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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: Commercial


How Do You Size a VFD?

Flow Control, Sept. 2016, by Jeff Bergman and Sean Fitzpatrick.

"Confusion often surrounds the proper sizing of variable frequency drives (VFDs), and sometimes, knowing when and how to choose one may be difficult. Actually understanding what a VFD does might make this decision easier and the requirements less difficult to understand."

The Untapped Potential of Community Energy Storage

Microgrid Knowledge, Sept. 19, 2016.

"Robin Roy, an NRDC consultant, explains why community energy storage often falls between the gaps in federal energy policy and what can be done about the problem."

HVAC Codes and Standards: Cooling and Energy Efficiency

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Aug. 2016, by Gayle Davis.

"Codes and standards dictate the design of HVAC systems; however, there are ways to improve the design of nonresidential buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency."

Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money

Building Operating Management, Sept. 2016, by Karen Kroll.

A two-part article on utility rebate programs for facility managers:
Part 1: Rebates and Beyond: An Array of Utility Programs Can Help FMs Save Money
Part 2: Demand Response, Commisssioning, and Training: Utility Partnerships

Is An LED Right For Your Next Retrofit Project?

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Aug. 2016, by Tom Divine.

"As LED illumination technology improves in efficiency, reliability, and quality, building owners become interested in cost-effective ways to apply LED lighting in their facilities. In many cases, retrofitting existing fluorescent or incandescent luminaires will be an attractive alternative to wholesale fixture replacement. This article explores the effects of some of the applicable codes on LED retrofit projects."

Comparing Polystyrenes: Looking At the Differences Between EPS and XPS

The Construction Specifier, Sep. 2016, by Jason Burgess.

"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."

Benchmarking Boom

Building Operating Management, Sept. 2016, by Richard G. Lubinski.

"... a three-part article on best practices in energy benchmarking as more cities and states make it mandatory."

Net Positive Energy Buildings

ASHRAE Journal, Aug. 2016, by Dylan Connelly and Laura Fedoruk. (Article Summary only.)

"DPR Construction’s retrofitted San Francisco headquarters building achieved approximately 20% net positive energy its first year of operation using efficient systems including HVAC, electrical and PV. And, in late 2015, it was certified as a net zero energy building. The office building demonstrates the capabilities of integrated, innovative, and replicable design. And, it proves that sustainable buildings can reduce energy use and improve indoor environmental conditions, while being cost effective. It has become a hub for learning and collaborating on many sustainably minded design projects."

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

Building Codes Assistance Project for the Energy Foundation, Aug. 2016.

"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.

"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."
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