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Energy Efficiency in Green Building Design. Phil Voss, Senior Project Leader, NREL August 6, 2008. Schools utilize significant resources addressing energy use and facility maintenance.

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Energy Efficiency in Green Building Design

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Energy Efficiency in Green Building Design

Phil Voss, Senior Project Leader, NREL

August 6, 2008

Schools utilize significant resources addressing energyuse and facility maintenance

  • K-12 spend $8 billion annually on energy, electricity (63%) and natural gas (29%), oil (7%), district heat (3%) costs rising – Second largest cost after personnel

  • 1,000 new schools built annually

  • Average school is 42 years old – renovations are becoming necessary and commonplace

  • Estimated $60 billion over next 3 years for new construction, and retrofits

  • In 2002, 47% of nation’s school districts renovated or retrofitted facilities

  • In 2005, $21.6 billion spent on school construction – $12.8 billion new, $5 billion additions, and $3.9 billion renovations

An enormous opportunity to reduce energy bills for the long term and to make schools a healthier place to learn by considering energy when building

How can we build schools smarter? What characteristicsdo schools that are models of smart energy use have?

  • Serve as safe havens

  • Viewed as round-the-clock community centers

  • Incorporate high-performance building design

  • Include energy-efficient technologies and strategies

  • Building would provide hands-on learning for energy education/curriculum

  • Include alternative fuel transportation

  • Generate energy on-site using renewable energy systems

U.S. DOE Energy Smart Schools Program

Vision for the Future of Schools

  • Increase energy efficiency in new school construction and major reconstruction by 50%

  • Create more comfortable, productive, and healthier spaces for learning and working

  • Provide opportunities for dynamic, interactive lessons on energy efficiency and renewable energy

  • Supply off-grid power and back-up power

  • Replace diesel- and gasoline-fueled buses with cleaner alternatives

Energy Efficiency Strategies

  • New Construction

  • Major Renovations and Retrofits

  • Energy Management Programs

Designing Energy Efficient Schools

Advanced Energy Design Guide

  • Provides guidelines for designing and building energy efficient schools

    • Schools would have minimum 30% energy savings over current code

  • Accounts for different climates (and gives climate-specific recommendations)

  • No unproven technologies – focuses on cost-effective solutions and off-the-shelf technologies

    • Minimal first cost increase if guide is used throughout design process

  • Developed in partnership with ASHRAE, AIA, IESNA, USGBC

Advanced Energy Design Guide breaks down each aspect of the design process to help designers identify how to maximize energy savings

Louisiana Climate Zones Recommendations

  • Provides criteria for insulating values for: walls, roofs, doors, windows, ducts

  • Outlines minimum HVAC efficiencies

  • Specifies Lighting Power Densities (i.e. max. 0.9 W/sq.ft.)

Hot/Humid Climate Energy Efficient Design

Process Recommendations

  • Select experienced and innovative design team

    • Include performance goals in SOW

  • Develop quantifiable goals

    • Document in Owner’s Project Requirements / Basis of Design

  • Hire a Commissioning Agent prior to design

  • Use an integrated design approach

    • Owners, Cx Agents, all design disciplines, end-users involved in all phases of design

    • Energy modeling to optimize energy efficiency

  • Plan for preventive maintenance (PM)

  • Train facility operators and occupants

Consider Design/Planning Charrette

  • Cooperative environment for decision makers

  • Intense effort to identify and address issues in a short time

  • Listen and understand needs and limitations

  • Envision realistic and creative solutions

  • Record ideas as they are introduced

  • Effectively express ideas in a plan to serve as a vehicle to move the process forward

  • Owner well-defined goals (OPR)

Hot/Humid Climate Energy Efficiency Strategies

  • Optimize daylighting to full possible extent

    • Building orientation, photocell controls with dimmable ballasts

    • Reduces lighting and cooling loads

    • Daylight glass and view glass are not the same

  • Efficient lighting design

    • Lighting Power Density < 1 W/ft2

    • Pendant direct/indirect

    • Occupancy sensors, auto night shut-off

  • Dedicated outdoor air treatment

    • Energy Recovery Ventilator or Demand-Controlled Ventilation

    • Centralize exhaust zones for energy recovery

Hot/Humid Climate Energy Efficiency Strategies

  • Efficient, tight envelope

    • Appropriate, well-installed insulation

    • Low-e, low-SHGC windows (esp. east/west facing)

    • Shading for south facing windows

    • Light colored roof

  • High efficiency HVAC with optimized control system

    • Balance with maintenance concerns

    • Size properly, incorporate strategies for variable loads

  • Energy star appliances and office equipment

    Use energy modeling iteratively to identify and reduce loads, and optimize efficiency of design

Successful model energy schools exist today

Homewood Middle School, Homewood, AL

  • LEED-Certified

  • Low cost - $121/sq-ft

  • Optimized Energy Performance

    • High-Performance Windows

    • Daylighting/Energy Efficient Lighting

    • Efficient Heating and Air Conditioning

  • Indoor Environmental Quality

    • Air quality – Monitored Temp/Humidity/Ventilation

    • Daylight & Views

  • 36% Energy Savings over ASHRAE 90.1-1999

Energy efficient schools give noticeable results

Caywood Elementary School in Edgewood, KY

  • Features an extensive daylighting strategy that resulted in:

    • Annual Energy Savings of $50,000

    • An Energy Budget that is 50% lower than other schools in the district

Major Renovations and Retrofits

Major Renovations Present Opportunities

  • Utilize AEDG as much as possible

    • Integrated design approach, Commissioning, Energy modeling

  • Consider extent of renovation, and how layout/design changes may impact energy use

  • Explore options beyond “like-for-like”

    • HVAC efficiency, sizing and system design

    • Lighting redesign

    • Daylight harvesting

    • Room layout, etc.

