NET ZERO BUILDINGS • Highlighting the Path Toward Zero Building Design
ENVELOPE: SKIN IN THE NZE GAME DAYLIGHTING: LESSONS LEARNED HVAC: HEAT RECOVERY AT AMAZON
NET ZERO BUILDINGS May 2018
Volume 7, Number 2
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Renewable Reality Hyper-efficient homes requiring smaller solar panels and less battery storage make an upcoming community in the Arizona desert essentially invisible to the local utility grid during peak demand.
NET ZERO BUILDINGS Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
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After receiving a donation of 388 acres, Chatham University conceived an audacious goal to create the world’s first net-positive campus. Home of the Falk School of Sustainability, it is also a model water resource, produces food, recycles nutrients, supports habitat and healthy soils—all while developing the next generation of environmental stewards.
project zero Chatham University Eden Hall Campus Richland Township, Pa. Located at the headwaters of the Ohio and Mississippi River watersheds, just outside of Pittsburgh, this new and evolving net zero campus takes an integrated approach to not only water resources and ongoing research, but student health. ON THE COVER A planned community in Arizona is generating real excitement at the opportunities residential solar-plus-storage can offer to reduce the need at peak generation.
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By John Mesenbrink
06 Toward Zero Lessons learned on the battery storage front, and a continued need for DC education. By Jim Crockett
52 End Point The future is coming fast; as professionals, we need to be ready to “jump the curve.” By John Mesenbrink
P OW ER
Sonnen battery storage is at the heart of an off-grid residential development going up outside Phoenix. It may prove a U.S. model. By Chuck Ross
District Strategies Battery Storage u Wind Power u Power Leasing u u
DAY L I G H T I N G
EN V ELO PE
Older and Wiser
Clad in Efficiency
The Human Factor
The Greater Good
As the building industry progresses—analyzing and optimizing new methods of project design—daylighting has played an invaluable and evolving, role in net zero design. A look back over two decades of net zero projects reveals some important lessons learned.
Delivering a highperformance envelope for net zero buildings can be challenging. Nevertheless, more creativity in cladding designs is helping architects optimize the envelope—and other building systems—while making the building look good.
For years, end user preference has been set aside to meet the demands of codes and budgets. Understanding the impact of lighting qualities has lagged deployment of budgets and technology, leading users to place higher emphasis on more practical metrics.
Through collaboration, each unique, integrated design should attain sustainability through aggressive water use reduction strategies and implementation to ultimately alleviate environmental impact. NZB takes a look at a few projects that spotlight water reduction.
Two high-profile projects take center stage as prominent examples of heat recovery: Seattle’s Amazon “ecodistrict” is taking heat from a nearby data center, and Stanford University is taking heat from its chiller plant, distributing it campus-wide.
Dynamic Shading Glazing u Thermal Spacing u Clerestory Windows
Insulation Passive Design u Curtainwall u Prefabricated Panels
Rainwater Collection Foam Toilets u Efficient Fixtures u Pump Logic
LED Controls Working with Data u Power over Ethernet u Public Feedback
By Barbara Horwitz-Bennett www.nzbmagazine.com
By Alan Weis
By Kevin Willmorth
By John Mesenbrink
Smart Metering DOAS u Added Intelligence u Geothermal By John Mesenbrink
NET ZERO BUILDINGS | 05.18 | 03
THE ANNUAL NZB AWARDS
VOL. 7, NO. 2
NET ZERO BUILDINGS
NET ZERO BUILDINGS
Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
Managing Partner Director Publishing Operations email@example.com
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
Premier Issue: Jan. 2013
E NVE LO PE
DAYL IGHT IN G
Barbara Horwitz-Bennett Contributing Writer
L IGHT ING
WAT E R
Senior Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
ART + PRODUCTION Dave Pape
Art Director email@example.com
Associate Art Director firstname.lastname@example.org llenkowski @cbmedia.us.com
Associate Art Director email@example.com
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 ADVERTISING SALES
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: 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 design community MOST PROMISING ELECTRONIC DESIGN TOOLS
Details and deadline information will be available soon. Questions should be directed to Jim Crockett: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Net Zero Buildings (NZB), Vol. 7, No. 2. 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 © 2018 by Construction Business Media) A Publication of Construction Business Media
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Solar-Powered Future Facing Eclipse? Renewable power will play a key role in how this country functions—it just makes too much sense not to, be it dwindling resources, concerns about impacts of coal plants, resiliency— and last but not least— saving operational dollars. So what’s the hold up?
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Despite the forenoted, as well as a desire for smart cities and microgrids—and rapid improvements in energy storage capabilities—solar still seems to be stuck in the mud; at the least, it’s prone to getting its wagon wheels stuck in ruts. It’s important to note it has nothing to do with the craftsmanship of the wagon or the wheels, but the roads themselves. Case in point, IBEW’s suburban Chicago training center’s experience with battery storage—a major missing puzzle piece which, to date, has hampered adoption. Located just off a major highway, its PV-covered Renewable Electrical Training Field is a beacon for clean energy. Indeed, it’s a place anyone can go in and kick the tires with its primary function being to train electricians on how to install and maintain renewable systems. In fact, the operation has been so successful, IBEW is constructing an expansion. That said, it
has experienced some speed bumps. Having been in operation now a couple of years, I spoke with Harry Odee, who heads the operation for IBEW 134. I was specifically curious as to how the battery storage was working out. In the spirit of advancing best practices, Harry shared some not great news—mainly that they’re not getting very good support from their inverter supplier. In experimenting with storage, the facility tried both lithium-ion and lead-acid-based batteries to power its welding lab at night, with a safety provision kicking the lab back to the grid when batteries get down to about 20%. Lead acid, they discovered, was a dead-end; the issue with the former concerned the associated bi-directional inverter panels. If ever an alarm came up, a number of the staff were to receive alerts. In reality, Odee noted they were lucky if one member of the response team received such notification; in addressing the problem, IBEW was continually met with a
lack of response from the manufacturer. As a result, it is installing a new system. “The good news is there’s a lot of new tech out there now,” said Odee. Hopefully, there are also manufacturers out there sensitive to the needs of building operators, opposed to utility operators. That said, I’m happy to report llinois’ recently enacted renewables legislation is helping. The center qualified for a grant to grow its curriculum and develop standard application practices to better communicate “lessons learned.” IBEW will also expand the program to a number of community colleges and high schools. Odee says their goal is to practically educate people as to how DC works, and how it impacts the way equipment is installed. They’re also hoping to share experiences they’ve had with different PV racking and mounting systems, particularly to help reduce roof penetration issues. Another area they’re trying to help improve
things, is on the permitting and approvals processes. “The educational process is really important,” says Odee, and that includes politicians, whom the center has also been educating to maximize continued bi-partisan support. “It’s starting to come to life. Renewables are here to stay and it’s going to get stronger and better.”
DATA POINT: At the GTM US Energy Storage Summit, Shayle Kann forecasted that US energy storage would grow from 700MW storage in 2017 to 17.4GW in 2027, driven by falling energy storage costs.
700 MW US Energy Storage 2017
2027 Source: Meeting of the Minds
Education is a triedand-true path, but an emerging option may facilitate things. Siemens, at its annual Innovation Day, here in Chicago, presented a number of “smart” solutions it’s offering, including leased microgrids. But that’s a tale for a different day, but one that promises an option that may transform muddy roads to super-information highways.
Jim Crockett, Editorial Director
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Chatham University, Eden Hall Campus Richland Township, Pa. Market: Education Size: 20 acres (Phase 1); 388 acres (full campus) Gross conditioned floor area: 42,219-sq.-ft. Gross unconditioned floor area: 3,050-sq.-ft. Site area: 1.37M-sq.-ft. Annual hours of operation: 8,760 Cost (excluding furnishing): $50 million Cost per sq. ft.: $507
| PROJECT ZERÃ˜ |
CHATHAM UNIV., EDEN HALL CAMPUS
Landscape Architect, Architect of Record, Interior Designer: Mithun General Contractor: Sota Construction Envelope: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger MEP systems: Interface Engineering Lighting designer: WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Constructed wetlands and water system design: Biohabitats Civil engineer: Civil and Environmental Consultants (CEC) Structural engineer: KPFF Engineers Project Management: Rothschild Doyno Collaborative (Onsite) General contractor: Sota Construction Commissioning agent: CJL Engineering AV/Acoustics: Shen Milson & Wilke Accessibility: Studio Pacifica Text: NZB Staff
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A Zero Impact Dream Delivered ARLINGTON, VA.
Sitting at the headwaters of the Ohio and Mississippi River watersheds, this new net zero campus takes an integrated approach to not only water resources and ongoing research, but student health. After receiving a donation of the 388-acre Eden Hall Farm north of Pittsburgh, Chatham University conceived an audacious goal: create the world’s first net-positive campus. Home of the Falk School of Sustainability, the campus is a model for water resources; it recycles nutrients and supports habitat and healthy soils, while producing food; and most important, it is developing the next generation of environmental stewards.
model where buildings, site and infrastructure are integral to the educational experience. A collaborative design process was engaged to develop the campus vision and goals, and the innovative programming to support them. According to Sandy Mendler, principal, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, with Mithun, the design team leader, extensive on-site workshops and design charrettes were held at Eden Hall. The team even brought their design studio to Chatham to work closely with what Mendler calls a “passionate” design committee that included faculty, staff, board members and student representatives. Planning sessions with local officials, and faceto-face meetings with neighbors, she says, built support with the local community for innovative systems.
Its buildings, landscapes and infrastructure support an active and experiential research environment. New building forms, outdoor gathering spaces and integrated artwork complement and interpret natural site systems, while making cutting-edge sustainable strategies transparent and explicit.
The high cost of infrastructure, when building a new campus, was a major obstacle, but also an opportunity, as innovative, linked systems have provided a unique research environment. “Local approvals for the constructed wetland wastewater system were major hurdles that required patience and persistence to overcome. Strong leadership and unwavering commitment from the campus were essential,” says Mendler.
Such a vision demanded a process where the design team participated as active partners in cocreating a new education
The first phase of the satellite campus involves 31.5 acres; it will ultimately house 1,200 residential students.
NET ZERO BUILDINGS | 05.18 | 09
TIMELINE Winter 2013: Phase 1 completion Date 2013: Design complete 2015: Substantial project completion The university has invested just over $50 million in the land, buildings and systems of Eden Hall. The initial campus consists of the following: a dining commons; a café; a field laboratory with science lab classrooms and aquaculture demonstration; and a residence hall. The master plan calls for additional residence halls, as well as an EcoCenter that will involve gallery space, classrooms and a multipurpose lecture hall. Site infrastructure includes an amphitheater, a demonstration landscape called the “mosaic field,”; and a hoop house—an aquaculture facility for year-round production which involves a constructed wetlands to biologically treat sewage waste with water and nutrient recovery. Linked energy systems include PV panels, solar hot water and geothermal cogeneration. The investment in infrastructure was over half of the total cost and will support ongoing development of the core campus. “The commitment to an innovative campus design that leverages buildings, landscapes and infrastructure for handson student research into a variety of sustainability and sustainable food research topics is widely understood to have been the driver for grants from private individuals and government entities that made this project possible,” says Mendler.
The envelope design was developed as a highly efficient barrier for temperature and humidity: LODGE
Walls: R-60 Roof: R-60-66 Slab: R-30 Above grade floor: R-66 CAFÉ
Walls: R-47 Roof: R-50–R-55 Slab: R-20 COMMONS
Walls: R-44 Roof: R-45–R-68 RESIDENCE
Hall walls: R-38 Roof: R-56–R-60 Slab: R-15
10 | 05.18 | NET ZERO BUILDINGS
Super-insulation and deep overhangs on south facing windows boost building efficiency. A consistent palette of local “low impact” materials have been selected that align with sustainability goals including durability, low maintenance and low environmental impact over the life cycle. While predominantly a locally sourced palette of natural materials, some choices highlight innovative manufactured products from the Pittsburgh area. For example, the design team worked with PPG to select new cost-effective, double-glazed products that out-perform triple glazed options.
They also used an innovative rainscreen cladding by TAKTL, a local business that developed a low embodied energy method for manufacturingthese durable exterior panels. Mithun partnered with the Pittsburgh Green Building Alliance (GBA) early in the project to gather manufacturer input into the design process through open house forums and in follow-up meetings. The contractor, a local professional with deep green building expertise, was also an important source of recommendations on products and suppliers.
REGIONAL IMPACT The campus provides an important opportunity to demonstrate sustainable land-use practices in the peri-urban setting, as this urban-to-rural interface area is the fastest growing part of greater Pittsburgh.
Seeking to Make Societal Change The overall design mission was to create an inspiring campus for hands-on, experiential learning, with buildings, landscape and infrastructure that create an immersive living-learning environment.
Electric induction cooking, efficient refrigeration and a root cellar, yielded predicted energy use reductions of 65% in the Barazzone Center.
POSITIVITY Post-occupancy studies show the campus is influencing behavior and attitudes about health and sustainability.
The systems have been designed to promote health and wellness—for example, the Orchard Dorm has operable windows in all rooms, excellent daylight and views, individual climate controls on a roomby-room basis, and 100% fresh air with no re-circulating air between rooms. Super-insulation and deep overhangs on south facing windows boost building efficiency together with an innovative radiant heating and cooling system embedded in the gypsum board ceiling, quietly heating and cooling without any separate radiator or fan.
A dozen 300-ft. deep geothermal wells, a solar hot water system and 65-kW PV array contribute to a net-zero energy campus future “energy loop,” which will share excess energy or waste heat from one building to another. As the hub for cooking and dining on campus, the Barazzone Center would have the highest EUI of any building on campus. Detailed energy models and a collaborative effort with kitchen operators to adapt the menu, and prep
AN ‘ENERGY LOOP’ WILL LINK THE CAMPUS ENHANCING EFFICIENCY AS LOW-TEMP GEO-EXCHANGE WATER SERVES AS A THERMAL SINK FOR DISTRIBUTING EXCESS HEAT TO BUILDINGS. systems—including an innovative kitchen design using electric induction cooking, high efficiency refrigeration and a root cellar with a focus on fresh food—yielded predicted energy use reductions of 65%.
The core campus will support 250 residential students when complete–with buildings, landscapes and infrastructure developed as an integrated research environment for building technology, renewable energy systems, sustainable agriculture and food systems, aquaculture, water treatment and nutrient recovery, watershed protection, soils, wildlife and habitat. As a leadership project with ambitious goals, the campus draws visitors and collaborators, engaging students in a larger intellectual community. It, particularly, takes on the challenge of sustainable living and the big idea of the “New Farm”—in other words, the idea of establishing sustainable, productive areas adjacent to urban centers that are critical for achieving sustainable regions. “It has been exciting to co-create with a university that is working to shift its culture to one that engages students as active learners initiating projects and driving innovation,” says Mendler. “We are proud of the role this campus will play in inspiring students to be curious about the natural world, and to see themselves as active participants in the creation of a healthy, sustainable and equitable built environment.”
NET ZERO BUILDINGS | 05.18 | 11
high performance translucent building systems
| PROJECT ZERO | SYSTEM ANALYSIS Cost of sustainability options led to important decisions: constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment was much less expensive than composting toilets.
RENEWABLE CONSIDERATIONS PV and solar thermal were preferred renewable sources for the dorm and field lab, while cogeneration, combined with PV, was preferred for the Barazzone Center.
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photos: Alex Upton ®
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Water is managed as a valuable resource on campus with rainwater collection and on-site biological wastewater treatment for reuse as well as groundwater recharge. Plumbing fixtures are low flow throughout. The wastewater system treats graywater and blackwater and reuses treated effluent for toilet flushing, irrigation and groundwater recharge, using a low-energy, plant-based system. Rainwater from rooftops is captured and held in below-ground cisterns, so no potable water is used for irrigation.
Twenty-four rain gardens are seamlessly integrated into the topography where water naturally collects to capture, slow and infiltrate 100% of the rainwater from built hard surfaces including roofs, sidewalks, streets, and parking lots with six below-grade infiltration galleries. These gardens employ deep-rooted native shrubs, perennials, and grasses to collect and hold water in soils prepared to slowly infiltrate water into the ground, completing the cycle within 48 hours so that mosquito larvae do not have time to hatch. Water quality of receiving streams is improved as stormwater is filtered and slowed down to reduce erosion during storms.
Stormwater management systems include natural drainage, 29,267-sq.-ft. rain gardens, a below-grade 50,000-gallon cistern, and 22,027-sq.-ft. of stormwater infiltration galleries that slow, capture and filter water. The systems achieve storage volume needed to capture and treat the runoff from storms of one-inch or less. This infrastructure has been designed to infiltrate and not discharge water for the one-year storm event. New impervious surface is limited to 15% of the phase one development area.
The on-lot wastewater treatment system has been designed to treat 6,000 gallons of wastewater per day, and reuses the disinfected treated sewage effluent for toilet flushing and drip irrigation land application. The 4,374-sq.-ft. of constructed wetland cells provides secondary treatment in the system and is located at the arrival threshold of the campus. The trickling filter tower is designed to blend in with the architectural and landscape design.
| PROJECT ZERO |
t FIELD TESTED The Field Lab at the edge of the Mosaic Field offers diverse research opportunities with an aquaculture lab for yellow perch and other coldwater species.
LIVING, LEARNING Five types of water—city potable, rainwater, graywater, treated sanitary effluent, and aquaculture effluent—are used for water quality and research.
POTABLE WATER USE: 10,373 GALLONS; WATER CONSUMED FROM RAINWATER CAPTURE: 39%; WATER CONSUMED FROM GRAY/BLACKWATER CAPTURE: 16% LIGHTING DAYLIGHTING
Illumination with the campus buildings includes a combination of energy-efficient LED and fluorescent fixtures to provide a comfortable environment that focuses on the illumination of surfaces rather than fixtures. Larger spaces utilize indirect lighting for ambient illumination together with direct lighting for tasks, as needed.
Low power density actually had a significant impact on the renewable power system. The campus actually uses less than 22% of the total renewable energy for site lighting as the result of using all LED fixtures. 24,456 kWh of the solar-generated energy is reserved for site lighting.
ENERGY CONSUMPTION The campus’ predicted lighting power density is 0.72 W/ sq. ft.; its actual consumed EUI is 91 kBTU/sq. ft./year, for a net EUI of 62.23 kBTU/sq. ft./year.
The buildings are designed to celebrate daylight, while orienting to views and providing a strong visual connection to the landscape. Simple passive design strategies are employed, with deep roof overhangs controlling excess lighting and glare in regularly occupied areas and clerestory windows balancing daylight in the main campus building, the Barazzone Center, as well as in the Field Lab. The Orchard Dorm and Dairy Barn are buildings,
says Mendler, where it is appropriate to allow occupants to experience the liveliness of direct sunlight in community gathering spaces as the sun moves across the sky, while high-performance glazing controls for excess heat gain.
CARBON IMPACT The campus’ net carbon emissions: 593,912 lb./sq. ft./year; reduction from national average EUI for building type: 75.8%.
Having direct views of the outdoors: 94% Within 30 ft. of operable windows: 77% Needing supplemental artificial lighting: 30% Occupants who can control their own light levels: 99%
NET ZERO BUILDINGS | 05.18 | 13
Final Thoughts and Statistics With a strong focus on wellness for students, faculty and visitors, the campus is intentionally laid out to encourage walking, biking and a strong connection to the outdoors. While priority is given for campus shuttle buses and ADA access, primary parking is placed at the campus perimeter. Wellness is also supported with informal gathering spaces on each floor, a gym on the upper level, and conveniently located day-lit stairways to encourage walking. As far as the certification and verification process, commissioning actually began during the design phase, with periodic reviews with the design team. The energy modeling and commissioning process met the requirements of LEED for â€œperformance pathâ€? energy modeling and advanced commissioning. A measurement and verification process was also engaged to collect one year of metered data and compare it to predicted data.
WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON WELLNESS FOR STUDENTS, FACULTY AND VISITORS, THE CAMPUS IS INTENTIONALLY LAID OUT TO ENCOURAGE WALKING, BIKING AND A STRONG CONNECTION TO THE OUTDOORS. POWER
The Eden Hall campus is designed as a gridconnected, net energy positive campus, with buildings designed to meet highly efficient energy targets of 20 EUI for building loads exclusive of food prep and aquaculture systems. Renewables include photovoltaic (PV) rooftops and canopies, solar hot water and geoexchange. A small 10-kW cogeneration plant in the dining commons produces electricity and hot water using natural gas with bio-fuel equivalency, part of a long-term waste-toenergy strategy.
An energy loop links all buildings, enhancing efficiency as low temperature geo-exchange water acts as a thermal sink and distributes excess heat to other buildings.
While the rooftop PV and solar thermal installations are complete, PV at the north parking area was deferred and bio-fuel equivalent natural gas is not yet on-line.
CONFIRMED A measurement and verification process was engaged to collect one year of metered data and compare it to predicted data.
SYMBIOSIS Stormwater leaving the site is treated to remove a minimum of 85% of all total suspended solids. Stormwater that is infiltrated into the ground has 100% removal of TSS. This effluent is reused when possible for toilet flushing; excess is slowly recharged to the groundwater through the subsurface land application system.
Predicted consumed energy use intensity: 105.9 kBTU/sq. ft./year Actual EUI: 91 kBTU/sq. ft./year Predicted Net EUI: 76.23 kBTU/sq. ft./year Actual: 62.23 kBTU/sq. ft./year Predicted Net carbon emissions: 727,525 lb./sq. ft./year Actual net carbon emissions: 593,912 lb./sq. ft./year Predicted % reduction from national average EUI for building type: 70% Actual % reduction from national average EUI for building type: 75.8%
14 | 05.18 | NET ZERO BUILDINGS
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POWER FROM THE PEOPLE HYPER-EFFICIENT HOMES REQUIRING SMALLER SOLAR PANELS AND LESS BATTERY STORAGE MAKE A PLANNED COMMUNITY IN THE ARIZONA DESERT ESSENTIALLY INVISIBLE TO THE LOCAL UTILITY GRID DURING PEAK DEMAND.
Over the past few years, the idea of combining residential rooftop solar with dispatchable storage has been the subject of numerous one-off pilot projects in various U.S. regions, but the cost of the paired systems has always been a roadblock to broader adoption.
Now, a large Arizona production builder is going all-in on such an effort, in a 2,900-home development that’s just recently broken ground and already garnering attention. The Jasper development in Prescott Valley, Ariz. is being led by Mandalay Homes, a homebuilder that’s become nationally recognized for its high-efficiency homes.
The company has won five successive Housing Innovation Awards from the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) and was recognized as an Energy Star Partner of the Year in 2016, for both the performance of its homes and its outreach and education for its home owners and potential home buyers.
The company is partnering with German battery supplier Sonnen on the development to turn its homes into virtual power plants that will become essentially invisible to the local utility grid during periods of peak demand.
Sonnen now operates similar systems in Germany in an approach it calls Sonnen Community. The deregulated utility market in Germany has allowed the company to set up near-independent utilities at the community scale, in which neighbors buy and sell rooftop-generated electricity among themselves.
Such an arrangement isn’t currently feasible in the more-regulated U.S. market. However, the software and controls enabling the German batteries to act as a single virtual power plant (VPP), based on signals from the connected grid, can be applied to help homeowners use less grid-supplied power during utility-defined peak-demand periods.
“The fleet will charge during the specified hours the utility wants us to charge,” said Blake Richetta, Sonnen’s senior vice president, responsible for the company’s U.S. operations. This means timing the batteries to tank up between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., when the local utility is typically oversupplied with electricity generated by customers’ rooftop panels.
That stored energy will be drawn down by homeowners during the peak 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. period. “We’re going to become virtually invisible to them through those hours.”
POWER SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP In Arizona, cooling, primarily electrical, drives the bulk of power demand, meaning extra-close attention must be paid to insulating and sealing the building envelope.
LESS IS MORE The high efficiency of the Discovery Home design means fewer solar panels and less battery capacity are needed to meet residents’ electrical demand.
PASSIVE PRINICPLES The Discovery Home developed by Mandalay Homes incorporates a number of passive design elements to minimize solar heat gain. These include deep exterior overhangs to minimize direct sun exposure through expansive glass window walls. Similarly, clerestory windows at the ceiling line provide indirect natural daylight deeper into the rooms’ interiors.
ULTRA EFFICIENT Under the stucco finishes, the Discovery Home design features extremely efficient wall and roof assemblies, with walls insulated to R21 and roofs to R25.
