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Energy Newsbriefs

Articles for March 25, 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.


This is a reminder that your WSU Energy Library is providing the service, Bill Tracking for the current Washington State Legislature, on its website. This is a list of energy-related bills with their status through this 2013 session. This Library list is updated regularly. Each bill number is hot-linked to the legislative website that provides the text of the bill and a great deal of related information, including daily updates. Additionally, at the end of the list of current bills, there are links to the Bill Tracking Archives for previous legislative sessions, beginning with the 2005/2006 Biennium.


"Food, Fuel, and Plant Nutrient Use in the Future" (use the "Select Delivery Method" dropdown menu to view) is the free, 24-page, CAST (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology) issue paper, Number 51, published March 2013, and written by Task Force Members David Zilberman (UC Berkeley) et al. The authors conclude that demands on agriculture – increases in population and bio-based fuels and decreases in potential farmland – require efficiencies that genetic engineering can promote.


The following three articles were written by members of the editorial staff of Building Design + Construction and appeared in the February 2013 issue of that journal:

  1. "5 Factors to Consider When Designing a Shade System," by Amy McIntosh, Associate Editor, addresses how to ameliorate unwanted glare and heat gain from the sun in an office setting. A properly designed shade system can be controlled for glare and heat gain, but also allow for daylight harvesting.
  2. "5 Radical Trends in Outpatient Facility Design" is a six-Web-page article by David Barista, Editor-in-Chief, lists and explains these trends. One of them is using UFAD (underfloor air distribution) in outpatient facilities, a technology that healthcare professionals are wary of because of the possibility of spreading infections.
  3. "Clever Engineering Helps Create Design Excellence," by Robert Cassidy, Editorial Director, shows the engineering challenges overcome in the design of the LEED-Gold, U.S. Courthouse in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The following four case studies appeared in the January+February 2013 issue of GreenSource:

  1. "A Breath of Fresh Air" is a two-Web-page case study of 1 Bligh, a new office tower in Sydney, Australia. The beautiful building includes a fresh-air atrium and chilled-beam cooling.
  2. "Fiscal Makeover" describes the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Oregon. This case study describes the renovation of a 1974 building expected to be completed in May 2013. Its designers are aiming for LEED-Silver certification.
  3. "Houston, We Have a Solution" is a case study of the NASA Sustainability Base at Moffett Field, California. Aerospace technology that is adapted to the new building results in extremely high levels of efficiency.
  4. "Preach and Practice," by Asad Syrkett, shows the LEED-Platinum, low-emissions, six-storey, remodeled, commercial building at 1315 Peachtree Street in Atlanta.


The following two articles were published in the February 2013 issue of Building Operating Management:

  1. "Critical Facilities: Modular Data Centers" is a four-part article authored by Dennis Julian, PE, ATD, DCEP, at Integrated Design G. As this article points out, there are different types of modular designs to employ and each should be understood in the context of how it will work in the particular application:
    1. Part 1: What to Know Before Building a Modular Data Center
    2. Part 2: Know the Requirements for Modular Data Centers
    3. Part 3: Keep Shipping Size Constraints in Mind When Designing Modular Data Center
    4. Part 4: 4 Questions to Ask When Considering a Modular Data Center
  2. "Critical Facilities: Commissioning" is a three-part article written by Joshua J. Gephner, PE, QCxP, LEED AP O+M, and Senior Associate and Electrical Commissioning Engineer at ESD (Environmental Systems Design, Inc.). It is a discussion of the complexities that ensue when:
    1. Part 1: The Challenges of Commissioning Data Centers with Portable Generators
    2. Part 2: Using Portable Generators for Data Center Commissioning Can Affect UPS
    3. Part 3: Understanding Effects of Generators Is Key to Successful Data Center Commissioning


The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) offers free online trainings and, on its website offers links to future seminars and to past seminars that have been archived:

First Thursday Seminars are FEMP training opportunities targeting Federal energy, environmental, and fleet professionals offered at no cost by leading experts.


Less Energy, More Conservation,” published in the January/February 2013 issue of Water Efficiency, describes the use of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) in a large-scale greenhouse operation. The system provides heat for the greenhouses, and the CO2 emitted by the generator is absorbed by the plants. The author discusses the economic benefits of CHP in a plethora of applications, from industrial processes to hospitals and schools.

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