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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


World Changing Ideas

Green Builder, Jan. 2014. (Scroll to page 11.)

"With help from our friends at Sustainia, here's a list of 25 of the most powerful technologies and ideas that will soon change our world in profound ways. From gravity powered LEDs to wireless car chargers, these are the good ideas that (we believe) won't go away." Close to half are energy related or have energy implications.

Right-Size Your Ventilation Needs [with DCV]

Buildings, Jan. 2014, by Jennie Morton.

"Can ventilation requirements and energy conservation go hand in hand? They can if you implement demand control ventilation (DCV). There’s no reason to waste energy conditioning air for people who aren’t in your building. Instead of supplying air at fixed rates, DCV automatically adjusts ventilation levels based on real-time occupancy measurements. This strategy allows you to meet code and reduce energy use without sacrificing indoor air quality."

Vaunting VRF: An Energy Slashing System Is on the Rise

Buildings, Jan. 2014, by Christopher Curtland.

"While [Variable Refrigerant Flow] VRF has been dominant worldwide for over 20 years, the U.S. has been slow to accept it for several reasons. Products have primarily been manufactured by Asian companies, which at one point had limited presence in the U.S. There is also little critical evaluation of actual field energy performance. But VRF sales in the U.S. are growing and multiple manufacturers offer these systems, including Carrier, Daikin, LG, Mitsubishi, and Sanyo."

Site Assessment for Solar Water Heating Systems

Home Power Magazine, Feb./Mar. 2014, by Vaughan Woodruff.

"Without a proper site assessment, you may be putting your solar thermal system at risk for poor performance."

Using Duct Surface for Leakage Testing?: Simple Testing Isn’t Always the Most Accurate

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Jan. 6, 2014, by David Richardson.

Author questions "the metrics that have been in place for residential duct leakage testing for years. Are they the most accurate metrics to use for determining duct leakage in a residential duct system? Would this be the best metric to use for quantifying duct leakage in residential duct systems?"

Energy Efficiency: Information Drives HVAC Savings

Building Operating Management, Jan. 2014, by Jerome Conraud.

A 5-part article on the Energy Management Information System (EMIS) at McGill University:
  1. Information, Technology Help McGill University Save On HVAC Costs.
  2. Energy Management Information System Helps McGill University Cut Down On HVAC Energy Usage.
  3. Focus On Demand Can Help Cut HVAC Energy Costs.
  4. Energy Audits, Retrocommissioning Are Keys To Energy Management Plan.
  5. Set Design Standards, Review Them Often To Maximize HVAC Energy Savings.

Controls: 6 Steps to Better BAS Performance

Building Operating Management, Jan. 2014, by James Piper.

A 4-part article on optimizing Building Automation Systems (BAS):
  1. Proper BAS Installation, Operation Are Keys To Reaching System's Potential.
  2. Operator Training, Adequate Staffing Levels Help Reach Full Potential Of BAS.
  3. To Maximize BAS Benefits, Focus On Overcoming Resistance To Change, Bad Habits.
  4. Retrocommissioning Keeps BAS Working At Peak Efficiency.

The Impact of Cloud Computing on the Development of Intelligent Buildings

Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA), Jan. 2013, by Casey Talon, Senior Analyst with IDC Energy Insights.

A new white paper from CABA's Intelligent & Integrated Building Council (IIBC) that "assesses and promotes the next generation of intelligent building technologies, plus a whole-building approach that optimizes building performance and savings through the integration of enterprise cloud technology."

One Small Step for Energy Efficiency: Targeting Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers

ACEEE, #IE1401, Jan. 6, 2014, by Daniel Trombley.

New Research Report from ACEEE. "This report surveys energy consumption and barriers to energy efficiency for small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMM), and then describes several leading energy efficiency programs that address those barriers." (Requires free registration to view full report.)

Technology Solutions for New Manufactured Homes: Idaho, Oregon, and Washington Manufactured Home Builders

U.S. Department of Energy, EERE, DOE/GO-102013-4106, Nov. 2013.

A new factsheet about the Building America Case Study on Whole-House Solutions for New Homes, High Performance Manufactured Home Prototyping and Construction Development Project.


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

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