PORTABLE SUN POWER Pairing six 265-watt solar panels with a bank of six 12-volt deep-cycle, acid glass mat batteries, the SPLT-1.5k-770A-30 Solar Power Generator brings off-grid power where it’s needed. Providing a maximum output of 480 watts to connected 24-volt DC devices, the unit also incorporates a pneumatic tower mast for mounting lighting and other equipment. Larson Electronics larsonelectronics.com CIRCLE 307
“WE LOOKED FROM THE SHELL, IN. OUR PRIMARY GOAL WAS, HOW EFFICIENT CAN WE GET THE HOUSE—AND HOW CLOSE TO A PASSIVE HOUSE COULD WE GET IN PRODUCTION?” —GEOFF FERREL, CHIEF TECHNICAL OFFICER, MANDALAY HOMES
Efficiency As a Foundation The key cost enabler for this plan is the extraordinary efficiency of Mandalay’s homes. The company calls its designs “Discovery Homes,” and they’ve been rated at using less than half the energy of the average new U.S. home. This work began with a project for the city of Phoenix on a 14-home development that had been abandoned, mid-construction, during the housing crisis. The city wanted this affordable housing project, called Gordon Estates, to meet Energy Star and WaterSense performance standards. “Our primary goal was, how efficient can we get the house, how close to a passive house could we get to in a production setting,” says chief technical officer Geoff Ferrell. “We looked from the shell, in.” In Arizona, where cooling, primarily electrical, drives the bulk of electricity demand, this meant paying extra-close attention to insulating and sealing the building envelope. Built to U.S. DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Program standards, the homes’ walls are insulated to R21 and roofs to R25. And blower-door testing shows the homes achieve an ACH50 score of 0.6, indicating an air-change rate of 0.6 times per hour—a fraction of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code target of 3.0.
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KEEP IT TIGHT Interior walls and roof cavities are filled with open-cell spray foam insulation. Once this step is complete, advanced AeroBarrier sealant is applied in a pressurized process that draws the material into any remaining cracks, holes and crevices to create a nearly airtight envelope.
This latter achievement is aided by Mandalay’s adoption of a new air-sealing technology, called AeroBarrier, which garnered awards as most innovative building product and best in show at this year’s National Assn. of Home Builders International Builders Show. Mandalay was the first production builder to adopt the aerosolized product, which is applied under pressurized conditions using specialized equipment to seal leaks from the size of a human hair and up to .5-in. Energy-recover ventilators (ERVs) help ensure an efficient source of fresh air for occupants of these super-tight structures.
BABCOCK RANCH Charlotte County, Fla.
BREAKING RECORDS u A planned net-zero community that debuted in 2016, Babcock Ranch continues to make news on the renewables front.
t BATTERIES PLUS Babcock Ranch features an impressive 74.5 MW solar array. More impressive is a recent announcement by the local utility that it will add storage to the operation making it one of the largest solar-plus storage systems in the United States.
Helping Solar Make Sense In its projects since Gordon Estates, Mandalay has offered rooftop solar panels as an upgrade option for buyers, but hadn’t pushed them enthusiastically, according to Ferrell. He and company founder and CEO, Dave Everson figured they’d only be adding to Arizona’s over-supply of solar-generated electricity during daytime hours. “Dave and I saw solar, by itself, as a flawed model,” Ferrell said, describing a daytime-surplus situation that can be worse than the similar situation described by California’s famous “duck” curve. “In Arizona, the pricing goes negative and the utility actually has to discharge it into the ground. We don’t want to export to the grid, because then we’re just contributing to the problem.” However, a chance meeting between Ferrell and Richetta at a conference in Texas helped shine a light on a possible solar-plus-storage offering. With Mandalay’s high-efficiency designs, both PV and storage capacities can be significantly downsized from what a standard suburban-style home would require to keep up and running for several hours at a time.
The two penciled out specs that would enable homeowners to take themselves off the grid during the late-afternoon/early evening peak period, when demand for local utility Arizona Public Service (APS) is ramping up, just as solar resources are going offline. To meet this ambitious goal, Mandalay will be topping each of its Jasper homes with a 2kW rooftop array—a significant reduction from the more typical 7- to 8-kW system a standard-efficiency home would require to meet its own demand. Similarly, the homes’ batteries only require a capacity of 8-10kWh to keep all systems up and running for the targeted five hours, versus the possibly 20kWh system necessary for a traditional home of similar size. “That’s how we can offer it as standard,” Ferrell says, describing the math behind rolling the system out as a standard feature, rather than as one-off upgrades. “It’s much more viable because it’s so much smaller.” 20 u
IN THE NEWS
True Window-Integrated PV Geting Closet to Market SolarWindow Technologies has been working toward commercializing its see-through, window-integrated photovoltaic (PV) product since introducing “concept” modules in
2010, but progress has sped up considerably in just the last few months. In August, the company has signed a fabrication agreement with Triview Glass, and in March, it received a U.S. Dept.
of Energy grant for advanced manufacturing and, following testing by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, documented a significant improvement in performance efficiency.
The grant will help support the further development of the process by which SolarWindow coats window glass with organic photovoltaic materials to enable electricity generation.
In July 2016, NZB profiled Babcock Ranch, in Charlotte County, Fla., the first planned community to match its annual electricity demand with an onsite 74.5MW solar array. Now Florida Power & Light (FP&L), the local utility partner in developing and operating the array, is making history again by pairing that array with storage to create what it’s calling the largest U.S. solar-plus-storage system built to date. The utility will charge the 10 MW/40 MW/hour battery system using the array during peak solar hours. The batteries will help balance short-term grid imbalances and support Babcock Ranch demand as the sun goes down. As we reported previously, an onsite substation feeds solar power first to community residents, with excess exported to the FP&L grid.
GET A FASTER CHARGE The new HCS-80 64 Amp electric vehicle (EV) charging station helps support the higher-capacity charging systems many vehicle manufacturers are now adding to their newest models. The 240-volt Level 2 chargers can supply up to 15.4 kilowatts, depending on the battery system’s capacity, so drivers can get back on the road faster. ClipperCreek www.clippercreek.com CIRCLE 306
NET ZERO BUILDINGS | 05.18 | 19
POWER CASE STUDY
HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE Amherst, Mass.
A small Massachusetts liberal arts college met a big sustainability goal, and a first for a U.S. residential college, in January when it flipped the switch on a 15,000-panel solar array that will enable the school to meet 100% of its annual electricity demand with onsite solar resources. These panels join a number of other smaller installations – including on its landmark R.W. Kern Center, now under evaluation for Living Building Challenge certification – throughout the Amherst, Mass. Campus. Even better for the 1,400-student school’s bottom line, no upfront investment was required. The 19 acres of solar panels are owned and operated by SolarCity. The company is selling the output back to the college at a fixed rate estimated to cut the school’s electricity bill in half, for an annual savings of $400,000 annually.
Kansas Wind Powering More Corporate Buyers The Italian utility Enel, through its Enel Green Power North America (EPGNA) subsidiary, is furthering its growth across the U.S. prairie with the construction of its sixth utility-scale wind farm in the state of Kansas, which broke ground in March.
When the 300MW Diamond Vista facility is completed by the end of this year, EPGNA will have 1,400MW of wind capacity in Kansas, making it the state’s largest supplier.
BUILD-OUT OF THE 2,900HOME COMMUNITY WILL TAKE ABOUT A DECADE. AT THAT POINT, IT IS EXPECTED TO HOST TO ROUGHLY 23 MWH OF STORAGE CAPACITY AND 11.6 MW OF POWER. 19
Right-Sizing for Success APS’ rates already incorporated an optional timeof-use rate for residential customers, and Mandalay was able to work with the utility to expand on that plan for Jasper homebuyers. Under this pricing, Sonnen’s software will switch each home to to its respective battery system during the peak 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. period, in return for significantly lower rates the rest of the day. Batteries will recharge during the morning and early afternoon, once the software recognizes that solar-panel production is exceeding the home’s real-time demand. If the system determines onsite solar will be insufficient to reach a full battery charge by 3 p.m., it will augment that supply with electricity from the grid.
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Diamond Vista will sell a third of its output to Kohler Co., through a corporate power purchase agreement with Kohler Co., which will use the transaction to offset 100% of its annual U.S. and Canadian electricity demand.
Corporate customers of other EPGNA wind farms include T-Mobile, Anheuser-Busch, Google and Facebook. In 2017, such sales helped finance more than 1 gigawatt of new North American capacity.
Though Mandalay is offering homebuyers the possibility to upgrade both PV and storage systems, these aren’t options the company is pushing. Because net-metering has been eliminated from APS’ rate plans for new PV systems, customers see no benefit for excess solar production capacity. The company is also developing plans to educate potential customers throughout the buying process about how their own choices in future appliance and electronics purchases could affect their utility bills, but Ferrell is confident the homes will meet the primary goal of carrying even a five- to six-person household through the five-hour peak-demand period. “We’re engineering and modeling the homes with a little bit of excess – we know the objective we’re trying to meet is the energy peak,” Ferrell says. “They will make those five hours, no matter what.” Ferrell estimates full build-out of the 2,900-home Jasper community will take about a decade. At that point, the development is expected to be host to just over 23 MWh of storage capacity and 11.6 MW of power input/output potential. The hope is that this virtual resource could reduce—or even eliminate—the utility’s need to start up coal-fired generation during peak periods.
GO AHEAD AND LEASE IT After building a net zero facility, the college made an arrangement with Solar City to power its entire campus.
UNIV. OF HAWAI’I Maui, Hawai’i
2035 TARGET UH is working toward the goal to be net zero in its operations across all campuses, on a collective basis, by 2035.
SELF SUFFICIENT BY 2019 The school’s solar resources will total 2.8 MW of capacity, which will be supplemented with 13.2 MWh of distributed battery-storage capacity, allowing it to meet 100% of its electricity demand.
PARTNER UP The school is partnering with Johnson Controls and Pacific Current (a subsidiary of Hawai’i Electric Industries, parent company of local utility Hawai’i Electric Company) in the continuing effort.
The Maui College campus of the University of Hawai’i (UH) is set to become fossil-fuel free, once its campus-wide network of onsite solar arrays and battery-storage systems becomes operational in 2019. Solar resources will total 2.8 MW of capacity, which will be supplemented with 13.2 MWh of distributed battery-storage capacity. Combined, the solar and storage will allow the school to meet 100% of its electricity demand with onsite resources. The school is partnering with Johnson Controls and Pacific Current in the effort. It began with a program of major efficiency upgrades on the Maui campus, along with those of four other schools in the UH system.
Enthusiasm Running High The pairing of high-efficiency design with behind-the-meter PV and storage is proving to be a great selling point for both Mandalay and Sonnen. The homebuilder has had interested buyers visiting its offices saying they’re so interested in the approach, they want to buy now, without having to wait for homes to start going up in Jasper. Models there aren’t anticipated to be available for viewing until fourth quarter of this year. “We started having potential buyers come to us and say, ‘We really love that, and don’t want to wait another year to buy a home in Jasper, what can you do for me now,” Ferrell says. As a result of this demand, the company has rolled the design into two other developments already in development. Illustrating the affordability of the designs, one of these developments—Mountain Gate, in Clarkdale, Ariz.—will have solar-plus-storage as a standard on homes starting in the high-$200,000 range. Sales opened Feb. 1, 2018, and 15 homes were sold in the first five weeks, according to Ferrell.
And Sonnen also has seen interest grow quickly in its approach to managing storage to meet both homeowner and utility needs, thanks to the positive reception to its work with Mandalay. Richetta says the company now has commitments for more than 18,000 battery systems from U.S. homebuilders, including the planned installations in Mandalay’s three developments. As enthusiastic as Ferrell is regarding this all-in approach to pairing highly efficient design with PV-plus-storage, though, he recognizes its current financial appeal largely depends on utilityspecific rate plans and incentives. He remains bullish, though, on the promise residential storage that can be managed to reduce dependence on inefficient and expensive peak-demand generation. “The more self-sufficient residences can become from the grid, the better it will be for the grid as a whole,” he says. “If every home had 10kWh of storage available that the homeowner didn’t need—I think that’s where the holy grail is.”
IN THE NEWS
“As A Service” Cogen Model
SWEET SPOT The grid would be greatly bolstered if every home could store at least 10kWh.
California cogeneration developer Concentric Power has received $100 million in financing to further develop the cogen-as-a-service approach it has established for food processors, and expand its offerings to new markets. Like similar arrangements for PV/ storage systems, this business model requires no upfront investment for customers who, instead, sign a PPA for the onsite plant’s output.
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| NZB: DAYLIGHTING |
Older and Wiser As the building industry has been busy analyzing and optimizing new methods of project design, daylighting has played an invaluable—and evolving—role in net zero projects. A look back at close to two decades of net-zero projects reveals important daylighting lessons learned.
