Archive for the ‘Green buildings’ Category

Birmingham Council signs Green Digital Charter

Thursday, November 26th, 2009

Birmingham City Council is planning to sign the Green Digital Charter, which aims to promote the use of green technologies in European cities.

The charter aims to bring European cities together in environmental initiatives. Among the policies Birmingham has agreed to undertake as part of the charter is an effort to make IT more energy efficient by encouraging the wider use of low-emission computer equipment.

The council plans to use renewable energy sources to power IT and to make use of energy emissions from equipment. One such example would be to heat buildings.

It will also use low-carbon digital infrastructure to transform services and information provision to improve service delivery. It plans to change the ways it runs to support distance working and to institute virtual meetings to eliminate travel.

The Future: Smart networking, LonWorks, the IP network, and open source computing are going to drive a different world

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009


At Apple co-founder Mike Markulla’s Venetian Hotel-styled private theater in this posh Palo Alto suburb, the chairman of Sun Microsystems, makers of Java, and CEO of Duke Energy, makers of 36,000 megawatts of electricity in coal and nuclear plants, shared the stage.

The CEOs found common ground pushing a vision of the future where light switches are superfluous and any device that uses power is networked, easily automated, and far more energy efficient. Holding up a standard Sun identification card, Sun Chairman of the Board Scott McNealy noted that it was faster than an Apple II computer.

“We can connect anything that is more than a dollar in value,” he said.

But McNealy’s declaration that he was “over” the network was the real highlight of the hour-long event to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Markulla’s post-Apple endeavor, Echelon, which makes sensors and controls for all types of devices.

“I want my stuff to be on the network”   said McNealy.

Coming from the CEO of a company that once had the tagline, “The network is the computer,” the comment drew laughs from the small crowd. McNealy admitted that his statement probably was “not the best marketing thing.”


Beyond his glib distaste for social networking, McNealy and Jim Rogers, Duke Energy’s CEO, presented a serious case that the future of networking lies with your toaster, lights and curtains. By turning “dumb” devices into nodes on a smart network, the businessmen said that the entire economy could be restructured to use energy more efficiently.

“I believe the most energy efficient economy is going to be the one that provides the greatest standard of living for its people,” Rogers said.

Rogers also noted that utilities would have to redefine their businesses away from commodity power and start making money by helping their customers control, not just use, their electricity.

“I see embedded in every customer six to eight networks and on each network there’s three to five applications,” he said. “What if I create value by optimizing those networks and those applications?”

That’s a major change in thinking for utilities that previously considered their job finished when the electricity hit your meter.

Though they painted grand visions of what the future could hold, both executives said there were many challenges to be met in creating the network of things.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” McNealy said. “There’s a lot of work to take the complexity out of client devices and to take the cost out of client devices.”


Cost and complexity have slowed the adoption of home automation systems, but all three companies clearly see an opportunity to capitalize on the high cost of energy and increasing concern over carbon emissions.

McNealy even dropped Echelon’s protocol LonWorks into his solution for the future.

LonWorks, the IP network, and open source computing are going to drive a different world where per capita energy usage can plummet as green becomes the new black”, he said “And I mean black in terms of making money.”

Rogers’ vision was equally amibitious and showed that the North Carolina-based CEO knew his big-thinking Silicon Valley audience.

“At the end of the day, what I’m gonna provide is universal access to energy efficiency the way we provided universal access to electricity in the last century.”

Images: Jim Merithew. Top: Scott McNealy speaks to the crowd. Middle: The crowd is bathed in green LED light during a demo of the room’s fancy lighting system. Bottom: Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers lays out his plan for the future of a smarter electrical grid.

Green Buildings: Minimum Design Service Life for Buildings

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

The following is my own recommendation for the definition for a green building’s minimum design service life – David Slade

This is now set out in BSR/ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA Standard 189.1P, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, now at its Third Public Review Draft stage.

A Service Life Plan that is consistent with the owner’s project requirements shall be developed to estimate to what extent structural, building envelope (not mechanical and electrical), and hardscape materials will need to be repaired or replaced during the service life of the building. The design service life of the building shall be no less than that determined. The estimated service life shall be documented for building assemblies, products, and materials that will need to be inspected, repaired and/or replaced during the service life of the building. Site improvements and hardscape shall also be included. Documentation in the Service Life Plan shall include the building project design service life and basis for determination, and the following for each assembly or component:

  1. Building assembly description.
  2. Materials or products.
  3. Design or estimated service life, years
  4. Maintenance frequency.
  5. Maintenance access for components with an estimated service life less than the service life of the building.