Major Renovations and Retrofits

Retrofit Strategies

  • An energy auditor can identify Energy Conservation Measures

  • Measures can be implemented individually, but may be best as a single project

  • Can be prioritized based on simple payback or lowest cost, but consider other benefits as well

Major Renovations and Retrofits

Some Common ECM Retrofits (in order of cost / benefit)

  • HVAC controls

    • Night setbacks, optimal start/stop, chilled/hot water temp. reset

  • Weatherization

    • Weather-stripping, repair broken windows

  • Lighting upgrades

    • T12 -> T8, HIDs -> T5, CFLs, occupancy sensors

    • Harvest daylight when possible

    • De-lamp vending machines

  • Solar water heating

    • Domestic HW or pre-heat for boiler / furnace

Major Renovations and Retrofits

  • HVAC equipment

    • Replace old equipment with high efficiency equipment

    • Premium efficiency motors

    • Variable speed drives for motors and pumps

  • Window replacement

    • Low-e, low SHGC, insulating glass

    • Reflective films are a less expensive option if installed correctly

  • Plug loads

    • Energy Star office equipment and appliances

    • Install Vending Misers on vending machines

    • Replace CRTs with LCD monitors

Energy Audit Example

International School of Louisiana, New Orleans

  • Energy audit performed fall 2007

Energy Management Programs

Proactive O&M programs ensure buildings remain high-performing

  • Can substantially reduce annual energy cost

    • Gross generalization: 5% - 20%

  • Extends equipment life and minimizes unexpected failures

  • Policy should be set at district or state level

  • Implement strategies to support policy

Energy Management Program Options

  • Low/No Cost

    • Quick, simple fixes - minimal cost, low to moderate impact

  • Education and Awareness

    • Low cost, moderate impact with persistent efforts

  • Energy Tracking and Accounting

    • High cost (staff time required), high impact

  • Regular Preventive Maintenance

    • Low to moderate cost, moderate to high impact

Example - St. Tammany Parish Schools

Set a Goal of 10% Energy Savings

  • Focus on Low/no-cost measures

    • 2-person energy team (teacher and maintenance person)

    • Educate to change behavior - turn off lights when you walk out of the room

    • Verify HVAC/lighting control settings

    • Energy Star Portfolio Manager - Monthly reports to schools (vs. baseline) - managed by Admin. Asst.

  • Community is very Supportive

    • Use bond issue to install central HVAC/Lighting Controls

Example - St. Tammany Parish Schools (cont’d)

  • Contract with “Schools for Energy Efficiency” (SEE)

    • 4-year program to develop low/no cost approach

    • Provides: posters, manuals, webinars, etc.

  • 14% Energy Savings in 2007-08 School Year

    • >$1 Million energy savings

    • Offering incentives to schools with the greatest savings

    • Will involve students in 2008-09 school year

Implementation Strategies for EE and RE – Financing Options

New School Construction

  • All Energy Efficiency upgrades can be cost neutral when an integrated design approach is used

    • LEED Silver can be achieved cost-effectively

      School Renovations and Retrofits

  • Energy Savings Performance Contracting

  • Revolving Energy Efficiency Fund

  • States and local districts have created a variety of funding programs

Implementation Strategies for EE and RE – Financing Options for renovations/retrofits

Energy Savings Performance Contracting

  • Energy Service Company provides energy audit, design, installation, and financing; implementation and service costs are repaid over time from guaranteed energy savings

  • LA has ESPC authority through state legislation

  • LA DNR administered award winning ESPC program for schools; multiple parishes participated

  • Johnson Controls performed ESPC for OPSD mid-90s – basic lighting, some HVAC, some controls

  • Oversight by LA Office of Contractual Review -

Implementation Strategies for EE and RE – Financing Options for renovations/retrofits

Creation of Energy Efficiency Revolving Fund

How this could work:

  • Detailed energy/indoor environment audit for local district

  • Audit would support funding request; local district provides 25% of capital funding, revolving fund provides remainder as a low- or no-interest loan

  • 50% of the annual savings accrues to the district, the remaining 50% is reinvested in the fund to finance future EE upgrades

  • Seed fund established with bond issue, state surplus, grant funding, etc.

Additional Resources

U.S. Dept. of Energy - Energy Smart Schools


    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Education


    Energy Star

  • (Buildings & Plants)

Additional Resources

Collaboration for High Performance Schools


    National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities (NCEF)


    ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides


Final Thoughts

  • Energy conservation and efficiency is affordable now, and more affordable over time

  • Select A&E firms who demonstrate innovation and experience with energy efficient design

  • Use an integrated design approach to optimize energy efficiency and LEED rating

    • Choose trade-offs between LEED categories wisely

  • A comprehensive O&M and Energy Management Plan ensures sustained savings and performance

Contact Information

Phil Voss – National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL); (504) 528-8428

Joe Ryan – nola Energy Consulting (contractor to NREL); (504) 528-8425


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