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.
ating back to the first commercial-scale net-zero building at Oberlin College’s Center for Environmental Studies in 2000, the building industry has been busy analyzing and optimizing this new method of designing buildings. Nearing the end of the second decade in delivering these highly energy-efficient facilities with significantly lower environmental impacts, a large part of today’s net-zero successes are informed by lessons learned from past projects. Key to this growing storehouse of valuable information is the evolving role that daylighting plays in net-zero facilities. “Striving to reduce energy usage and minimize the need to invest in a lot of renewable energy systems, we often put a big emphasis on daylighting and use daylighting considerations to drive the design,” confirms Greg Mella, FAIA, LEED AP BD+C, director of sustainable design, SmithGroupJJR, Washington D.C. “Lighting represents approximately one-third of the total energy for a building, so daylighting is critical,” agrees Patrick Thibaudeau, CCS, LEED Fellow, ILFI, sustainable design lead, HGA Architects, Minneapolis.
predictor of occupant satisfaction. “Often, the strongest economic argument for investing in daylighting solutions is rooted in improving user productivity and well-being,” adds Mella.
Nice Try In searching through the archives of net-zero projects that didn’t quite reach user expectations, Jim Hanford, AIA, principal, Miller Hull, Seattle, points out that the classic exterior shade/interior light shelf strategy is not always the best solution in the northern, overcast Pacific Northwest. “Fixed exterior shades reduce available daylight in overcast conditions; low-angle sun at higher latitudes penetrates deep; and light shelves do little to attenuate sunlight at that angle,” he explains. “As we build high performing buildings in more regions of the U.S. and the world, we are finding climate and location is important and the design needs to respond to solar angles, as well as available daylight.”
Driving HGA’s net-zero daylighting design philosophy, Thibaudeau relates that their thinking has changed from “the lights are on unless we turn them off” to “we’re starting at zero energy, so no electric lights will be used until we have optimized the use of the daylight. This approach means the default condition is electric lights are off, and are only turned on when the daylight cannot meet the needs—for example, at night or in spaces in the core of the building,” he explains. But beyond energy savings, the quality of daylight, as it relates to user comfort, is a key piece of the puzzle. In fact, Thibaudeau states that lighting quality, and access to appropriate daylight, is a top
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NET POSITIVE ENERGY Clerestory windows will help reduce the need for electrically powered artificial lighting and air conditioning, which will contribute to the net positive energy requirement.
NATURAL DAYLIGHT APLENTY These windows will be installed at the roof of the two-story atrium to provide ample daylight and natural ventilation to the open space below.
Hanford also relates that while large overhangs are good for solar control, they do not provide the needed glare control during the winter months. Rather, solar control and glare control need to be considered separately. “We have found that driving daylight down multiple floors, through skylights and lightwells, is not effective from a ‘footcandles on the workplane’ perspective without large apertures. However, smaller openings can be used to provide a connection between occupants and the sky conditions, and can help in orienting occupants with spots of daylight in a space,” he explains.
For example, while automated interior fabric shades are a great way to block unwanted direct sun—and simultaneously allow diffuse daylight into the space—they are often value engineered and replaced with manual shades; the latter, more often than not, occupants forget to open. Lamenting this universal challenge, Hanford relates that even in Miller Hull’s own office—occupied by a well-informed group of designers— the shades are still left down and the lights are turned on during the day. Generally speaking, Thibaudeau recommends carefully considering occupant behaviors and working to integrate these users into the design process.
KENDEDA BUILDING FOR INNOVATIVE SUSTAINABLE DESIGN Atlanta
The daylighting design for the net-zero, Living Building Challenge-certified Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design at Georgia Tech in Atlanta features a combination of dynamic blinds and big overhangs on the east and west façades. On the south façade, Miller Hull designed a large overhang and brise-soleil shading.
CLEAR AND PURE Like its product name, AGC’s Clearvision lends a crisp, neutral aesthetic, delivering a top-of-theline 92% light transmission. Ideal for architectural applications requiring a high degree of transparency or color optimization, the low-iron glass can be laminated, heat-treated, bent, silk-screened or insulated in thicknesses ranging from 3-mm. to 12-mm. AGC Glass North America www.agcglass.com CIRCLE 305
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Another common problem with NZB daylighting designs is when they assume operating conditions which don’t actually match what happens in the actual occupancy of the building. For example, Mike Martinez, associate principal, daylighting, Integral Group, San Francisco, states that daylighting requires some level of control protocols, but rarely are building occupants consistently engaged with the luminous environment.
Applying Lessons Learned Sharing some insights garnered from an older project, SmithGroupJJR’s design for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Merrill Center, the world’s first LEED Platinum building, Mella relates how the best intentions for daylighting can compromise comfort. Granted, this project was designed close to 20 years ago and today’s daylight modeling and software tools didn’t exist.
A MORE MATURE APPROACH RECOGNIZES THAT USER COMFORT DEPENDS ON THE INTEGRATION OF ARTIFICIAL LIGHTING AND DAYLIGHTING. That said, Mella explains that the approach was to maximize daylight and passive solar heating by relying on a south-facing window wall. “While the design’s brise soleil shielded the interior from unwanted solar heat gain during the summer, it allowed abundant daylighting during the winter. Too much daylighting, in fact, resulted in unwanted glare and compromised user comfort.” Fortunately, SmithGroupJJR was able to remedy the glare with interior blinds and light shelves, but perhaps the biggest success was applying various lessons learned for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach, Va. This time, the architects used a lot less glass along the south façade and relied on north-facing clerestory windows to bring in the majority of the daylighting. To limit solar heat gain, the windows were downsized, and the interior fit up included an open office layout with bright colored finishes and ceilings to enhance daylighting.
Not only does the facility use 96% less energy for lighting than a conventional office building, but a post-occupancy survey of building occupants demonstrated a high level of occupant satisfaction and comfort, especially with regards to lighting, for this Living Building Challenge-certified project. On the other hand, another post-occupancy study performed by Dr. Hyojin Kim, with the Catholic University of America’s Master of Science in Sustainable Design program, found that the facility underperformed for noise levels and sound privacy.
LESS ENERGY Chesapeake Bay’s Brock Environmental Center uses 96% less energy for lighting than a conventional office building.
“Moving forward, we are mindful that open office designs focused on maximizing daylighting need to also ensure acoustic comfort is addressed,” admits Mella. “At the Brock Environmental Center, the owner has installed and tuned a sound masking system. The solutions can be straightforward.” Another strong example of applying SmithGroupJJR lessons learned is a trio of projects for DPR Construction’s offices. Starting with firm’s Phoenix regional office, SmithGroupJJR worked together with DPR to deliver a net-zero project in 2011, followed by DPR’s Mid-Atlantic headquarters in Reston, Va., in 2016. With DPR’s net-zero Sacramento office currently underway, the building team has much wisdom to draw from.
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CASE STUDY VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.
LIGHT ENHANCED Windows were downsized, and the interior included an open office layout and bright colored finishes all in an effort to reduce solar heat gain.
BROCK ENVIRONMENTAL CENTER, CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION Virginia Beach, Va.
Applying lessons learned from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Merrill Center daylighting design, SmithGroupJJR, on the Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center, downsized the openings on the south façade and specified north-facing clerestory windows. An open office layout and bright colored finishes and ceilings enhance daylighting.
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IN THE NEWS
Glass and Glazing Poised for Growth in 2018 25
For starters, light tubes were a noteworthy feature of the Phoenix office, and while they boosted the building’s energy efficiency levels and user comfort, the daylighting design provides limited views to the outside, which is an important biophilic principle. In applying this heightened understanding to the Reston project, Jacob Pohlman, an electrical engineer with SmithGroupJJR’s Washington D.C. office, notes that early in the design phase they collaborated with DPR to test light tube mock-ups to ensure that the team— and more importantly, the client—understood the product and the quality of light provided. Another lesson learned from the Phoenix project was the fact that a small section of windows in the east-facing elevation received direct sunlight for one hour during summer mornings that created glare on monitors. “In retrospect, we could have recognized this in the model, and modified the size/location of this window to eliminate this minor nuisance,” explains Ryan Ferguson, LEED AP BD+C, energy specialist, net-zero certification leader, DPR Construction, Phoenix.
Yet another pearl of wisdom gleaned from a fourth net-zero DPR designed for its San Diego office, was the discovery that in the evenings and early mornings, the office lighting transition from artificial light to natural light, and visa versa, was too abrupt. In retrospect, Ferguson acknowledges that it would have been better to design the lighting ballasts to gradually increase or decrease the lighting levels so that the light intensity at their workstations remained relatively consistent. Moving on to the current Sacramento office project, the team is greatly benefitting from the previous excursions. “For this project, we have a good understanding of how to model light levels from light tubes, while also taking into account the need to balance acoustics with daylighting. There’s also a need to extend design considerations to the rooftop, balancing the competing demand for roof space from the photovoltaic array and for skylights/light tubes,” reports Pohlman.
Poised for continued growth, Key Media & Research’s (KMR) 2018 Glass and Glazing Industry Outlook projects that both the commercial and industry building sectors will incorporate more glass and glazing projects this year. “The office category continues to dominate the commercial side for glass and metal contractors, even as other more broad construction economic indicators signal that this market is leveling off,” reports Nick St. Denis, director of research for the Stafford, Virginia-based KMR. According to the report, annual sales for the top 40 glazing contractors have collectively doubled their revenue over the past five years, and the majority of companies hired in 2017, and plan to do so again in 2018.
EFFICIENCY AND COMFORT Light tubes are a significant feature at DPR’s Phoenix headquarters net-zero design. And while they boosted the building’s energy efficiency levels and user comfort, the design provides limited views to the outdoors, which is an important biophilic principle.
A BALANCING ACT Modeling light levels of the light tubes while also taking into account the need to balance acoustics with daylighting— and taking rooftop design into consideration—helped with DPR’s future projects.
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DAYLIGHTING THIS AIN’T ROCKET SCIENCE, OR IS IT? A combination of contemporary and traditional elements helps the façade; Walker Textures acid-etched Opaque, integrated with Solarban 70XL glass, complement the other buildings on the space agency’s suburban Maryland campus.
NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER Greenbelt, Md.
Architectural firm AECOM sought to create a design that blended contemporary features with traditional elements so that the façade of the new building would fit in seamlessly with the older existing structures on the space agency’s 58-yr.-old campus.
DAYLIGHTING MAX Clear, etched and spandrel glazing provides daylighting, glare control and high envelope insulating value.
“However, our biggest lesson learned is the importance of having an all-in team committed to higher levels of coordination than a typical process,” he says. “This coordination involves multiple meetings and constant shifting/adjusting of other trades—ducts, pipes, artificial lighting—to allow for a daylighting strategy to be maximized. Without full support from the entire team, it would be difficult to go through the coordination efforts required to maximize daylighting.”
“Having post-occupancy performance and occupant satisfaction data is very important and influential on current and future design work,” agrees Thibaudeau. “The more data we have from looking back, the better we can look into the future, perform predictive simulations for new buildings and realize the design intent.” Along these lines, Mella recommends measuring final outcomes and comparing them against simulation results to correct any mistakes in the simulation methodology and to make better assumptions moving forward.
Learning from the Past As the industry enters its third decade of net-zero projects, designers emphasize the importance of benefiting from their missteps. “Learning from past projects is always important, and even more so when trying to implement new design strategies or re-learn what ideas have been lost,” states Hanford. “This helps with the definition of daylight quality. Daylighting is about amount of daylight, but also about balance, control and comfort.”
Key Take Away While daylighting strategies have long been recognized as reducing a building’s electrical load, a more mature approach recognizes that user comfort largely depends on the controllability and integration of the artificial lighting and daylighting systems, says Pohlman. “Good daylighting impacts interior finish selections, artificial lighting selections and integration, furniture and interior layouts, glazing selections, window size and location and systems controls. As such, an integrated, committed, multi-disciplinary team is the critical ingredient for success,” he concludes.
To strike this balance, AECOM used the vocabulary of the adjoining buildings—brick with punched openings and limited areas of curtainwall—as a “baseline” for the look of the new building. Products from Vitro Architectural Glass and Walker Textures played a key role in establishing visual harmony. AECOM worked with glazing manufacturers to develop a complementary aesthetic for the two primary building wings. More natural light and transparency to connect the interior program spaces with the surrounding landscape.
IN THE NEWS
AAMA’S REVAMPED WEBSITE PRIORITIZES ENERGY SAVINGS
User feedback from the Miller Hull-designed Bullitt Center
The American Architectural Manufacturers Assn. has updated its website to best reflect daylighting products’ role in lowering energy costs and conserving resources.
in Seattle reported that the building’s high performance windows optimized for daylighting performance brought “beauty and spirit” to the building, helping inform the Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design project.
American Architectural Manufacturers Assn. www.aamanet.org
NET ZERO BUILDINGS | 05.18 | 27
| NZB: ENVELOPE |
Clad in Efficiency Delivering a high-performance envelope for a net-zero building is a challenge in and of itself; but a number of architects are getting really creative in coming up with cladding designs that not only help optimize the envelope and other building systems, but also look good doing it.