Provide a Service Life Plan at the completion of design development. The owner shall retain a copy of the Service Life Plan for use during the life of building.

Minimum Design Service Life for Buildings

 Category     Minimum Service     Life Building Types

Temporary     Up to 10 Years

  • Non-permanent construction buildings (sales offices, bunkhouses)
  • Temporary exhibition buildings
  • Data Centres

Medium life     25 Years

  • Industrial buildings
  • Shopping centres (Retail fit-outs at ten years)
  • Stand-alone parking structures
  • Schools
  • Hospital
  • Airports (services)

Long life           50 Years

  • All buildings not temporary or medium life, including the parking structures below buildings designed for long life category
  • Airports (Building Shell)

Best pratice: Combining green and intelligent building solutions

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

The best practice is a building is one that is both green and intelligent. It is a building that uses both technology and process to create a facility that is safe, healthy and comfortable, and enables productivity and well being for its occupants. It provides timely, integrated system information for its owners so that they may make intelligent decisions regarding its operation and maintenance, and has an implicit logic that effectively evolves with changing user requirements and technology, ensuring continued and improved intelligent operation, maintenance and optimization.

This building to be designed, constructed and operated with minimum impact on the environment, with emphasis on conserving resources, using energy efficiently and creating healthy occupied environments. It must meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations. Sustainability is measured in three interdependent dimensions: environmental stewardship, economic prosperity and social responsibility. The building to exhibit key attributes of environmental sustainability to benefit present and future generations.

The building to be fully networked for all incorporated systems, where the basic objective is the simple integration of independent systems to achieve interaction across all systems, allowing them to work collectively, optimizing a building’s performance, and constantly creating an environment that is conducive to the occupants’ goals. Additionally, the inclusion of a fully interoperable system in the buildings tend to perform better, cost less to maintain, and leave a small environmental imprint than individual utilities and communication systems.

UK BREEAM and Energy Star rated buildings in the United States earn substantial benefits compared to non-green buildings; in particular 40 per cent greater energy efficiency compared to standard buildings and significant lower operations costs.

Based on industry data, approximately 85 per cent of ENERGY STAR-rated buildings use a system with energy management controls and 50 per cent use lighting system motion sensors to qualify for the ENERGY STAR certification. The idea of leveraging intelligence to enhance building performance, either for energy efficiency or occupant comfort and thereby obtaining credits is also acknowledged by the U.S. Green Building Council. If the objective is clear, the credit system under LEED is geared to recognize building performance that has been enhanced by automation and IT-centric intelligence.

Each building is unique in its mission and operational objectives and therefore, must balance short- and long-term needs accordingly. Bright green buildings provide a dynamic environment that responds to occupants’ changing needs and lifestyles. As technology advances, and as information and communication expectations become more sophisticated, networking solutions both converge and automate divergent technologies to improve responsiveness, efficiency and performance.

To achieve this, bright green buildings converge data, voice and video with security, HVAC, lighting, and other electronic controls on a single network platform that facilitates user management, space utilisation, energy conservation, comfort, and systems improvement.

According to industry experts, building owners are not going to make any investment unless it has a return-on-investment. The question that building owners should ask is what is going to drive the ROI calculations. If there is no value in carbon and no value in saving energy and no value in terms of corporate social responsibility, then there is no value and there are no ROI calculations. In developing a financial justification for investments in intelligent and green technologies, and assessing the potential return on that investment, it is necessary to consider new construction and retrofit projects separately, because the requirements, and therefore the economic fundamentals of the two types of projects are very different.

New Construction
In a new construction scenario, the cost of creating a green and intelligent building is often not that different than the costs associated with creating a traditional building. Certain aspects associated with intelligent building technology and applications, such as cabling, are actually less costly than traditional infrastructure – in the case of cabling, labour costs are often lower where intelligent designs are used. However, other technologies and equipment will require additional investment to integrate all of the components of the system. For example, integrating the access control systems with lighting and HVAC systems will cost more up-front than installing disparate systems alone. As has been found in all of the case studies examined as part of this research, this initial investment in green and intelligent design and technology generally has a relatively short ROI period when compared to the anticipated usable life of a modern building.

Existing Buildings
Retrofits are more frequently driven by the desire to reduce energy costs than anything else. These are often cases where the existing technology or system in a building can be upgraded easily and the payback period is expected to be short. Intelligent building features such as better monitoring and control of energy-intensive systems such as HVAC and lighting can provide for optimum performance and predictive maintenance needs, reducing both energy usage and operating expense. Additionally, reporting features assist in making decisions that make the building more efficient and more reliable.

