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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


8 Drains on Building Efficiency, 5 Ways to Fix Them

Building Operating Management, May 2015, by Ronald Kovach.

An article in four parts:
Part 1: 2 Ways Building Energy Performance Deteriorates
Part 2: Role of Staff, Training, Building Data in Loss of Energy Efficiency
Part 3: Maintenance Plan, ‘Walk-Around’ Audits Can Help Restore Energy Efficiency
Part 4: Comparative Data, Coil Cleaning Can Help Restore Energy Efficiency

Efficient Hot Water Systems

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, May 2015, by Cynthia Callaway.

"Engineers should work to design the most efficient water heating system or boiler possible. Understanding the codes/standards is paramount, followed by knowledge of the key equipment functions of boilers and similar systems."

Come to Seattle for Smart Buildings

Sustainable, News, May 26, 2015.

"Seattle has settled on Smart Buildings as part of their next stage of economic growth....  The business plan centers around a Smart Buildings Center - a hub for collaboration on these technologies - and a degree program that trains professionals in the field at South Seattle College - a BA in Sustainable Building Science Technology that begins this year."

High-Performing Facades: Integrating Building Performance Analysis with Design

Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences, April 2015, by Ajla Aksamija.

"High-performance, sustainable facades are defined as exterior enclosures that use the least possible amount of energy to maintain a comfortable interior environment, which promotes the health and productivity of the buildings occupants. This means that high-performing facades are not simply barriers between interior and exterior. Rather, these building systems both create comfortable spaces by actively responding to a structure's external environment, and significantly reduce its energy consumption."

Commercial New Construction Market Assessment

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA), Report #E15-289, May 20, 2015.

"The report highlights trends, barriers, and opportunities for high-performance projects, with a focus on Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. This 2014 study discusses potential intervention strategies to increase adoption of new design and construction best practices for high-performance commercial buildings. CLEAResult led this project - which includes literature review, market data and stakeholder interviews - with additional support from New Buildings Institute."

Making the Case for Healthier Energy Use [Hospitals & Healthcare]

Northwest Energy Efficiency News, NEEA, May 13, 2015, by Kim Hughes.

"NEEA  (Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance) has published a case study examining a decade of market shift efforts to enable industry adoption of energy efficiency practices among Northwest healthcare facilities."

Design Guide Helps Grocery Stores Cut Energy Use

U.S. Department of Energy, May 14, 2015.

"Grocery stores are responsible for approximately 9% of the total energy consumed by commercial buildings in the U.S.  To reduce this energy impact, a newly released Advanced Energy Design Guide for Grocery Stores demonstrates how to cut typical energy use in half, conserving approximately 8 billion Btus of energy per year, per store –equivalent to the amount of energy consumed by 148 homes during the same period." Free registration required (from ASHRAE) to download the 50% Guide.

Getting to Outcome-Based Building Performance Event Report

New Building Institute, May 2015, by Mark Frankel and Jim Edelson.

"This report summarizes the work undertaken by a group of building industry thought leaders who gathered for a Performance Outcome Summit in August 2014 in Seattle, Washington. During a day and a half workshop, the group examined the opportunities, barriers and next steps that will transition the commercial building industry from estimating energy use, based on models in the design phase, to measuring real performance outcomes, based on actual energy use in an occupied building."

Medical Data Center Controls Uptime, Energy With Variable-Frequency Drives

HPAC Engineering, Mar. 2015, by DANFOSS.

A "From the Field: Design Solutions" column, provided by the manufacturer, Danfoss.
"At a medical data center in the upper Midwest, cooling-system uptime reliability is ensured with redundant computer-room air-conditioning (CRAC) units. For example, in a room needing eight units, 10 are employed. Drives cut energy use 40 percent by controlling HVAC fan speed on CRAC units."

Energy-Efficient Makeup Air Units

ASHRAE Journal, Mar. 2015, by Hugh Crowther.

"Unless you live in paradise, delivering makeup air to most buildings is expensive. Table 1 shows the amount of work it takes to heat and cool air (based on Chicago conditions) for a standard rooftop unit (a unit that recirculates air with typical air conditioning loads) and a makeup air (MUA) unit."


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