Industry News




09/03/2010

Department of Energy Sets Sights on Net-Zero Research Facility

This office of the future includes a thermal storage labyrinth, PV array, and underfloor ventilation

 
Department of Energy Sets Sights on Net-Zero Research Facility

Photo Credit: Dennis Schroeder, NREL

What better way for the Department of Energy to make a statement about sustainability than to build one of the nation’s most energy efficient office buildings? The new Research Support Facility (RSF), located in Golden, CO, is an expansion of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s facilities. Though the RSF expands the laboratory’s overall square footage by 60%, it only increases its total energy use by 6%.

This 222,000-square-foot building was designed to perform 50% more efficient than ASHRAE Standard 90.1. By limiting its annual operations to 35,000 BTU per square-foot, the facility will use three times less energy than a modern office building.  Considering the property is home to 800 employees and a high-performance data center, the RSF sets a high benchmark.

The facility features an array of sustainable advances, including a thermal storage labyrinth, gabion walls, an underfloor ventilation distribution system, and radiant piping runs. Automated climate sensors open windows to release excess heat overnight. Though still in the installation phase, approximately 1.6 MW of on-site photovoltaics (PV) will significantly offset energy loads.

The labyrinth, located in a low basement, functions as a thermal battery.  Staggered concrete walls force air through a series of S-turns, drawing air from the north or south depending on the season. Cool night air is stored in the labyrinth to offset cooling loads in the summer, while air heated by a transpired air collector helps keep the building warm in the winter. The concrete structure can warm air by up to 5-10 degrees F.

Landscaping also got a boost from the construction process. Rocks were fashioned into gabion walls (a type of landscape retention wall), instead of being sent to the landfill. This eliminated the need for mined or quarried stone, turning what is usually viewed as waste into a resource.

The Research Support Facility's total project cost is $64 million. Despite the amount of cutting-edge technology used, its budget was comparable to similarly sized office buildings. It is currently seeking LEED-Platinum certification.

 


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.

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. 

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.


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.

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. 

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.


 
comments powered by Disqus
07/02/2015

Sustainable parking leaders recognized.

07/01/2015

Design ‘scatters’ sound without affecting aerodynamics.

06/30/2015

Survey shows lack of concrete commitment to efficiency improvements.

06/29/2015

Guideline will protect building water systems.

06/26/2015

Development could mitigate urban heat island effect.

06/25/2015

New web application can identify energy savings opportunities.

06/24/2015

Report shows refrigerants could reduce GHG emissions, energy use.

06/23/2015

Sustainable design tied to strong financial performance.

06/22/2015

Human wellbeing guidelines grow throughout North America.

06/19/2015

Larger, private buildings now included in rankings.

06/18/2015

Diversion rates increase nearly 10% in 2013.

06/17/2015
Study shows lack of preparedness, suggests improvements to increase resiliency.
06/15/2015

Surveyed workers feel unsafe, doubt employer readiness for weather events. 

06/12/2015

Better Buildings Challenge improvements demonstrate energy savings.

06/11/2015

New technology provides privacy and sunlight.

06/10/2015

Program will provide best practices, green certification for landscape design.

06/09/2015

Improve recycling up to 20% with an easy switch.

06/08/2015

OSHA and Health Canada to improve hazard communications for worker safety.

06/04/2015

Lighting, building automation retrofits show highest rate of return.

06/03/2015

New OSHA guide to ensure fair treatment, safe working conditions.

Page 1 of 54
FirstPrevious[1]2345678910NextLast

White Papers

Sponsored Links