Integrated building professionals report that facilities managers get very little decision making information, so tuning up the control system is the best thing they can do to optimize the building. With one unified approach to monitoring facilities, buildings can change the underlying infrastructure without changing the enterprise level reporting mechanisms. This allows building owners to have a heterogeneous infrastructure that creates more competition between technology vendors, where they can begin to generate savings more quickly, and can generate an ROI payback in two to three years rather than over the course of a decade. By integrating utility bills into the enterprise asset management system, facility managers can further provide diagnostic information to facility managers, enabling them to take immediate action. In order to conserve energy – and money – it is imperative that proper information management architecture is in place, which makes the information actionable and definable.

Occupant Productivity and Comfort
Occupant productivity, especially in owner-occupied buildings, has a significant measurable impact on the ROI calculation. Given that energy costs represent about one per cent of the overall cost of doing business and investment expenses are about 10 per cent, staffing costs can represent up to 85 per cent of the total cost of doing business. Any improvement in productivity can therefore have a significant positive financial return.

Life Cycle Benefits
Depending on how the life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) is addressed, this could potentially enable facilities and organizations to attain their long-term sustainability goals by developing their environmental monitoring systems to generate pertinent data. Therefore, keeping in mind that intelligent technologies are installed to deliver effective payback and long-term returns, it is critical for such systems to incorporate LCCA.

Solar generation – Photovoltaics an introduction

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Solar generation

Photovoltaics and other methods of converting sunlight to electricity

There are several accepted ways of converting solar radiation to electrical power.


The sun’s energy can be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaic cells. PV cells can be used for applications as small as watches and calculators, to large grid-connected arrays of panels. The great attraction of PV technology is that it delivers electricity at the point of use, for example panels can be integrated into buildings to supply the buildings themselves.

In areas where grid connection or other forms of generation are too expensive or not feasible, PV can be very cost-effective. This may be in remote locations, but could also be in a city centre where grid connection may be impractical. For example it can be cheaper to power parking meters with solar energy than with power from the grid.

PV materials are usually solid-state semiconductors. various forms are used:

  • Mono-crystalline silicon
  • Poly-crystalline silicon
  • Amorphous silicon thin film
  • Thin film cells of other materials such as copper indium diselenide (CIS) and cadmium telluride
  • Organic solar cells

Other technologies are also under development

Solar thermal power generation

Technologies also exist to collect the sun’s heat and use it generate steam, which then produces electricity using a conventional turbine.

One notable example of this approach is the solar ‘power tower’ approach where fields of mirros are used to focus the sun’s rays onto a boiler at the top of a tower.

Improve Energy (and Financial) Performance

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Evaluate opportunities for low-cost energy-efficiency improvements that can help you control costs in a down economy.

Having a plan is better than not having one!

”We’ve assisted our clients in looking across there estates portfolio, for opportunities to reduce energy consumption and have found reducing weekend hours to be one of the most cost-effective ways to accomplish this.”

”Utility incentives enable landlords to work proactively with tenants to reduce energy use in buildings with triple-net lease structures, where tenants pay their own utilities.”

In this struggling economy, controlling costs and maintaining competitiveness are paramount, and real estate companies are going back to basics. Leading commercial real estate owners and managers are leveraging energy efficiency as one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce operating expenses and help tenants control costs.

A renewed focus on energy efficiency can support financial goals and maintain asset value while enhancing tenant attraction and retention. Because energy is the largest controllable operating expense for a typical commercial building, reducing energy costs has a significant positive impact on the bottom line. When implemented in a coordinated fashion, you can improve energy performance without spending capital.

Assess Building and Portfolio Energy Performance
“We find that management commitment is essential, and that a vital first step is to assess and benchmark energy performance,” .


Low-Cost Energy-Efficiency Best Practices

  • Educate tenants.
  • Adjust temperature setpoints.
  • Set back temperatures in unoccupied spaces.
  • Lock and calibrate thermostats.
  • Reduce water-heater temperatures.
  • Reduce weekend operating hours.
  • Tweak start-up/power-down times.
  • Add VFDs and VAVs.
  • Delamp.
  • Adjust and/or add lighting controls.
  • Retrofit with 25- or 28-watt T8s, CFLs, and LEDs.
  • Perform lighting sweeps.
  • Ensure that equipment is functioning as designed.
  • Reduce janitorial lighting needs.
  • Enhance preventive-maintenance activities.
  • Enhance building-envelope efficiency.
  • Leverage rebates and incentives.