Alan Weis, a contributing writer for Architectural Products, covers thermal management issues, including building envelope and HVAC systems.
hen it comes to a planning a high-efficiency envelope, it’s not just what lies beneath, but also what’s on the surface that matters. In fact, designers of more innovative cladding systems are pushing their respective envelopes to meet even higher efficiency standards. Two examples of such high-octane façades can be found a stone’s throw from one another on a New York island other than Manhattan or even Long Island, but rather Roosevelt Island, home to the recently established Cornell Tech campus.
The net-zero building also required the design team to minimize glazing surfaces while maximizing daylight penetrations, noted Lee. At the exterior solid wall locations, the team maximized building insulation (R-Value) via continuous rigid insulation outside of the building frame.
That’s a (Thermal) Wrap Cornell Tech’s other main campus structure is The House, a lofty building in terms of height and efficiency. When completed, the 26-story, 270-ft.-tall residence tower will be the tallest Passive House building in the world.
One of these, the Bloomberg Center, features a façade that’s not just well thought-out, but also illustrative. According to Ung-Joo Scott Lee, project principal with Morphosis Architects, the building’s west façade registers the view of Manhattan directly across the East River; on the east side, along the campus’ main entry and Tech Walk, the façade conveys an image of Cornell University’s main campus setting in Ithaca, N.Y. The image, recalling the institution’s main campus, is then gray-scaled and pixelated; each pixel corresponds to a turn-and-tilt of a 2-in. circular “tab” on an aluminum metal panel façade. In collaboration with Kansas City-based A. Zahner and Company, each pixel in the image was digitized, with the information then fed into a robotic welding arm. The robot mechanically turned and tilted 337,500 tabs in Zahner’s fabrication shop. The algorithm itself was a collaboration between Cornell and MIT students. The center’s reflective metal panel surface, itself, is panelized from a coil product, with an iridescent paint finish that subtly shifts in color depending on the viewing angle. Each wall unit, measuring 10-ft. wide and 30-ft. high, was mapped for position along the building perimeter and set in place via a perimeter crane.
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THE HOUSE, CORNELL TECH UNIV.
CUT INFILTRATION Super-air tight, the building only opens at the base, the top and the elevator landings. This significantly reduces overall HVAC requirements.
New York The House on Cornell Tech’s Roosevelt Island campus is set to be tallest Passive House building in the world. Here are the three most important criteria to consider, according to Handel Architects, for implementing Passive House at this scale: 1) A super-insulated envelope; 2) A balanced fresh air supply and exhaust system; and 3) A super-efficient and highly variable heating and cooling system.
START WITH PASSIVE SOLUTIONS A super-insulated envelope, which acts as a thermal blanket, keeps the building at a constant temperature.
PV PRACTICALITIES The Sika SolarMount-1 mounting system and can also be assembled in a variety of configurations and orientations.
NOT IMPOSSIBLE The science and components of the building are not new; the building is using off-the-shelf technology.
The façade, constructed of a prefabricated metal panel system, plays a large role in meeting Passive House standards, according to project architect Handel Architects. The system acts as a thermally insulated blanket wrapping the building structure. At the southwest façade, facing Manhattan, the exterior façade opens to reveal a louver system that extends the entire height of the building. These are the“gills” of the building, literally providing an enclosed, louvered exterior space where the heating and cooling equipment live, allowing the building system to breathe.
KINDER, GENTLER LOW-SLOPE ATTACHMENT The Sika SolaRoof is a comprehensive, integrated solar solution incorporating the Sika SolarMount-1, a non-penetrating, aerodynamic mounting system for rigid PV panels.
Sika Sarnafil www.usa.sarnafil.sika.com CIRCLE 303
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A NEW SCALE The innovation comes in the detail and ordering of the assemblies of the façade and mechanical systems.
BREATHE DEEP Spaces are more habitable with a balanced fresh air supply/exhaust system, whereby fresh, tempered air is brought in universally.
That said, the façade is super-air tight, so nothing leaks in or out, thus requiring the amount of energy to heat or cool to dramatically drop. In fact, it only opens at three places: the base, where it peels up to form the Porch structure; the top, where the edge rises up and down, expressing the spiral around the building revealing the roof terrace; and the elevator landings, expressed as a reveal between the planes of the Wrap, which support the condensers for the cooling equipment (the aforementioned gills). One of the hurdles the project had to pass to meet Passive House criteria was to pass the “blower door test” on the entire building—a procedure that basically determines how much air is leaking through the façade. The minimum threshold for the entire building for Passive House is 0.6 air changes per hour. The House beat this standard by four times (at 0.15 ACH). 32
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Open Environment While a tight-as-a-drum envelope is one road to efficiency, there’s a time and a place—in the following case, San Diego—for openness. A new project in the city’s East Village neighborhood, Block D of Makers Quarter, is a six-story, 60,000-sq.-ft. collaborative office space takes the open approach. The building’s high-performance exterior façade uses passive design strategies to promote natural ventilation and daylighting throughout the interior workplace environments.
Net Zero Buildings on the Rise Th New Buildings Institute’s 2018 zero energy buildings list includes nearly 500 verified and emerging zero energy buildings across North America—a 700% increase since NBI began tracking projects in 2012. With private sector investment now representing nearly half of all buildings on the list, California leads the pack. That said, the Northeast and Southwest regions saw the highest growth rate. The 482 buildings represented total over 45 million sq. ft. of commercial space and include 67 verified projects (with at least one year of energy performance data), and 415 “emerging” buildings (not yet completed, fully occupied or still working to attain zero energy performance). “We see ZE buildings taking off across the country in all climate zones,” said NBI CEO Ralph DiNola. “Larger buildings, high energy-use buildings, private sector and residential are going ZE, proving that deep energy savings is not only possible, but profitable in every market and region.”
According to Matthew Porreca, principal with the project’s architect, BNIM, the exterior façade is composed of concrete shear walls, aluminum metal panels, unitized glazing systems, operable windows, glass garage doors, manually operated sliding sun shades and motorized exterior sun shades. These systems were organized based on their orientation to increase building performance and reduce operating cost. The shading systems are a dynamic design element that will change positions on a daily basis, animating the façade within its urban context. The motorized exterior shade system is located on the south and partially on the west façade to optimize performance.
The façade elements were modeled to enhance daylighting and promote cross natural ventilation in each floor, notes Porreca. The west façade also includes exterior circulation, which provides a deep overhang to shade the façade and allow for clear glazing with a reduced low-e coating to enhance the visual connection from the interior to views out to the neighborhood. Exterior stairs and collaboration balconies allowed BNIM to reduce the amount of conditioned interior space, which connects the occupants to the outdoors. “We didn’t use a traditional window to wall ratio, as we planned this project from the initial concepts to be a performance-based design to optimize daylighting and account for glazing exposure with strategically located motorized and manual sun shade systems,” Porreca says. “The façade design was developed with a strong understanding of its contributions to reducing energy demands for the project. There was a shift in project budgets, where the cost of the mechanical and electrical systems was reduced by the façade components to provide added value to the development team.” 34
DYNAMIC NATURE REFLECTS THE SUN The shading systems are a dynamic design element that will change positions on a daily basis, animating the façade within its urban context. The motorized exterior shade system is primarily located on the south façade to optimize performance.
BLOCK D, MAKERS QUARTER San Diego
Block D is a six-story, collaborative office space whose high-performance façade uses passive design strategies to promote natural ventilation and daylighting throughout the interior workplace environments.
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COST QUENCHER The performance of the façade allowed for a budget shift, reducing M/E costs to add value to the project.
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New Life, New Performance Level High-performing cladding can also bring new life to older, under-performing buildings. The Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Building, an existing GSA federal office building in Portland, Ore., built in 1974, underwent an extensive renovation and is now distinguished—as well as improved— by a new climate-responsive façade and certified as LEED Platinum. The custom-designed unitized curtainwall, constructed of thermally improved aluminum extrusions, includes fixed exterior shading elements that are tuned for each solar orientation to manage solar heat gain and reflect daylighting into the space, explains Mark Perepelitza of project architect SERA Design. The entire exterior of the building is a glass curtainwall system, but only 40% is transparent to the interior. The remaining 60% at the floor lines up to desk height, is a well-insulated spandrel behind the glass.
EDITH GREEN WENDELL WYATT BUILDING Portland, Ore.
The custom curtainwall includes fixed shading elements that are tuned for each solar orientation to manage solar heat gain and reflect daylighting into the space.
“Keep in mind that buildings with a high amount of transparency (above 40%) can be energy efficient, but should be studied carefully, including energy analysis, to understand the implications,” explains Perepelitza. “Because highly insulated glazing assemblies are significantly more expensive than opaque cladding assemblies, strategic use of glazing is a cost-effective strategy to improve building performance. The integrated façade supports an interior environment that optimizes daylighting and thermal comfort, and is also dramatically lighter than the originally precast concrete building cladding. And this helped in another way as well. As the building required a seismic upgrade, replacing this heavy cladding with the lighter curtainwall system drastically minimized the additional structural upgrades required to bring the building up to current seismic standards. It also assisted with HVAC upgrades. The design team chose to replace the air-based HVAC system with a hydronic radiant system for heating and cooling and a separate dedicated outdoor air system. And by using exterior solar shading, the cooling requirements were reduced to within the range of what the radiant system could handle.
A PROFILE OF HISTORIC YET THIN PROPORTIONS The SCW3000 Series of windows and terrace doors is designed around a 3-in. frame engineered to maintain a narrow sightline profile while facilitating the structural needs of large window openings and maintaining the historic integrity required for landmark properties. It is available for awning, hopper, casement and fixed applications, as well as floating vent fenestrations common in historic buildings. The new series, which replaces the SCW 2500 Series, boasts sound transmission ratings up to 45 STC and 36 OITC (without the need for an acoustic interior panel) and thermal values ranging from 0.23 to 0.31 U values. St. Cloud Window, Inc. www.stcloudwindow.com CIRCLE 302
COST CONSIDERATION Because highly insulated glazing assemblies are more expensive than opaque cladding assemblies, strategic use of glazing is a cost-effective strategy to improve building performance.
PEOPLE PLEASER The integrated façade supports an interior environment that optimizes both daylighting and thermal comfort.
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THERMALLY CONSCIENTIOUS Glazing surfaces on the building had to be minimized, while maximizing daylight penetrations. At solid wall locations, the team maximized building insulation (R-Value) through a continuous rigid insulation outside of the building frame.
IN THE NEWS
Guardian Publishes New EPDs and HPDs
BLOOMBERG CENTER Manhattan, New York
The Bloomberg Center, by Morphosis, features a façade that’s not just well thought out from a thermal performance standpoint, but one that’s also illustrative. Along its east side, amid the campus’ main entry and Tech Walk, the façade conveys the image of Cornell University’s main campus setting in Ithaca, N.Y. To become part of the façade, the image
was grayscaled and pixelated, with each pixel corresponding to a turnand-tilt of a 2-in. circular “tab” on an aluminum metal panel façade. In collaboration with Kansas City-based A. Zahner and Company, each pixel was digitized, with the information then fed into a robotic welding arm for fabrication.
CAREFULLY CALCULATED Window areas were placed to maximize daylighting and exterior views; 40% of the building surface is glass and the remaining 60% is opaque.
High on Speed, Low on Leaks A multi-family 52,781-sq.-ft., 49-unit structure called Whitehall, in Spring City, Pa., is effectively debunking many commonly held notions about building to Passive House standards. The project is proving that its prefabricated panelized wall system is an easy and simple prescription for other builders and developers to achieve Passive House standards. The system is manufactured by Build
SMART and consists of a pre-pressed panel with pre-installed Passive House-certified windows and doors, continuous exterior insulation, preformed corners, an integrated air barrier and water-resistive barrier, and an exterior nail base. The system is a key component to the building envelope’s airtightness, with a blower test yielding a result of 3,550 CFM, which translates to 0.50 ACH50—well
below the Passive House Institute standard of 0.60 ACH50 that the project sought—and resulting in no leak chasing. It can also be installed rapidly. The building’s first story, encompassing about 805 lin. ft. of walls, took four crew members just 4.5 days to complete, And that time frame doesn’t take into consideration window and door installation.
The system includes pre-fab panels containing Passive House-certified windows and doors.
With a crew of four, the pre-fab system was erected in just 4.5 days.
Guardian Glass North America has published Environmental Product Declarations for flat glass and processed glass products manufactured at its seven North American plants. The company also has an updated Health Product Declaration, version 2.1, for flat and processed glass. The documents are in accordance with ISO 14025 and can help building projects earn up to two LEED v4 credits.
