12/28/2012

Maximizing the Maxed: Improving Design of One LEED Platinum to Earn Another

DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory certifies two facilities

 

Credit: NATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY LABORATORY
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The Research Support Facility (RSF) on the campus of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recently earned its second LEED Platinum award, improving on already impressive efficiency measures.

The initial RSF project became certified in June 2011, and the 138,000-square-foot expansion that added a third wing was designated LEED Platinum in November 2012. The RSF expansion is 17% more energy-efficient than the original project, based on as-built predictive models.

“It’s rare to take everything you’ve learned in one building and then immediately repeat and improve on it in another,” says Drew Detamore, NREL’s deputy director of site operations.

The RSF expansion cost $39 million and received funding from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Despite the upgrades, the expansion cost was $14 per square foot cheaper than the original facility.

Among the major differences are a more streamlined thermal labyrinth under the building, an indirect evaporative cooling system, and flexible lighting controls. It offers significantly more daylighting with operable windows and skylights.

The facility also features a more efficient solar array – going from 13% efficient to 19% efficient PV panels – that was purchased at a lower cost.

Other technologies include displacement ventilation in conference rooms, triple pane curtain walls with four level electrochromics, and wall panels at the foundation designed to minimize thermal bridges. Cooling for the IT and electrical rooms is provided with heat pumps, and the removed heat is used for domestic hot water.

“To see such impressive energy efficiency enhancements in such a short time speaks volumes to the rapid progression of efficient commercial building practices, for which NREL is proud to be a driving force,” Detamore says.

 

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When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.

Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.


Mitsubishi Electric’s H2i R2-Series heat pumps provide 100% heating capacity down to 0° F and simultaneous heating and cooling down to -4° F delivering year-round comfort, regardless of climate zone.

 
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