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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.

 

Category: Buildings

Buildings


Modeling Occupant Behavior

ASHRAE Journal, Oct. 2016, by Javad Khazaii.
http://tinyurl.com/jb483bf

"The current approach in building design focuses almost solely on increasing energy efficiency by improving system-oriented controls and behavior. However, occupant behavior also affects energy efficiency. To provide a more realistic modeling result, occupant behavior needs to be included in energy modeling."

Getting to Net-Zero Carbon in Multifamily Homes

Rocky Mountain Institute, Oct. 14, 2016, by Kelly Vaughn.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_10_14_getting_to_net_zero_carbon_in_multifamily_homes

"Consumers wanting to undertake a deep energy retrofit of a home currently face a challenging process that involves multiple complex steps, as shown in the infographic [shows barriers and opportunities] below. For this reason, many give up on energy efficiency."

Impacts of Model Building Energy Codes: Public Review Draft

Pacific Northwest National Lab, Oct. 2016, PNNL-25611.
https://www.energycodes.gov/sites/default/files/Impacts%20of%20Model%20Building%20Energy%20Codes%20Public%20Review%20Draft.pdf

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) periodically evaluates national and state-level impacts associated with energy codes in residential and commercial buildings. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), funded by DOE, conducted an assessment of the prospective impacts of national model building energy codes from 2010 through 2040. This report describes the methodology used for the assessment and presents the impacts in terms of energy savings, consumer cost savings, and  reduced CO emissions at the state level and at aggregated levels. "

Comparing Polystyrenes: Looking At the Differences Between EPS and XPS

The Construction Specifier, Sep. 2016, by Jason Burgess.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/comparing-polystyrenes-looking-at-the-differences-between-eps-and-xps/

"Insulation is a critical component to specify when designing a functional, cost-effective, and energy-efficient building. One method to insulate a building is by installing 50 to 152 mm (2 to 6 in.) of rigid foam insulation on the exterior side of the wall framing. Two of the most frequently installed types of rigid foam insulation are expanded and extruded polystyrene (EPS and XPS). Both serve the same basic function: providing a means to manage the passage of heat in a building system. However, they differ in important ways."

Tackling Energy Codes with Energy Modeling: Preparing Design Professionals to Face Building Performance Demands

Building Codes Assistance Project for the Energy Foundation, Aug. 2016.
http://bcapcodes.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Preparing-Design-Professionals-FINAL-08092016.pdf

"This paper intends to map the existing landscape of building energy codes and modeling software, highlighting current best practices and identifying steps for removing barriers. "

Proving its Long-Term Mettle: Longevity, Whole-Building LCAs, and Stainless Steel

The Construction Specifier, Aug. 2016, by Catherine Houska.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/proving-its-long-term-mettle-longevity-whole-building-lcas-and-stainless-steel/

"Whether the project is a new building or major renovation, sustainability is an increasingly important factor in decision-making. Whole-building life cycle assessment (LCA) makes it possible to look at all phases of a building, from material extraction through construction to decommissioning and, when possible, recycling into a ‘new’ useful material. When it comes to comparing materials, increasingly available data, an ASTM standard procedure, and LCA analysis software are helping design professionals make better choices to reduce the building’s carbon footprint."

Capturing the Full Benefits of Demand Flexibility

Rocky Mountain Institute, Aug. 11, 2016, by James Mandel and Ginger Juhl.
http://blog.rmi.org/blog_2016_08_12_Capturing_the_Full_Benefits_of_Demand_Flexibility

"Demand flexibility—allowing household devices like HVAC systems and smart appliances to interact with the electric grid in response to real-time price changes—can save customers money and lower the overall cost of electricity. In our recent paper, The Economics of Demand Flexibility, we analyzed the economics of making common household loads controllable and responsive to electricity price signals."

zEPI FAQ: Zero Energy Performance Index

New Buildings Institute, July 2016.
http://newbuildings.org/code_policy/zepi/

"The 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) includes many progressive measures that will improve the energy performance of buildings. One important provision describes the Zero Energy Performance Index (zEPI), which provides a scale for measuring commercial building energy performance. zEPI represents a fundamental shift in measurement of building efficiency as it sets energy targets for actual energy consumption rather than using a predictive energy model of building energy performance to calculate a “percent better than code” metric. zEPI sets an energy use intensity (EUI) target for building type and is adjusted for climate. It is also the measure by which a building’s energy efficiency is calculated once operational and occupied based on measured energy use data."

The State of Technology: Outcome-Based Energy Codes and zEPI

Zondits, July 2016, by Matt Lockwood.
http://www.zondits.com/article/12851/state-technology-outcome-based-energy-codes-zepi

"This month, our State of Technology series focuses on energy codes. Let’s talk about two innovations in development over the last decade in energy codes: outcome-based energy codes and zEPI [Zero Energy Performance Index]. Both started as dreams of energy code wonks to address the problems with existing code and benchmarking solutions, and both have been gaining prominence and momentum in the energy codes world."

Energy Dept. Announces $19 Million in Building-Efficiency Investments

Heating, Piping, Air Conditioning, Jun 2016.
http://hpac.com/archive/energy-dept-announces-19-million-building-efficiency-investments

"The U.S. Energy Department recently announced it is investing $19 million in advanced building technologies intended to lower utility bills, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and create jobs."
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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu