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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


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.

Commissioning buildings, systems using ASHRAE Standard 202

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Dec. 2013, by Terrence Malloy, PE, CxA

"ASHRAE Standard 202-2013 was recently released, which offers guidance on the building commissioning process."

Test Case for Universities

High Performing Buildings, Winter 2014, by Kevin D. Mussler, P.E.

"Researchers at the University of Kentucky's Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) Renewable Energy Laboratory investigate energy technologies to improve the environment. The building, on the leading edge of laboratory design, serves as a test case for envelope, lighting and HVAC energy efficiency strategies that may be implemented in future university buildings."


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.