Bookmark and Share

Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for March 11, 2013

ENERGY NEWSBRIEFS is a weekly current awareness service provided by the WSU Extension Energy Program Library and written by Angela Santamaria, WSU Energy Library Manager, to assist users in tracking developments in the energy field. To view past issues or to subscribe to receive an email notification of the publication of a new issue, go to the Energy Newsbriefs home.

Please be aware that although every URL is checked for accuracy prior to the publication of Energy Newsbriefs, URLs are, for various reasons, subject to change. Further, servers sometimes fail to connect to working URLs.


"NWCAA Awards $3.2 Million for Local Clean Air Projects: Top Scores Given for Greenhouse Gas Reductions" is a February 14, 2013 press release from the Northwest Clean Air Agency. The three recipients include the Washington State University Energy Program whose energy assessments of dairy farms lead to emissions reductions that occur in the course of energy savings.


The following five case studies were published in the Winter 2013 issue of High Performing Buildings:

  1. "A Building that Teaches" was authored by Chris Brown, AIA, Associate and Sustainable Design Lead at Opsis Architecture, and by Andy Frichtl, PE, Principal and Senior Mechanical at Interface Engineering. It is a case study of the Net-Zero Energy, LEED Platinum, Music and Science Building at the Hood River Middle School in Hood River, Oregon.
  2. "Building with a Mission" was jointly written by Charles Dorn, AIA, Principal at THA Architecture, and Rob Schnare, PE, Associate at Glumac. This is a case study of the LEED-Platinum Mercy Corps World Headquarters in Portland, Oregon. It is truly a combination of the old and the new: an 1892 historic, but run down, building was renovated and doubled in size. The Platinum certification was very dependent on an extremely energy-efficient design.
  3. "Champion for Change" was co-authored by Jane Rath, AIA, Principal at SMP Architects, and Travis Alderson, PE, Principal at Alderson Engineering; it is a case study of LEED-Platinum Kensington High School for the Creative and Performing Arts in Philadelphia. The design for this high school more than overcame its problematic site which included constant train noise and contaminated soil. Geothermal heat and cooling resulted in dramatic energy savings with a payback period of only four years.
  4. "Prairie Companion" is a case study of Gateway West Sustainable I, the new headquarters for Environmental Systems, Inc. (ESI) in Brookfield, Wisconsin; it was prepared by Mike O'Conner, Energy Manager, and Mike Mittelsteadt, Energy Engineer, both of ESI. The facility, LEED-Platinum in both New Construction (2011) and Existing Buildings O&M (2012) categories, takes advantage of the natural prairie, the environment of the local area to prevent habitat disruption. Daylighting and photovoltaics are among the energy savers built into the design.
  5. "Student Remedy" is a case study of UC Davis Health and Wellness Center; it was written by Steven Guttmann, PE, Ted M. Tiffany, and Nadia Sabeh, Ph.D., PE; all are LEED APs with Guttman & Blaevoet. The Center is a LEED-NC Gold facility that outperforms expectations; it features chilled beams, described in detail, in lieu of a traditional HVAC system.



" BPA's New Emerging Technology Tool" is a February 26, 2013, press release from the BPA (Bonneville Power Administration). It explains the effort (E3T or Energy Efficiency Emerging Technologies) that is to help achieve the goal set by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council: energy efficiency will supply 85% of the future power needed by the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.


"What’s All the Hype about Big Data and Energy Analytics?" was authored by Jack McGowan, CEM, DGCP, President of Energy Control Inc. (ECI), and Chairman Emeritus of the DOE's GridWise Architecture Council; it was published in the February 2013 issue of Buildings. The software for energy analytics automates the measuring of energy use making the effective management of energy possible.


"Economizers and Energy Recovery Wheels: Heads and/or Tails?" was written by Christopher Curtland, Associate Editor, Buildings, and published in the February 2013 issue of that journal. The author suggests the facilities manager take easy and inexpensive energy-efficiency measures ("low hanging fruit") before doing anything else. After that, professional help may be needed to ascertain whether the building's HVAC system is, essentially, sound or in need of replacement or retrofitting. It is at this point that the issue of economizers and/or recovery wheels can begin to be addressed.


"Auto Control and Measurement Systems Impact Appliance R&D," by Peter Mohorko and Peter Mrak, Ph.D., both at Gorenje. The author explains how energy consumption measurements of a home-refrigerator prototype can be more easily and more quickly accomplished with a simulation tool than more traditional methods. An extra feature, the sidebar "Numerous Quality Outcomes," discusses the automation that dramatically improves appliance control boards, promising a greater role for simulation tools in energy savings.

 Past issues of Energy Newsbriefs are available here.

Generally, subscription information for the journals cited above can be found at the home page of their web sites.

© 2013 Washington State University Extension Energy Program. This publication contains material written and produced for public distribution