A helpful benchmarking, which generates energy-performance ratings.

Portfolio benchmarking will help you compare properties to identify cost-effective opportunities. For example, immediate improvements to a lower-performing building will bring greater returns than looking to improve a higher-performing building.

Low Costs, High Returns
After assessing performance and identifying buildings to focus on, identify opportunities and implement changes that make sense for those buildings, such as …

Engaging Tenants. “Tenants control a large portion of your building’s energy consumption, so taking the time to engage them in energy-efficiency efforts right away can really pay off in terms of the building’s operating budget and tenants’ utility costs,”. Start by leveraging a campaign to show tenants how to reduce energy consumption immediately. Provide e-newsletters, pamphlets, and signage, and communicate in person to encourage tenants to take simple actions toward greater energy efficiency.

Operations and Maintenance. Operations staff should regularly walk through buildings, inspecting equipment to ensure that it’s functioning as intended, and checking all control equipment for proper programming. An engineer told can find annual energy-cost savings with no or little investment.

If you’re willing to invest money, take this process to the next level via retro-commissioning or recommissioning. According to the US ENERGY STAR Building Upgrade Manual, commissioning projects for existing buildings have a median cost of $0.27 per square foot, but result in whole-building energy savings of 15 percent, with a simple payback of less than a year.

Janitorial activities typically account for almost one-quarter of a commercial building’s lighting usage. Opportunities to reduce that amount include team cleaning, where staff cleans one floor at a time, and lighting is turned on and off as janitors progress through the building. You can also engage janitors and security staff to turn off lights that were left on by tenants. If tenants are amenable, experiment with cleaning during the day when the lights are already on.

A comprehensive preventive-maintenance program establishes appropriate levels of maintenance to be performed at scheduled intervals. The time investment may be substantial, but the returns will also be large – and with a low upfront dollar investment.

Lighting. In some locations, lighting levels may be too high and can be lowered by delamping and disconnecting unused ballasts. Delamping may be accompanied by adding reflectors and new lenses to the fixtures, enabling the fixture to more effectively distribute light. One property reports that it reduced energy costs by more than $100,000 annually just by delamping.

Periodically check occupancy sensors and photocells; re-examine lighting controls to identify new opportunities. For example, reduce the minutes of inactivity after which motion sensors are programmed to shut lights off, or program parking-garage lights by zone to reduce the amount of lighting on at night.

Consider adding new lighting controls where possible. You may be able to install additional occupancy sensors in restrooms, supply closets, mechanical rooms, elevator cabs, and private offices; case studies from ENERGY STAR show that these devices pay for themselves in less than 2 years. Photosensors and dimmable ballasts can be installed indoors near windows, as well as on exterior lights, to take advantage of available daylight.

Another low-cost opportunity is a full-floor lighting sweep – adjust building lights so they’re not hardwired in the “on” position and can be turned off during EMS-programmed lighting sweeps. Also, periodically drive past the building at night to ensure that the programmed sweep is actually taking place, and that all non-emergency lights are included.

Perform a lighting survey to locate any remaining incandescent bulbs, halogens, or T12 fluorescent tubes. These inefficient lamps can be replaced with CFLs, LEDs, or 25- or 28-watt T8 fluorescents. If you’ve retrofitted with 32-watt T8 fluorescents, these are a big step up from T12s, but consider replacing them with high-lumen 25- or 28-watt tubes. Don’t overlook exit signs, accent lighting, elevator cabs, or other unique lighting applications.

Building Envelope
In many commercial buildings, air passes freely between conditioned and unconditioned spaces where pipes and ductwork penetrate walls and ceilings, underneath doors to the outside, and at dampers. Regularly check for these gaps and seal or weatherstrip them to immediately reduce heating and cooling costs. Also, consider conducting a thermal scan of the envelope to reveal more in-depth opportunities to repair air leaks or areas of thermal transmission.

Thermostats. Thermostats provide numerous opportunities to improve energy performance. Simply tweaking temperatures can reduce whole-building energy savings by 2 to 4 percent per degree by which setpoints are raised or lowered during the cooling and heating seasons. Talk with tenants to see if temperatures are comfortable, and experiment with adjusting temperatures by a few degrees.

Ensure that vacant space temperatures are set back significantly, or that HVAC equipment is turned off, if practical. Set temperatures back at night and on weekends as well – by at least 10 degrees – using your EMS or programmable thermostats, if you have them (or manually, if necessary).