The flat glass EPD from Guardian Glass covers unprocessed products such as Guardian UltraClear low-iron glass, clear and tinted glass. The processed glass EPD covers coated, heat-treated and/or textured products from the Guardian SunGuard and ClimaGuard exterior glass product lines, and interior glass products such as ShowerGuard coated glass. Each EPD contains a full list of the products it covers. Guardian’s development of these documents included review and approval from UL Environment.
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| NZB: LIGHTING |
Decision-Making in the Human Era Be it serving metrics, budgets or user preference, flexible and intelligent lighting systems are freeing clients from energy code or budget restrictions, in order to pursue technology options that place both human factors and operational ‘wishes,’ at a much higher priority than days past.
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.
or decades, the preferences of end users have been set aside to meet the demands of energy codes and budgeting constraints. Technology simply could not deliver high enough total efficacy—light delivered per watt and dollar consumed—to place human factors as the highest priority. Further, understanding of the impact of lighting qualities has lagged deployment of technology and shrinking budgets, leading decision-makers to place emphasis on more practical metrics. The emergence of solid-state lighting technology coincides with a growing awareness of the effect characteristics of light have on human visual performance and well-being. The two factors create a perfect storm of opportunity. Solid-state lighting delivers practical superiority in metric terms, it supports incorporation of human factors consideration. Where prior lamp technologies fix the light in rigid glass envelopes, with control over brightness—LED technology can provide variable color (CCT), spectral content (SPD), and variable output from full bright to dark. Further, the tuning of spectral power can include support human circadian timing without changing the perceived color of light. Most importantly, the benefits of tunable light are achievable with marginal impact on energy efficiency. While there is a premium cost involved, the relationship between enhanced human performance, reduction in wellness days taken and enhanced mood from feeling of well-being support rationalizing costs involved. The demand for directed increases of controls integration opens the door for adding additional capacity for white light tuning. The expanding role of wireless interfaces, smart controls technology, and eventually the IoT, include capabilities for control of color in addition to intensity, dimin-
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ishing the premium this capacity might command. Integration of occupancy sensing, daylight sensing, and user interaction in modern controls schemes provides a landscape perfectly suited to include human factor considerations. The leading question today is not whether these things can be done, but, more aptly, why are we not doing more? The real answer is less about technology and desire, than it is about disrupting conventional decision making. Regardless of a growing body of evidence that human considered lighting produces tangible results, conventional lumens per watt and dollars per foot metric evaluation tools remain as primary talking points. Even if there is no energy premium to be paid, making a case to support additional costs of system features to enhance human considerations are often difficult to make.
HUMAN CENTRIC: The emergence of solid-state lighting coincides with a growing awareness of the effect characteristics of light have on human visual performance and well-being.
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BE IT WHITE LIGHT TUNING FOR MOOD SETTING, TO FULL CONTROL OF SPECTRAL POWER CONTENT TO ENHANCE WELL-BEING—MOST CAN BE ACHIEVED WITH MINIMAL IMPACT ON POWER CONSUMPTION. 36
ON A ROLL The proprietary ControlRoll optics used in the SuperPlane 4 Recessed luminaire help create seamless illumination – in either direct ambient or direct asymmetric distribution – in lengths of up to 250 ft. The optics are supplied in a roll form that can be snapped into place. The fixtures fit into a range of ceiling types and are available in a range of lumen packages. ALW www.alwusa.com CIRCLE 301
For projects pursuing IWBI WELL certification, the program provides prescriptive rationalization of many considerations. Title 24 includes several indirect compliance factors, that once included in design, can be readily enhanced with further features at nominal expense. For others, creating a case can include reference to several IES publications, such as TM-24-13 ‘Adjusting Recommended Illuminance for Visually Demanding Tasks Within IES Illuminance Categories P through Y, Based on Light Source Spectrum’ to support a case for reducing energy consumption (revenue source) while realizing enhanced visual performance. For clever designers, this can be extrapolated to support variable tunable light, inclusion of user-controlled task lighting, and other desirable features to suit user preferences. Beyond this, a great deal of information is available from the Lighting Research Center, including peer reviewed scientific research addressing light and its impact on human health.
ST. MARTIN TOWER Frankfurt, Germany
The tower, in the financial capital, is an example of innovative modern office design in that it is embracing data collection via smart lighting for the betterment of its tenants. The general rooms of the tower are equipped with PANOS inifinity, SEQUENCE, DIAMO and CARDAN LEDs. Beyond light quality, the luminaires, controlled by the LUXMATE LITENET, automatically control the luminaires and blinds. If a customer would like to rent individual rooms or whole floors, ZGS, turnkey, can coordinate the entire project. In other words, everything is included: planning, installation, commissioning—even maintenance— on request.
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BIG DATA MADE EASY—OVERSEAS Zumtobel’s European ZGS service, not only provides and installs intelligent lighting systems, it provides relevant data analysis to its customers.
DATA COLLECTION Information about factors such as space management, can be recorded, collected and visualized on a dashboard, to improve processes such as cleaning operations.
The layers of human considered lighting features have grown deeper over the last decade. From basic illumination level modulation and white light tuning for mood setting—to full control of spectral power content to enhance well-being and visual performance. Virtually all of these can be achieved with minimal impact on energy consumption. Concurrently, the raw efficacy of solid-state light sources exceeds what is needed to meet energy power budgeting, creating a surplus to utilize for enhancements. Dynamic lighting controls can also be employed, that establish a set maximum energy consumption budget, adjusting lighting features and illuminance balancing in response to sensor input (daylight, occupancy, time of day) to comply, while supporting desirable effects on human health.
NET POSITIVE The efficacy of solid-state light sources exceeds what is needed to meet energy power budgeting, creating a surplus to utilize for enhancements.
EASY INTEGRATION EnOcean’s wireless Easyfit LED controls for LED lighting control meet various open standards. These enable simple commissioning, intelligent local control, and seamless integration with building automation systems. Enocean www.enocean.com CIRCLE 300
IN THE NEWS
POE Predictions FIRST IMPRESSIONS The resort wanted to present a more distinctive lighting façade for arriving guests, as well as be able to customize lighting.
NEMACOLIN RESORT Laurel Highlands, Pa.
Situated on 2,000 wooded acres, the resort, beyond the main hotel includes townhomes, vacation homes and a boutique hotel. It needed
options for controlling and changing white and colored light scenes, indoors and outdoors, around the complex. Resort officials wanted this now integrated lighting to communicate
with its building management system over the IP digital network. Legrand provided the gateway that allowed advanced remote capabilities. Currently, the resort utilizes a Pharos lighting system to control for color, and
Wattstopper architectural dimming platform to control white lighting. The latter doesn’t need to be DMX controlled, so the on/off functionality was separated out. The system runs on its own network.
IN THE NEWS
Where conventional design places energy consumption and budgeting over user preference, modern lighting technologies have rapidly created opportunities to reconsider this decidedly non-human approach. With greater understanding of the impact of lighting qualities on human performance, health and well-being, coupled with fresh supporting technologies, decision-makers can now emphasize design around occupants of the lighted environment.
Crowd-Sourced Lighting Opinions
GET CREATIVE Series Y from Artemide, co-created with Gensler, is based on two different lighting elements interacting in smart compositions. Two different optical solutions are developed within the same profile.
The first provides a diffusing emission; the second has a UGR controlled emission for workstations. Artemide www.artemide.net CIRCLE 299
Philips Lighting has announced the launch of a “social impact” analytics app. It is designed to help cities and owners of sites collect accurate feedback on the social and media impact of public lighting projects. Information will help authorities to facilitate better engagement with citizens, improve strategies to boost tourism and enhance value for the local economy.
PUBLIC PROCESS The app illustrates how technology can help to quantify the return on investment for architectural lighting.
According to Lisa L. Isaacson with NuLEDs, and Michael S. O’Boyle with Philips Lighting—guest panelists on a recent National Lighting Bureau panel discussing Power Over Ethernet, POE mainly differs from conventional DC networks in that the cabling used can carry both power and communications signals. Being able to rely on one cable network for all connected devices permits the latter to communicate with one another, creating an “Internet of things” inside each building where used. It also allows for communications with other systems, even other buildings. Users can communicate and control lighting, using a smart phone and an app. That said, POE, the panelists noted, will not eliminate the need for conventional AC circuitry, but it will eliminate the need for AC power transformation when it comes to power for electronic devices. Both panelists also expressed confidence that PoE will likely be installed routinely in the near-term, not only because of the versatility it provides, but also because it is safer to handle. PoE systems will also become less costly to install, Isaacson said, because less installation labor is involved. Right now, POE installations costs, despite higher equipment costs, is about the same as a conventional system as less labor is involved.
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| NZB: WATER |
For the Greater Good Different projects call for different water-management strategies. Each is a unique integrated design—attained through total collaboration—but should target aggressive water-reduction strategies to ultimately alleviate environmental impact.
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.
ater consumption reduction may be a blip on the overall net zero radar, but it can go a long way in reducing costs and the overall impact on the environment. Following is a look at three standout case studies that highlight best-practice strategies.
Pacific Northwest Green Dubbed the “greenest” building in the world, Seattle’s Bullitt Center went beyond reduction to take a more holistic perspective on the entire cycle. Oftentimes, according to Brian Court, AIA, Partner, The Miller Hull Partnership, the project’s designer, treated wastewater returned to the environment, often isn’t fully treated. In the Pacific Northwest—Puget Sound specifically—the marine mammal population, particularly, orcas, are suffering as a result, as they have been found to be the species most contaminated by a myriad of man-made chemicals and toxins. “Without too much rocket science, we can avoid all of these problems if we think in terms of buildings that collect, treat and dispose of water in ways that actually improve the environment,” says Court.
The Living Building Challenge, for which the project qualified, requires that projects restore pre-development hydrology to the site. This entails understanding how much water infiltrated the site when it was a Douglas Fir forest. “Our treated graywater conveniently approximates this number, and is thereby infiltrated under the sidewalks in the public right of way,” says Court. And yet perhaps the most impactful water saving concept is the foam flush on the composting toilets, which use only a couple of cups per use, rather than 1.2 gallons in a lowflush toilet. Building occupants don’t have any restrictions on water use other than using the designated low-flow fixtures.
The plan for Bullitt Center focuses on these three aspects. The collection system was designed to be net positive, capturing more rainwater than the building would require over the course of the year. A 52,000-gallon cistern stores water, and a series of carbon filters and UV light application treat the water. Treatment strategies employ the use of composters to handle solids while a constructed wetland on an area of the roof on the second floor treats the graywater. Treatment and infiltration systems for the latter were designed with the capacity to operate on a batch basis or as needed. Blackwater, conversely, is treated by composting units in the basement and monitored by the building operator, and emptied manually.
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3/1/18 1:45 PM
WATER COLLECTED AND STORED Rainwater is collected and sent to an open drainage channel below, and stored in a 20,000-gallon cistern, for reuse in the building’s non-potable water system. ATLANTA, GA.
GEORGIA TECH CARBON-NEUTRAL ENERGY SOLUTIONS LABORATORY Atlanta
STORM HELP An 80,000-gallon underground storage tank (left) is located under the parking lot to limit drainage back to the storm system.
Georgia Tech already had in place the goal of achieving LEED Gold for all campus projects. This project was already under design when there was an advertisement from NIST for federal funding. This proved an incentive to pause the project to pursue the grant, and it raised the bar to pursue LEED Platinum, which was the university’s first LEED Platinum building. Georgia Tech ultimately received $11.6M from NIST for this $24M project. In the 32-ft.-tall, high-bay portion of the building the team elected not to air condition the space. It uses radiant heating in the slab and large fans and automatic louvers in the walls for cross ventilation—a deliberate, and successful attempt to test thermal comfort and reduce the use of water for cooling.
VEGETATION STRATEGY All plant material is native or regionally adapted and serves a purpose. For instance, filter strips were placed along pavement edges to slow and clean surface runoff.
EXCEEDING CITY REQUIREMENTS The primary purpose of the stormwater strategy was to meet or exceed post-construction runoff by 50%.
IN THE NEWS
Water Tariffs to Rise to Meet Goals $449 billion of investment in water infrastructure will be needed each year between 2018 and 2030. The Financing Water to 2030 report— and published by Global Water Intelligence (GWI)— argues that tariffs around the world will need to increase substantially, rising at a compound annual growth rate of 5.9%.
