Barrier, geared toward concrete, CMU, gypsum sheathing and complex high-rise applications, combines air and water holdout and vapor permeability. Applied in one coat, the elastomeric material can provide two to three times the coverage of other fluid applied products, according to the manufacturer.
Daylighting systems produced with Azon structural thermal Cavity—for aluminum barrier technologies— technologies—the MLP™ or Dual Cavity windows along with high performance glazing components for insulating glass, will yield a fenestration system capable of upholding the highest efficiency and sustainability standards.
Contact us to learn about the role of Azon thermal barriers in energy conservation.
DuPont www.dupont.com CIRCLE 292 1 HSW Learning Unit
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| NZB: DAYLIGHTING |
Modernizing Daylight Modeling Improved user-friendly capabilities, newer daylighting metrics, and the application of cloudbased technology, is making daylight modeling more effective and useful. Th is convergence of powerful computing and software has the potential to change the architectural landscape.
Barbara HorwitzBennett has been reporting on the architectural industry for the past 15 years. She covers glazing and daylighting for Architectural Products, and in 2011 contributed to an important industry white paper on net-zero buildings.
orking hard to make daylight modeling tools more user friendly for the typical designer, today’s software applications are also capitalizing on the speed and computational abilities of cloud-based technology. “Previously, modeling designs with dynamic or optically complex daylighting systems required manual selection of parameters, and post-processing using massive, customized spreadsheets,” explains Dane R. Sanders, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, principal, Clanton & Assocs., Boulder, Colo. “Now, some software packages automatically select the appropriate optical distribution file and multiplication factors for the specific sun position and sky condition at each calculated time point.” Spelling out more of the “then” and “now,” Carl Sterner, AIA, LEED AP, director of product marketing with Cincinnati-based Sefaira, explains that previous iterations of modeling tools have been overly complex and arcane, sometimes further complicated by 3D models that were required to be inputted into a different design environment. Furthermore, “analysis outputs had often been overly technical, obfuscating instead of illuminating, and therefore not helpful for discussion and decision-making.”
benefits to the client can be articulated with ease.”
Newer Metrics Another game-changer has been the adoption of newer daylighting metrics, namely Daylight Autonomy (DA) and Annual Sun Exposure (ASE), which utilize a weather file and provide data aggregated over time, essentially changing the way designers look, understand and probe daylighting in their designs. Jumping right in, Sefaira released an “Underlit and Overlit” analysis program this past spring, which summarizes DA and ASE in a single view, helping designers to quickly pinpoint problem areas and determine whether targets are being met on a whole-building or room-by-room basis.
SUN ANALYSIS With the implementation of cloud-based technology, powerful computing, metrics and user-friendly software, daylight modeling’s effectiveness and usefulness has been taken to a new level.
Aiming to better align daylighting analysis with the architect’s design process, developers like Sefaira have been working to make outputs more meaningful and relevant. “That means that we provide feedback directly within the BIM or 3D modeling environment using existing models,” reports Sterner. “It means robust defaults that allow designers to get high-quality results out of the box. And it means linking daylight and energy analysis so that the
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CSU POWERHOUSE In Fort Collins, Colo., Clanton Assocs. used LightStanza software to fi nd the ideal location to place the project’s daylight tracking device.
THE CONVERGENCE OF NEW DAYLIGHTING METRICS, POWERFUL COMPUTING, AND INCREASINGLY USERFRIENDLY SOFTWARE, HAS THE POTENTIAL TO CHANGE ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE.
46 FIRST FLOOR, 9AM
FIRST FLOOR, 3PM
“Our clients have found this to be incredibly useful for communicating with their clients,” notes Sterner. Taking things a step further, Boulder, Colo.-based Light Foundry, the creators of the LightStanza. software, developed a cloud-based software that calculates spatial Daylight Autonomy (sDA) with blinds operation, per the U.S. Green Building Council’s requirement. In fact, it uses IES LM-83 specifications, making it one of the only daylighting tools that can accurately determine if a project complies with the LEED v4 requirement for sDA.