In addition, limit access to thermostats located in tenant spaces, or program your EMS to allow tenants to make adjustments only within a specified range. If tenants can make frequent adjustments, energy costs will fluctuate wildly and systems will work harder. Be sure that building engineers reset temperatures to optimal setpoints each day so that tenant adjustments are only temporary (if the EMS isn’t doing this automatically).

Have operations staff compare thermostat readings with the actual space temperatures (as measured by a handheld temperature gauge). If necessary, recalibrate thermostats so their readings equal the true space temperatures. The EPA estimates that calibrating thermostats can produce whole-building energy savings of up to 3 percent.

Finally, take a closer look at the thermostat on your water heater. The EPA recommends setting water-heater temperatures to 120 degrees F. as opposed to manufacturer-set temperatures of 140 degrees F.

HVAC hours. Evaluate opportunities to reduce or eliminate unneeded HVAC and lighting by conducting a census to determine when tenants actually use the building. For example, though Saturdays may be part of their lease hours, how many tenants are really working? “Clients should look across there complete portfolio for opportunities to reduce energy consumption, accessing reducing weekend hours to be one of the most cost-effective ways to accomplish this. Working with clients to provide weekend hours upon request rather than across the board,”

There may be similar opportunities to scale back hours during the week. At the very least, ensure that, if a tenant requests after-hours air one weeknight, hours are reset to normal the next day. In addition, experiment with starting up HVAC systems later or powering them down earlier. Chances are good that you’ll be able to reduce HVAC operating hours and still maintain comfortable temperatures.

VFDs and VAVs. With varying levels of demand placed on HVAC systems, motors and fans don’t necessarily need to run at full speed all the time. Variable frequency drives (VFDs) and variable air volume (VAV) devices regulate motors and fans as necessary. Some of the earlier practices will further reduce building loads, making it important to match systems with variable speed technologies. The cost of installing these devices can be recouped quickly – in as few as 2 years, by suggested case studies.

What Now?
This is by no means the entire list of opportunities for energy reductions, but they’re some of the simplest, most cost effective to implement. Even better, they’re proven to work, based on the experiences of thousands of building owners and managers.

Look for more opportunities in A Practical Guide to Energy Management: Enhancing the Bottom Line You can also explore additional options by conducting an energy audit and developing an action plan based on the results.

Further, utility incentives and rebates can make equipment upgrades and retrofits even more financially attractive, potentially moving some measures from the “expensive” category to the “low-cost” category. “Utility incentives enable landlords to work proactively with tenants to reduce energy use in buildings with triple-net lease structures, where tenants pay their own utilities. The utility often help convince tenants to pay for the retrofit in cases where the landlord may not pursue a given capital project because the benefit would flow disproportionately to the tenant.

“Strategically staging improvements is important – the early savings from low-cost measures can buy you some leverage to invest in larger improvements,”. “But, by reducing energy loads first, you may reduce the size of the new equipment you need to purchase, further reducing expenses in these tough economic times.”

You will see tangible results – a real drop in energy costs and, along with that, an increase to net operating income, asset value, and tenant attraction and retention. But, there is no true end to this process. Owning or operating an energy-efficient portfolio is a cycle of continual assessment and improvement, and requires an ongoing commitment.

Building a Zero-Energy Commercial Office

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Design Facility is attempting the impossible, bringing the zero-energy building to life
When Integrated Design Associates (IDeAs) Inc., a consultancy that provides electrical engineering and lighting design services out of offices in Colorado and California, bought a former bank building for its new San Jose, CA, operations, it saw immense potential.

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The opportunity was ripe to bring a concept that so many had talked about and so few had attempted – a zero-energy building – to life. “We felt we should walk the walk, not just talk the talk,” says David Kaneda, principal, IDeAs, San Jose, CA. The goal was a building with net zero energy and zero carbon emissions (or a Z2 building).

The project was planned 2 years ago, when global warming was hardly big news. “CO2 and carbon emissions were not at the forefront of design like they are now,” Kaneda says. “We took a left turn, and I was really nervous about it. In the meantime, the whole world took a left turn and followed along in the direction that we ultimately went.” The original plan was to achieve a LEED Platinum rating from the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), but when Scott Shell, principal, EHDD Architecture, San Francisco, threw out the possibility of turning the IDeAs headquarters into a net-zero-energy building, the idea appealed to Kaneda, who has built a practice on the study of energy and lighting. “What [Shell] was talking about is really our sweet spot,” he explains.

