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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.
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Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

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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.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

 


 
10/23/2014

Study shows seven key areas to increase worker engagement. 

10/22/2014

New rule aims to eliminate the production of HCFC refrigerants. 

10/21/2014

U.S. photovoltaic costs continue to decline.

10/20/2014

The EPA looks to help improve energy and air quality during educational facility renovations. 

10/17/2014

Agency says current regulations "don't protect worker health".

10/16/2014

Scientists have developed LED bulbs free of rare earth metals.

10/15/2014

Survey shows a decrease in employees coming to work sick.

10/14/2014

New efficiency ratings available for apartment units

10/10/2014

New code to increase commercial building efficiency.

10/09/2014

Take charge of your electricity bill with these quick tips.

10/08/2014

Illumination improvements take the top award for physics

10/07/2014

Study shows equipment improvements could boost efficiency. 

10/06/2014

New device integrates batteries into solar cell design.

10/03/2014

The switch to green products comes to healthcare facilities.

10/01/2014

Photovoltaic installations serve nearly 2.7 million students

09/30/2014

Incidence of fires and property loss down from 2012

09/29/2014

Academic achievement tied to responsible reporting habits

09/26/2014

Survey shows people more careful, less satisfied in public washrooms.

09/25/2014

A new study shows that switching natural gas for coal will not significantly reduce the amount of CO2 emissions being produced. 

09/24/2014

A new study shows the carbon emission reduction policies individual states have adopted are yielding results.

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