Th e software, specifi -
cally, allowed the lighting designers to calculate illuminance grids.
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The tool thereby enables one of the most esoteric aspects of measuring window blinds to be visible to users in renderings. “We did this to illustrate how occupants in spaces that do not have adequate solar control will close the blinds, which reduces actual daylight availability,” says Daniel C. Glaser, PhD, LEED AP BD+C, IES, principal of Light Foundry.
Another helpful addition is Sefeira’s “Direct Sunlight” analysis tool, which aggregates hours of direct sun exposure over custom time intervals, making it very useful for passive solar design, shading design and compliance with a number of standards that restrict or encourage direct solar exposure.
Modeling Compatibility Compatibility with 3D modeling programs like SketchUp is another feature designers should look for in selecting daylighting software. “We’ve made our SketchUp plugin as ‘lightweight’ as possible so the user need not ‘rebuild’ their model in order to quickly obtain robust daylighting analysis,” explains Glaser. The idea, he says, is to make it very easy to upload the model and create, refine and compare daylighting strategies on the fly, without the burden of input complexities.
By leveraging the power of the Cloud, Sefaira supports such presentation-quality daylighting visualizations directly from SketchUp or Revit models in seconds, without having to leave the design environment. Offering a better understanding of what Sefaira has to offer, Sterner explains that the software helps architects make design decisions about elements like building form, façade and envelope. Meanwhile, figuring out details such as glazing location, floor plate depth, floor-to-floor height, shading devices and interior partitions can be made very quickly, often quite early in the design process. Another unique feature is the fact that the daylighting tool combines energy and daylight analysis, enabling designers to understand the interdependencies and tradeoffs between the two. “For instance, large windows might be great for daylighting, but can come with an energy penalty,” says Sterner. “On the other hand, good daylight can reduce the need for electric lighting and therefore reduce energy use—a key benefit of daylighting that has historically been difficult to quantify.”
AIMING TO BETTER ALIGN DAYLIGHTING ANALYSIS WITH THE ARCHITECTS DESIGN PROCESS, DEVELOPERS HAVE BEEN WORKING TO MAKE OUTPUTS MORE RELEVANT. Overall, Sefaira’s focus is away from the high-end, complex customization and toward a userfriendly interface, which enables architects to perform an early-stage comparative analysis with minimal effort and expertise. Taking a similar approach, LightStanza is a web-based application supporting easy-to-use, flexible inputs for detailed daylight simulation. For example, users can select from generic glazing types, type in a visual transmittance, use a color picker, select from diffusing and other advanced glazings, and other characterizations through validated, crisp web-inputs. “This is in contrast to the jargonized formulas and data formats required by accurate PC programs,” says Glazer. 50
The new Direct Sunlight visualization tool (right) from Sefaira quantifi es direct sun exposure over custom time ranges. Sefaira's annual Direct Autonomy visualization (bottom, left) shows the percent of hours that meet a specifi c light level over the course of the year.
The YKK AP Therma-Shade system is designed to improve comfort and lower energy consumption by decreasing solar heat gain. Designers now have a solution that can be applied to both curtain wall and storefront facades to maintain a consistent appearance across the building envelope. When integrated with YKK AP’s thermally broken systems, the innovative anchoring methods ensure that the thermal performances of the host systems are maintained. The ThermaShade system is the only Cradleto-Cradle Certified sunshade system featuring a thermal barrier within the attachment anchor. Pre-engineered solutions provide extensive flexibility for design freedom, speed of delivery, and installation. YKK AP America Inc. www.ykkap.com CIRCLE 291
“Overlit and Underlit” visualization summa-
rizes problem areas for Spatial Daylight Autonomy and Annual Sunlight Exposure in a single view.