An integrated design team spent countless hours discussing building systems and features, calculating electrical loads, and weighing the costs and trade-offs of equipment and design strategies. Too many skylights would reduce the insulating capabilities of the roofing system; not enough daylight would mean too much dependence on the electrical lighting system. The renovation would have to cut energy consumption as much as possible – everywhere it was possible. All unavoidable energy that is necessary to run the business will be provided through on-site power generation. “If we had designed a traditional building, we would have needed a roof that [was] twice as big as the roof on the building to put enough photovoltaics on it and call it a zero-energy building,” says Peter Rumsey, principal, Oakland, CA-based Rumsey Engineers Inc. While the building will be connected to the utility grid, the hope is that, when the facility is completed and occupied this month, the only things the utility will provide are energy storage and a back-up plan.

The IDeAs headquarters building started out as a 7,200-square-foot, 1960s tilt-up facility that, when purchased in August 2005, had virtually no windows. Not surprisingly, many had labeled it as “the world’s ugliest building.” With a vision for the ultimate environmentally friendly office and a lot of hard work, the facility’s remodel will prove to many that the quest for net zero energy is not without merit. Estimates for the IDeAs Z2 Design Facility in terms of energy use are approximately 56 mWh of energy per year (43-percent below the 2005 California Title 24 energy requirements and about 60-percent below the ASHRAE 90.1-1999 requirements).

The USGBC reports that the building sector is responsible for almost half of all greenhouse-gas emissions in the United States. Without change, the amount of emissions attributed to buildings will continue to rise dramatically over the next 2 decades. “We’re going to need a lot more zero-energy buildings and a lot more integrated thinking,” says Shell. Commercial buildings can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions dramatically: The Z2 Design Facility is proof.

Check out some of the features of the Z2 Design Facility in San Jose, CA …

Dimming ballasts, while less efficient than high-efficiency standard electronic ballasts, are still beneficial. They can start harvesting energy as soon as any daylight is introduced and are less obtrusive when light levels change rapidly.
Producing chilled or hot water for the radiant slab and dedicated outside air handler, the electric water-source heat pump has a cooling energy-efficiency ratio (EER) rating of over 19.
Occupancy sensors control lighting in most of the building, including restrooms, the kitchen, the conference room, utility rooms, and even exterior lighting –  the only exception is the studio. Some sensors are manual on and automatic off, so lights are only turned on when occupants want them on.
Electrochromic glazing, or electronically tintable glass, is used in the east storefront of the studio space. It can reduce direct sunlight transmittance from 62 to 3.5 percent and reduces the solar heat gain coefficient from 0.48 to 0.09. Controlled by a low-voltage controller, the glazing has many advantages over blinds.
While desktop computers use more energy, laptops with enough memory to support business needs are not cost effective at this time; however, IDeAs is replacing all CRT monitors with LCD flat-screens that use approximately half the power.
The roof membrane integrated photovoltaic system is lightweight and does not require ballast, special support structure, or structural penetrations. Its solar cells have the highest efficiency (20 to 21.5 percent) of any commercially produced PV cell. The BIPV will supply 100 percent of the building’s net energy use.
Carefully sized skylights have been installed in the main studio and on the second floor, and provide an average of 111 footcandles at solar noon in summer and 40 footcandles at solar noon in winter. This daylighting strategy will reduce electric light consumption and HVAC loads, as well as provide superior light quality.
Using water to provide heating and cooling is more energy efficient than a forced-air system. A topping slab contains cross-linked polyethylene radiant tubing.

Copiers, plotters, and printers continue to use power in standby or sleep mode. After hours, IDeAs’ security system will automatically turn off circuits supplying this equipment when armed and turn on circuits the next day when disarmed.
Panelboards using a power monitoring harness will track the performance of the building on a circuit-by-circuit basis; this will allow monitoring of each component of the HVAC system, each lighting circuit, and each receptacle circuit.
Because the warming element on the coffee pot remains on all day (and sometimes all night), the company is switching to a single-cup coffeemaker. The old coffee pot and a thermos will be used for large meetings.
When CO2 levels above 800 ppm are detected, the DOAR kicks in to manage indoor air quality. Chilled or hot water supplied by the heat pump to the air handler conditions the air delivered to the space.
As power flows through the wiring, all circuits lose small amounts of energy through resistance. After performing a cost analysis, the decision was made to upsize all branch circuits carrying large continuous loads to reduce wiring losses (this also reduces cooling loads).