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Southeast Sustainability Georgia Tech’s 45,000-sq.-ft. Carbon-Neutral Energy Solutions Laboratory (C-NES), in Atlanta, is another “one-of-a-kind” project in regard to its incorporation of sustainable design techniques that greatly expand and enhance the institute’s research efforts to create energy efficient products and sustainable energy sources for American industry and consumers. The facility is intended to set a new standard for sustainable design by optimizing passive energy technologies, reducing electricity loads and maximizing the use of renewable energy.
“When the building was being designed, Georgia Tech was well aware of the water-energy nexus, so reducing potable water usage, while increasing the use of harvested water was a primary design goal,” says Howard S. Wertheimer, FAIA, LEED AP, AUA, Institute Architect at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “The site footprint impacted how much water we could feasibly collect, as this building was being added to an existing annex of research space, not far from an industrial site. To further contribute to utilizing ecosystem services instead of sending water directly to the stormwater system, we also planted native and hydrophilic vegetation.” HDR architecture’s Atlanta and Princeton offices led the design and Gilbane Construction, Atlanta, leads the construction services initiative. Facing time constraints, HDR created a building information model for architecture, structure and MEP systems that enables systems coordination. It was the first time HDR had included architecture and MEP systems in a single BIM platform, which was shared with Gilbane Construction. The HDR design team collaborated with Georgia Tech to develop the schematic design concept, including a matrix of energy saving options, while evaluating first costs, life-cycle costs and carbon savings.
BULLITT CENTER Seattle, Wash. COLLECTING RAIN Rainwater is collected, treated and stored in a 50,000+-gallon cistern to supply non-potable water for plumbing fixtures.
FROM BAD TO GOOD Compost recirculators pump stabilized leachate to a vacuum port in the alley where it is picked up on a monthly basis and sent off-site.
WATER REUSE The rainwater treatment system (inset) includes carbon filters, UV light treatment and a potable water day tank. Leachate tanks (above) “filter” unwanted materials.
In order to meet financial constraints, the team incorporated a value-engineering program based on sustainability objectives. “We had a healthy sustainability charrette with Georgia Tech establishing goals and strategies,” says Dan Rew, AIA, LEED AP, Design Director, HDR.
WITHOUT TOO MUCH ROCKET SCIENCE, WE CAN MAKE BUILDINGS THAT COLLECT, TREAT AND DISPOSE OF WATER IN WAYS THAT IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT.
But just as important as the facility’s carbon neutral objectives was the facility’s site design. According to Rew, the lab was built on a hardpacked site. Due to the ground’s hard surface, permeable concrete was used in the parking areas, which were moved to the perimeter of the site. Bio-swales convey water to a bio-retention basin, which filters water before it enters the city stormwater system. “Georgia Tech was changing its campus from parking intensive to more landscape-centric, sustainable campus,” says Rew.
Dubbed the “greenest” commercial building, the Bullitt Center is a prototype for high-performing office building. Nearly 69% of water is captured, stored, used, and either infiltrated as cleansed graywater into the ground or hauled off to composting as nitrogen-rich leachate, says Denis Hayes, president, Bullitt Foundation.
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Rainwater is collected and sent to an open drainage channel below, and stored in a 20,000-gallon cistern, for reuse in the building’s non-potable system water. BRAE provided a rainwater control station, which is being used for toilets and evaporative cooling in the building. “This building was designed to use more captured water for more systems than any other building on campus when it was constructed. We are currently constructing a Living Building—The Kendeda Building for Innovative Sustainable Design—which will be net positive water and net positive energy. It will be one of the most sustainable buildings in the Southeast,” says Wertheimer.
PUMPING OPERATION The panels offer detailed metrics for off-site management and control.
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HITCHCOCK CENTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Amherst, Mass.
The center chose to pursue Living Building Challenge certification because of its commitment to environmental advocacy. The design team leveraged the LBC process to drive change in environmental practices of designers, builders and users of the building. The building continues to be a tool for advocacy, engagement and education, as the center enters the second 50 years of its life. A visible rainwater catchment system highlights the active role the building plays in capturing and filtering rainwater, and engages visitors in a visual and auditory experience of rain even when indoors. A map of the Connecticut River Valley is stained into the floor to illustrate system parallels between large-scale and small-scale watersheds. The Nest Courtyard has warm southeast exposure and is edged with an elevated wooden deck. The landscape descends to the hay field beyond to create a dry, arid microclimate with views to the mountains beyond.
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Northeast Solutions The 8,000-sq-.ft. home of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, Mass. will serve as a teaching tool that fully integrates and celebrates the relationship between the built and natural environments. A participant in the Living Building Challenge, the project generates its own energy form the sun and captures its own drinking water from the rain. It also features an integrated interpretive program that explains universal natural principles and illustrates how those principles are applied within the building. As the center is both energy and water neutral, the water system is perhaps the more remarkable feature. The building uses the roof as a watershed, and was permitted using Massachusetts reservoir permitting process—last used to build the Quabin Reservoir in 1930.
SMALL FOOTPRINT With a small footprint and output ranges from 800 to 4,096 MBH, each Buderus SSB Industrial boiler has two fully independent heat exchangers, which can be operated individually if necessary. Bosch Thermotechnology www.bosch-climate.us CIRCLE 297
A CELEBRATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT The Hitchcock Center serves as a teaching tool celebrating and integrating the built and natural environments.
THE PURPOSE OF THE STORMWATER STRATEGY WAS TO MEET OR EXCEED POST-CONSTRUCTION RUNOFF BY 50%. “The system also filters water through a series of internal display tanks within the building that give visitors a firsthand visual and auditory experience of the rainwater capture process during a rain event,” says Sam Batchelor, AIA, Partner, designLAB Architects. “The area with these tanks also features a map of the Connecticut river valley watershed and Quabin reservoir, which the educators use as a teaching tool to illustrate the parallel systems operating at different scales for the building and the surrounding watershed,” says Batchelor.
The building captures all of its drinking water from rain and returns all water used back to the aquifer. During a storm, four large, clear cylindrical tanks located in the ecotone capture the first 1/16” of rain from the roof. This initial runoff contains the largest amount of impurities. Subsequent runoff flows into a reservoir beneath the nest courtyard. Inside the ecotone, pipes are color coded to show the path and function of the water collection system. In the basement, a series of UV treatments and filters purifies the water for drinking without chemicals.
Composting toilets use 3-6 ounces of water with biodegradable foam and greatly reduce the center’s overall demand for wastewater handling. The composting toilets are paired with a graywater system to handle wastewater generated from other plumbing fixtures. A constructed wetland outside the building treats wastewater by mimicking the biological, chemical and physical processes that occur in natural wetlands. The treated water is then released onto a leach field where it recharges underground water reserves.
THE FACILITY IS INTENDED TO SET A NEW STANDARD BY OPTIMIZING PASSIVE ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES, REDUCING ELECTRICITY LOADS AND MAXIMIZING THE USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY.
HEALTHY AIR IS
When swimmers at some of the nation’s biggest universities compete, Airius Fans are there to keep them healthy by removing chloramines from the pool’s surface. Swimming pools treated with chlorine off-gas into chloramines, which are heavier than air. These toxic chemicals settle an inch or two above the water surface in a swimmer‘s breathing zone. Airius fans provide targeted air movement, mixing the air above the pool so that exhaust systems can do their job. ATLANTA BRAVES SUNTRUST PARK Atlanta, Ga.
Since its opening in March 2017, the Atlanta Braves SunTrust Park stadium has become the centerpiece of a lifestyle district called The Battery Atlanta. The restrooms on the general public levels required an ADA-compliant metering faucet with easy pushon operation and an automatic 10-second water cycle limit. Project engineers selected the Pillar Tap faucet for its 0.5 gpm pressure-compensating, non-aerated spray and the ADA-compliant Lucerne wall-mounted sink, which features a “D” shaped bowl that prevents side splashing.
Rounding out the public restroom fixtures are elongated wall-hung 1.28 gpf toilets. “SunTrust Park now accommodates traffic for 41,000 fans and our employees, so we needed public restroom fixtures designed to work flawlessly while holding up to the demands of public use,” said Mike Plant, president of development, Atlanta Braves. “We chose American Standard because their plumbing fixtures meet the required commercial performance standards including sustainability, maximum hygiene and overall user comfort.”
When swimmers need room to breathe, engineers use Airius.
SPEC’ING COMMERCIAL FIXTURES SunTrust execs chose American Standard because they met the required commercial performance standards.
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| NZB: HVAC |
Recycled Heat Two high-profile projects take center stage as prominent examples for heat recovery: Seattle’s Amazon ‘ecodistrict,’ which is taking excess heat from a nearby data center, and Stanford University, which is pulling heat from its chiller plant before distributing it campus-wide.
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.
eat recovery and transfer, in theory, doesn’t seem overly complicated—it’s just the movement of energy from one place to another, right? Seems simple enough, yet when a truly integrated design team begins to corroborate and see a project through to coordination and installation, the possibilities really start to begin, evolving from simple theories and conception to complex and detailed execution. For example, in campus and district-wide approaches, heat reclamation can be added as an energy source that doesn’t drain the grid. Two such projects that have made heat recovery headlines of late, are Amazon’s 5-million-sq.-ft. eco-district campus at Seattle’s Denny Triangle, and Stanford University and its off-campus Central Energy Facility.
also enable the Westin Building data center to cut back on the energy it uses to cool its building. According to Amazon, instead of venting its heat into the atmosphere from rooftop cooling towers, the Westin pipes it to a central plant in Amazon’s Doppler tower. At about 65°F, the arriving water isn’t quite hot enough to warm offices, so it’s run through five heat-reclaiming chillers that concentrate the heat into a smaller volume of water, raising the temperature to about 130°F. A 400,000-gallon tank provides low-grade heat storage and an emergency water supply for Westin if needed.
Inside the Triangle A commitment to help the city of Seattle become carbon neutral by 2050, Amazon’s new office buildings will recycle “waste energy” from data centers located from the nearby Westin Building Exchange, a “carrier hotel” that houses more than 250 telecom and Internet companies. A concept of reciprocity, so to speak, the system transfers heat from the data centers via water piped underground to the Amazon buildings. The water is then returned to the Westin Building once it’s cooled down to help cool the data centers. Through a collaborative effort among Amazon, Clise Properties, McKinstry and the city of Seattle, this “district energy” system works by capturing heat generated at a non-Amazon data center in the neighboring Westin Building, and recycling that heat through underground water pipes instead of venting it into the atmosphere. This unique approach is nearly four times more efficient than traditional heating methods and will
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Smart Metering Ingersoll-Rand has acquired the technology assets and intellectual property of Raleigh, N.C.-based Agilis Energy, LLC, an energy data analytics company. Agilis Energy uses patented, smart-meter energy analytics applications and a unique system approach to help large commercial, multi-family residential, and industrial sector companies achieve 10-25% annual energy savings. Agilis Energy helps customers understand and quantify energy usage patterns by visualizing building performance issues, quantifying the impact and value of energy improvements.
The campus buildings have backup boiler systems to deliver supplementary heat on the coldest days. But over two winters so far, “we’re finding that we rarely need to use the boilers,” said Mike Moriarty, Senior Engineering Manager, Hines, who leads the property management engineering teams at the Amazon.com corporate headquarters in downtown Seattle. Heat coming from the 34-story Westin Building Exchange will be used to warm just over 4 million sq. ft. of office space on Amazon’s four-block campus, saving 80 million kWh over 20 years, or about 4 million kW a year.
According to Amazon, the commitment to district energy in Seattle is just one part of a broader effort at Amazon to operate sustainably. Some of the buildings have green roofs that filter rainwater and reduce cooling loads, while six of Amazon’s Seattle buildings have earned LEED Gold certification. Although the project had its skeptics, the distirct energy system required collaboration across city agencies, development firms, architects and engineers.
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Approximately 840 miles south on I-5, Stanford University is using heat recovery concepts to recover 65% of the heat now discharged from the cooling system to meet 80% of campus heating demands. Stanford Energy System Innovation (SESI) combines an off-site, dedicated solar farm producing 68 megawatts of clean renewable electricity via 150,000 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels; conversion of the heat supply of all buildings from steam to hot water; and an innovative heat recovery loop that captures nearly two-thirds of waste heat generated by the campus cooling system to produce hot water for the heating system. At its heart is a Central Energy Facility (CEF) that embodies the latest technological advances in heat recovery. Heated and chilled water is stored in three massive water tanks totaling six million gallons.
HEAT COMING FROM THE 34-STORY WESTIN BUILDING WILL BE USED TO WARM JUST OVER 4 MILLION SQ. FT. OF OFFICE SPACE ON AMAZON’S 4-BLOCK CAMPUS, SAVING 80 MILLION KILOWATT-HOURS OVER 20 YEARS.