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DAYLIGHTING AMPED UP
The M74 DS Amplifier, via 36 highly reflective facets, converts daylight at inefficient angles into usable light for increased optical efficiency. The cone-shaped diffuser also reorients daylight to the visual task plane in occupied areas.
Solatube www.solatube.com CIRCLE 290
HUB GROUP HQ Oak Brook, Ill.
The Hub Group building is the largest LEED Goldcertified commercial facility in the state, and was designed to harmonize with human health and performance as well as with the environment. In keeping with these objectives, architect Solomon Cordwell Buenz contacted Hunter Douglas to inquire about incorporating motorized shades into the project.
In terms of what’s down the line, Lighting Analysts reports that they are very close to a gamechanging solution for their well-known software programs AGi32 and ElumTools. “Both AGi32 and ElumTools offer single point in time illuminance with extremely good accuracy, however, this is about to become completely obsolete,” teases David Speer, director sales & marketing, Lighting Analysts, Littleton, Colo.
Installation partner Indecor, helped specify RB 500 roller shades as the ideal solution due to their architectural design, ease of operation, durability and versatility, along with the wide variety of anti-microbial and Cradle-to-Cradle Certified fabrics. The RB 500 system’s support for custom applications—including exceptionally large and angular windows—represented a key performance characteristic, with more than 150 RB 500 motorized coupled roller shades of 30+ feet throughout. Additionally, the system included an advanced PilotRQ weather station from ESI (a Hunter Douglas company), enabling shades to position themselves appropriately based upon sun angles. This intelligent programming ensured occupant comfort throughout the day by managing daylight and reducing the glare and solar heat gain within the space. Hunter Douglas hunterdouglascontract.com CIRCLE 289
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In the Pipeline
Offering his own projections for daylight modeling development, Sanders relates the following: Daylighting metrics will continue to adapt as new research becomes available. Modeling tools will improve functionality and compatibility to reduce remodeling efforts across different software platforms.
Manufacturers will need to measure the optical distributions of their materials for more accurate input into modeling programs. More photometric labs and optical engineers will be needed to measure and model materials. The computational power of the cloud and the computational methods of daylighting will continue to reduce daylight analysis time. Daylighting education for architects, engineers, lighting designers, energy modelers and all involved in building design, must continue to grow, making daylight analysis an integral part of the architectural design process for all buildings.
“This is an exciting time,” says Sterner. “The convergence of new daylighting metrics, powerful computing and increasingly user-friendly software has the potential to change architectural practice.”
Occupancy comfort and solar heat gain reduction was ensured at the The Hub Group headquarters when the company incorporated motorized shades that position themselves based upon the angles of the sun.
ROLLER SHADES Hunter Douglas RB 500 shades were spec’d for their ease of operation, durability and versatility.
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Net Zero Buildings magazine
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The Continuing Architect
“ TH E B I G I D E A IS TH AT W H EN YO U ’ R E D E A LI N G W ITH A LL TH E SE A RCH ITEC T U R A L IS SU E S , I N CLU D I N G BU D G E T S A N D VA LU E EN G I N EER I N G, YO U K EEP TH E ZERO - EN ERGY I D E A B R A N D ED O N YO U R FO R EH E A D.”
In the next issue (March) look for a new feature: “Zeroing In.” This more issue-oriented piece, in this case, will take a look at lessons learned from the passive house movement and examine whether they have any place in larger buildings. One of the possibilities we’ll be exploring is if the future involves more modular components. In other words, what if larger facilities were built like a collection of smaller structures that could more easily employ passive concepts?
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Headquarters requires up to 45% less energy to illuminate its interior than typical office buildings. It welcomes daylight, but also manages it, using SolarTrac® automation.
A LOOK AT THE FUTURE? World Architecture News’ World Building of 2015, the Interlace in Singapore, might just be just the kind of large structure that could lend itself to a modular and passive approach .
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| END POINT |
A Portent of Political Action? Controversial in nature, the introduction of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan shows that the United States is committed to leading global efforts to address climate change.
The moon takes on a reddish hue due to a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering—the same mechanism responsible for causing colorful sunsets.
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The appearance of the “blood moon,” a total lunar eclipse, back in September brought forth a lot of conjecture as to what the eclipse really meant. Frequency of the phenomenon—the fourth in the last two years— also brought about discussion ranging from “end of days” to its actual cause. What turned the moon a reddish color? When direct sunlight is blocked, the sun’s rays still light up the moon. This light, however, having traveled through the Earth’s atmosphere first, sometimes causes the eclipsed moon to look red or brownish. In watching the eclipse with my neighbor, we got into a debate about pollution’s impact on the event. According to Stephen F. Corfidi, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, pollution is not the cause for brilliant reds and oranges. The truth, he says, is that tropospheric aerosols—when present in abundance in the lower atmosphere—do not enhance sky colors. On the contrary, they subdue them.
The whole debate made me think about pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Say what you will about President Obama’s two terms, but when it comes to environmental policies, his administration has been proactive. One of his more controversial actions came this past August, when the president and the EPA announced the Clean Power Plan (CPP), a highly debated plan. It could be an important step in reducing carbon pollution from power plants. The plan aims to reduce CO2 emissions 32% from 2005 levels by 2030. The EPA states that the CPP is fair. With strong but achievable standards for power plants, and customized goals for states to cut the carbon pollution that is driving climate change, EPA argues the CPP provides national consistency, accountability and a level playing field while reflecting each state’s energy mix.
Further, the White House last month in engaging the community, held a roundtable discussion on the subject, inviting manufacturing leaders, including Emerson Climate Technologies, AHRI, Johnson Controls, Danfoss, Daikin and Kingspan, to voice their opinions as to how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. During the event, AHRI president and CEO Stephen Yurek reported that the industry spent more than $255 million in 2015 toward a 10-year, $5 billion commitment in R&D and capital expenditures to develop and commercialize low-global warming potential (GWP) technologies, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship. He noted that the $5 billion pledge is in addition to the nearly $2 billion that was spent on such research in the previous five years. The yearly totals are expected to grow as spending moves from research into development and testing of equipment using the new refrigerants.
“A S S TAT E S M OV E TO F R A M E T H EI R PL A N S U N D ER T H E CPP, T H I S Y E A R M A R K S A T I PP I N G P O I N T FO R EN ERGY EF F I CI EN C Y.” —STEVEN NADEL, ACEEE
When it comes to the net zero movement picking up steam, the political process is important. But in the spirit of thinking globally, but acting locally, it looks like I need to do some letter writing to my local representatives. Beyond what you may already be doing to make buildings more efficient, I encourage you to also get out that pen and paper and exercise the political power granted to all of us.
Energy efficiency measures continue to flourish in states across the country, with several states taking major steps that improved their scores in the ninth annual edition of the State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). The scorecard ranking is issued with support of the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
John Mesenbrink Contributing Editor email@example.com
WHY DRI-DESIGN? Distinction isn’t just about standing apart from the crowd, but is more about elevating yourself above the crowd. Dri-Design’s nearly unlimited palette of design options, which includes materials, colors, finishes, textures, etc., make Dri-Design unique. What makes Dri-Design distinct, is that it provides this unique range of design options, in a system that installs and performs even better than it looks. A combination of form and function that is truly distinct. • No sealants, gaskets or butyl tape means no streaking and no maintenance for owners. • Not laminated or a composite material, so panels will never delaminate. • At Dri-Design, we have a strict policy of recycling and creating products that the world can live with. • Fully tested to exceed ASTM standards and the latest AAMA 508-07. • Available in a variety of materials, colors, ﬁnishes, dimensions and textures. See us at the AIA National Convention in Atlanta, GA May 14-16, 2015 booth # 3259
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Published on Dec 8, 2015