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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


10 U.S. Cities Tackle Efficiency

Architectural Record, Feb. 12, 2014, by Peter Fairley.
http://archrecord.construction.com/news/2014/02/140212-10-US-Cities-Tackle-Efficiency.asp

"Buildings are the source of one half to three-quarters of greenhouse-gas emissions in most American cities. Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Houston, and six more large cities have joined forces to tackle the problem by targeting their biggest buildings. “The largest buildings tend to be 3 to 4 percent of the overall number of buildings but account for 40 to 50 percent of the square footage and energy consumption. You have this terrific opportunity to work with a handful of buildings and make a big dent,” says Laurie Kerr, director of the City Energy Project (CEP), which launched in late January."

2014 Getting to Zero Status Update: A Look at the Projects, Policies and Programs Driving Zero Net Energy Performance in Commercial Buildings

New Buildings Institute, Jan. 2014.
http://newbuildings.org/sites/default/files/2014_Getting_to_Zero_Update.pdf

This report "presents the findings on ZNE [Zero Net Energy] and ultra-low2 energy buildings and districts across North America and builds on the Getting to Zero 2012 Status Update work by New Buildings Institute (NBI)."


D.C. Releases Energy Benchmarking Data

EcoBuilding Pulse, Feb. 26, 2014, by Katie Weeks.
http://www.ecobuildingpulse.com/energy-efficiency/dc-releases-energy-benchmarking-data_o.aspx?dfpzone=home

"In 2008, the District of Columbia became the first jurisdiction in the United States to require private buildings to measure and disclose their energy performance. And now, six years later, the data is in and available for public consumption. This week D.C. announced that it has released detailed data on the energy and water use of the area's largest privately owned buildings, making it the second jurisdiction in the country to do so, following New York City's lead."

The Benefits of Natural Light

Architectural Lighting, Jan/Feb. 2014, by Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg.
http://www.archlighting.com/daylighting/the-benefits-of-natural-light_o.aspx

"Research Supports Daylighting’s Positive Effect on Building Performance and Human Health."

For Better Or For Worse...R-22 RIP (Part 3)

Heating, Plumbing, Air Conditioning, Feb. 2014, by Dave Demma.
http://www.hpacmag.com/news/for-better-or-for-worse-r-22-rip/1002910208/

The first two articles in the series discussed the importance of having an R-22 refrigerant replacement strategy, help in choosing a replacement, and the process of implementing the conversion. 

This 3rd and final article in the series discusses how "a detailed plan can be assembled to ensure the conversion is completed in a minimum amount of time, and the result is a system that operates efficiently and trouble free."

Links to Part 1 and 2:
Part 1 - Oct. 2013 - http://www.hpacmag.com/news/for-better-or-for-worse-r-22-rip/1002665122/?&er=NA

Part 2 - Dec. 2013 - http://www.hpacmag.com/news/demma-r22-refrigerant-conversion/1002789061/


NREL Aims to Improve Building Energy Performance with New Web-Based Tool

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), News Release NR-1314, Mar. 4, 2014.
http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2014/8311.html

"The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed a web-based tool to help consumers better understand the energy performance of building-related products. The Technology Performance Exchange™ (TPEx™) is a portal that helps manufacturers and other organizations that measure and test products easily share performance data with product consumers."

Restoring The Low Limit For Indoor Relative Humidity

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2014, by Gary L. Berlin.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96370-restoring-the-low-limit-for-indoor-relative-humidity

"Industry leaders realized hundreds of years ago that their processes and machines operate best when the indoor relative humidity is maintained at an optimum level for their process. They found it was necessary to use energy to increase productivity, lower scrap and environment impacts, maintain profits, and maintain costs to their customer. It does not matter if their process is related to food, woodworking, textiles, printing, pharmaceuticals, electronics, automotive, laboratories, or maintaining and preserving artifacts in museums and libraries. Controlling the indoor humidity was and is still critical for their applications."

Problems Found In The Field: How Retrocommissioning Can Solve Them

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2014, by Scott Blackman and Michael Falkenstern.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96371-problems-found-in-the-field-how-retrocommissioning-can-solve-them

"The symptoms are familiar: hot and cold complaints, higher-than-expected costs, etc. Here’s a look at how the retrocommissioning process should work to tackle these and other developments for your facility."

Seawater Warms Up Marine College Building

Engineered Systems, Feb. 2014, by Rob Klinedinst and David Reinheimer.
http://www.esmagazine.com/articles/96378-seawater-warms-up-marine-college-building

"In its latest effort in an ongoing program to green its campus in South Portland, Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) turned to an innovative way to heat and cool one campus building: seawater.

Tapping into nearby Casco Bay, the seawater-based system uses a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) configuration with geothermal heat pumps to heat and cool the 3,250-sq-ft Lighthouse Building, which houses the school’s arts program and offices for The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges."

Is Your Building Conducive to the Installation of a Green Roof?

EDC: Environmental Design + Construction, Feb. 2014, by Richard Heller and Chris Psencik.
http://www.edcmag.com/articles/95450-is-your-building-conducive-to-the-installation-of-a-green-roof

"Despite the potential, installing a green roof is not a decision to be taken lightly. There are several structural and site/location considerations to take into account. The most recent news of a probable green roof collapse at a Latvian supermarket should give one pause. Before allocating the time and resources, facility owners and managers should weigh the pros and cons of a green roof and what to keep in mind during the planning stages."

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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

Archives of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs, from Oct. 2012 – Jan. 6, 2014, may be found on the WSU Energy Library web page.