AMAZON’S DENNY TRIANGLE Seattle, Wash.
Back to School
ENERGY TRANSFER Five industrial chillers in the HVAC plant hidden in Doppler’s basement move energy from a large volume of 65°F water to a smaller volume of 130°F water, which is pumped to air handlers distributed throughout Amazon’s four existing Regrade buildings.
MONITORING CHANGE Fine-grained control is an important element of keeping Amazon’s planned 5 million sq. ft. of Regrade office space comfortable. A master systems display empowers facilities engineers to route heat to exactly where it’s needed as conditions change throughout the day.
DEDICATED AIR Nortek Global HVAC, LLC introduces the Reznor ZQYRA Series, a low cost, high-efficiency dedicated outdoor air system (DOAS) for adding outdoor air requirements in educational, healthcare, office, retail and other light commercial spaces. The patented ZQYRA–8 (500 to 1,100CFM) and ZQYRA–12 (900 to 1,500-CFM) units combine superior control design with modulating heat pump and enthalpy wheel technology. They boast one of the HVAC industry’s smallest DOAS footprints and are ideal for adding outdoor air ventilation in smaller spaces for new and retrofit VRF or conventional DX air conditioning projects. Nortek Global HVAC www.nortekhvac.com CIRCLE 296
STANFORD CENTRAL ENERGY FACILITY Palo Alto, Calif.
AN AIR OF LIGHTNESS, SUSTAINABILITY Designed to sensitively integrate into the surrounding campus, the overall architectural expression is one of lightness, transparency and sustainability.
IN CAMPUS SETTINGS AND DISTRICT APPROACHES, HEAT RECLAMATION CAN BE AN ADDED SOURCE OF ENERGY WITHOUT A DRAIN IN THE GRID.
ENERGY IN ACTION The plant houses three boilers with room for future expansion of two boilers and six chillers. Proprietary software helps monitor the system and predict energy loads.
The waste heat from the chilled-water system—currently being discharged out evaporative cooling towers—will be reused to meet that 80% of campus heating loads through the use of industrial heat-recovery chillers and conversion of the campus heat distribution system from steam to hot water. Converting from steam to hot water also reduces campus heating loads by 10% due to lower distribution line losses. “The CEF comprises York heat-recovery chillers capable of delivering 28,000 tons of cooling while simultaneously providing ‘free heat’ to displace natural gas consumption through conventional boilers,” says Mike Bove, Managing Principal, Affiliated Engineers.
The heat-recovery chiller plant, the key player in this ultra-efficient energy loop system houses three boilers with room for future expansion of two boilers; six chillers; and a main electrical room. Two million gallons of hot water and 10 million gallons of chilled-water thermal-energy storage assist in balancing supply and demand for heating and cooling across the campus. This is key to successful utilization of the free heat from the heat-recovery chillers. Supplemental high efficiency chillers and condensing boilers assist with peak cooling and heating demands when required. While electrifying processes and supplying the electricity from sustainable sources can be achieved on a building-by-building basis, says Joe Stagner, Stanford’s executive director of sustainability and energy management, it is far more efficient and economical to achieve this via district energy “thermal microgrids” and accompanying renewable power generation. “SESI implements this strategy using a number of innovations including large scale heat recovery, both hot and cold thermal energy storage, and advanced model predictive control software to assure optimal system design and operation,” says Stagner.
Part of Stanford Energy System Innovation (SESI) initiative, the system replaces a 100% fossil fuel based combined cogeneration plant with grid-sourced and a heat recovery system. Greenhouse gas emissions were cut by 68%, fossil fuel use reduced 65% and water use reduced 18%. Five distinct components comprise the 125,614-sq.-ft. CEF: an administrative building, a heat recovery chiller plant, a cooling and heating plant, a service yard and a campus-wide electrical substation.
UV LAMP INSTALL KIT The UV-C Fixture Installation Kit provides extruded aluminum vertical supports designed to speed contractor installation of Ultraviolet Germicidal Lamps in HVAC/R systems. Besides the framing supports, the kit includes everything needed to install UV lamp fixtures in an air handler plenum, including lamp holder bracket, ceiling gusset, self-tapping screws and hardware and leveling feet. UV Resources www.uvresources.com CIRCLE 295
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Scientific Labs Get Smarter
Scientific research labs represent a huge portion of the energy demand of a university campus, says Dan Diehl, Aircuity. In many cases, as much as two-thirds of a campus’ energy use can be attributed to research labs. While it may seem clear that labs would be a great place to start when looking to go greener and reduce energy demand, the difficulty of doing so without sacrificing safety can often pose a roadblock. Faced with this challenge, and looking to support their mission to be a leader in research and to attract and retain the best talent, a group of engineers at UC
ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL New York City
In 2006, the design team was charged by the Trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral to evaluate the existing mechanical systems as part of a comprehensive needs and conditions assessment of the Cathedral campus. It was clear that the air conditioning system, operating on a “shoestring” with 1960s-era machinery, was well beyond its useful life and insufficiently cooled the Cathedral. Early in the design process, geothermal technology was assessed as a potential means to meet the Trustees’ sustainable objectives. The system comprises 10 wells in terraces flanking the north and south sides of the Cathedral; beneath these wells, nine-inch-diameter boreholes were drilled through dense Manhattan schist at a depth averaging 1,650 ft.—and up to a maximum of 2,250 ft.—through bedrock. Design team leader Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects and its consultants, including geothermal plant designers Landmark Facilities Group, well drilling consultants PW Grosser, structural engineers Silman, and geotechnical engineers Langan Engineering, collaborated with Zubatkin Owner Representation and construction manager, Structure Tone Inc. to conceptualize and design the geothermal system.
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Irvine (UCI) came up with the concept of Smart Labs: a design that can reduce energy consumption by up to 50% in research labs. Smart Labs is an efficient recipe implemented by UCI to reduce energy use and provide better Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) in labs. This recipe can be easily implemented in other universities and research lab settings, and can dramatically reduce energy consumption by up to 50% or more. All the while, intelligent ventilation platforms keep lab personnel safe by ensuring that air quality adheres to strict safety standards.
HEAT RECOVERY METHODS THROUGH A DISTRICT APPROACH FOR HEATING AND COOLING ARE NOW MORE COMMONPLACE.
Yet, to make this all come to fruition, collaboration among all disciplines was necessary. “The project also embodies international best practices in district heating and cooling, with engineers, manufacturers and constructors collaborating to transform the plant into one of the most efficient district energy systems in the world,” says Joe Collins, partner in charge, ZGF Architects. What was once possibly considered unattainable in larger square footage projects, heat recovery methods through campus-wide or district approaches for heating and cooling are now becoming commonplace, highlighted in the Amazon and Stanford University examples.
GEOTHERMAL WHERE ONCE THOUGHT NOT POSSIBLE Designed into the system is significant redundancy in the form of gas-fired boilers and an evaporative fluid cooler that ensure heating and air conditioning loads are met in times of peak demand. The system comprises 10, 9-in.-wide geothermal wells that average 1,650 ft. in depth.
TONS OF AC The geothermal plant in St. Patrick’s Cathedral produces 240 tons of air conditioning and the necessary heating to fully service the entire cathedral campus.
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LESSONS LEARNED: THE MODEL USED ALMOST TWICE AS MUCH LIGHTING POWER THAN WHAT WAS ACTUALLY INSTALLED. THE MODEL ALSO ASSUMES ONLY A 10% SAVINGS FOR OCCUPANCY SENSORS, BUT SAVINGS ARE LIKELY MUCH HIGHER.
In July, we’ll be taking a deep dive into lighting and power performance within a certified netzero project—in this case Alfandre Architecture’s 231 Main Street sevenbusiness office building in the small town of New Paltz in New York’s Hudson Valley. TOTAL LIGHTING ENERGY USE
Modeled: 13,778 kWh/yr. Actual: 4,531 kWh/yr. Elsewhere, we’ll revisit wind power and also look at how geothermal technology can change your heating and cooling. 231 MAIN STREET Hudson Valley, New York
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| END POINT |
Jumping the Curve The future is here, and it’s up to us to get ahead of it by staying on top of the latest technology. It’s time to embrace the future as some of the latest trends are transforming the economy.
#TheQuestforProgress or #WeMeanProgress were relevant, prominent hashtags and underlying themes at the semi-annual convention of radiant systems component manufacturer Uponor. Appropriately, futurist Jack Uldrich, was the keynote. As professionals, he urged attendees to “jump the curve” to understand how the following trends are transforming the economy: A.I.: SmartVid.IO built out its technology which applies sophisticated algorithms to study footage of construction sites. For example, if a worker isn’t wearing a hard hat, or a set of stairs doesn’t have a safety railing, the system alerts the site supervisor. “The technology is like having a site inspector who never sleeps. Even if it prevents one accident, the technology more than pays for itself,” said Uldrich.
Robotics: Another innovative application comes from Built Robotics, which uses robots to excavate foundations.
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“Why not employ a system that can work around the clock without sleeping or taking coffee breaks?” asks Uldrich. Virtual Reality: The futurist said companies need to leverage this particular technology to train the next generation of workers. Mortenson Construction, for example, is already employing Daqri Technologies’ “smart helmet” to allow construction workers to overlay digital information onto actual construction site locations. In a hands-free manner, the technology allows pipefitters, electricians, plumbers and other trades to better understand how to most efficiently complete their jobs.
Prefabrication: According to James Benham, CEO, JBKNOWLEDGE, a breakout speaker, smart leaders need to use tech to inspire collaboration and design. Prefabrication in one example, and one he claims, is the future of construction.
J.C. Cannistraro, a Boston-based mechanical contractor, is one such company embracing this idea. As more and more creative applications for prefabricated components come to bear, Cannistraro’s Tom Palange said companies need to position themselves to adapt. “We’ve fully embraced the modular movement and have made significant investments in equipment and facilities to maximize our capacity to produce modular bathrooms, piping systems, mechanical rooms … the possibilities are endless.” These examples, noted Uldrich, are the not only ideas revolutionizing construction. 3D printing is paving the way for prototyping and manufacturing. Companies like Tesla and others are looking to employ solar technology to radically lower energy costs, and Schneider Electric is doing much the same with microgrid technology.
REALITY, VIRTUALLY Attendees of the biennial convention were able to demo virtual reality technology by donning VR glasses.
Etch is even using blockchain technology to pay subcontractors. “Moreover, continued advances in the Internet of Things, data analytics, cloud computing, 5G technology, social media and artificial intelligence will continue to converge and, in the process, transform the construction industry,” added Uldrich. “The best way to predict the future is to create it,” urged Uldrich, arguing the key is embracing paradox—learning to unlearn, and recognizing failure as a key to one’s success. “Experience doesn’t mean a thing if you continue view the workplace the same every day.”
John Mesenbrink Contributing Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Smart Lighting Solutions
The new iQ family of track luminaires by Intense Lighting offers the latest in design flexibility and controllability. A single design aesthetic ties together two distinct track heads, each with its own LED, track and control platforms. With options ranging from Bluetooth enabled dimming control to industry leading color consistency, these new track luminaires combine beauty and brains for the ultimate in smart lighting. Learn more at www.intenselighting.com
THE FUTURE IS ON
Axalta-Extrusions-NetZeroBldg.qxp_DuraCoat 4/5/18 1:13 PM Page 1
High-solids spray coatings — the newest high performer from Dura Coat.
Extrusions never had it so good A P P L I E D
S C I E N C E
Now aluminum extrusion panels, kickplates, pole wraps, copings, fascias and cladding can have the same finish and protection as Dura Coat coil coatings.
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DURA COAT’S NEW HIGH-SOLIDS PVDF SPRAY TECHNOLOGY ™ SETS A HIGHER STANDARD FOR DURABILITY FOR YOUR ALUMINUM EXTRUSIONS. Durapon 70™ HS high-solids spray coating shines in monumental and commercial applications such as storefronts, curtain walls, railings, trims and fascias. The premium two-coat primer and finish coating system offers exceptional aesthetics as well as outstanding protection against corrosion, fading and chalking and meets stringent AAMA 2605-13 certification requirements. Green saves green Durapon 70 HS advanced formulation allows use straight from the container without additional solvent reduction. This full-measure packaging is kinder to the environment while cutting application time and reducing applied cost. Dura Coats’s proprietary resins, PVDF and years of expertise deliver a high-solids, supersmooth finish with superior dirt- and stain-resistance. With unlimited color choices, including metallics and exotic finishes, and superior protection from whatever mother nature dishes out, we have you covered. Call 951-341-6500 or 256-350-4300, or visit www.duracoatproducts.com for all your metal coating needs.
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Highlighting the Path Toward Net Zero Building Design.