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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.

 


Comparing Polystyrenes: Looking At the Differences Between EPS and XPS

The Construction Specifier, Sep. 2016, by Jason Burgess.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/comparing-polystyrenes-looking-at-the-differences-between-eps-and-xps/

"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."

Net Positive Energy Buildings

ASHRAE Journal, Aug. 2016, by Dylan Connelly and Laura Fedoruk. (Article Summary only.)
https://www.ashrae.org/resources--publications/periodicals/ashrae-journal/features/net-positive-energy-building

"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."

New-Old Refrigerant: Carbon Dioxide for Industrial Refrigeration

ASHRAE Journal, Aug. 2016, by Donald L. Fenton.
http://tinyurl.com/h4r23pt

"CO2 is one of the five natural refrigerants and over the past 20 years has gained popularity, particularly with low-temperature refrigeration for industrial systems."

You Can’t Make Bricks Without Straw: Building a Residential Energy Code Support Program from a Utility Perspective

ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Aug. 2016, by Donald C. Boza, Jr., Chad Miller, Joshua Rego, Cherish Smith, and Stu Slote.
http://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2016/data/papers/5_328.pdf

"Improvements in building energy codes cannot be fully realized unless targeted stakeholder education, training and outreach is provided to support increased understanding of and compliance with the minimum requirements... This paper presents an approach developed to assess the energy savings and benefit-costs associated with implementing an energy code education, training and outreach program in Michigan."


Beyond Compliance: The DOE Residential Energy Code Field Study

ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Aug. 2016, by David Cohan, Jeremy Williams, Rosemarie Bartlett, Mark Halverson, and Vrushali Mendon.
http://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2016/data/papers/5_18.pdf

"For each state, energy use intensities (EUI’s) were calculated for a home just meeting the state prescriptive code requirements and compared to an EUI representing the collected field data. Results suggest that, on average, energy codes deliver most or all expected energy savings for the code adopted in a given state, overall—the opposite of conventional wisdom. At the same time, many sampled homes failed to meet at least one key code requirement, and many of the non-key requirements were not met. Also, the adopted code varied by state so there is clearly more energy savings potential available from adopting new codes. This rich new data set will
drive important discussions on the value and role of energy codes
."

Integrated Design for Affordable, Factory Built Homes

ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Aug. 2016, by Eric Ansanelli, Devanshi Dadia, Jordan Dentz, Zoe Kaufman, Emanuel Levy, Pournamasi Rath, and Greg Barker.
http://aceee.org/files/proceedings/2016/data/papers/1_455.pdf

"In many respects that impact energy efficiency, manufactured housing is an anomaly in the shelter business. The industry builds to a national standard, most of the construction is done in a controlled manufacturing environment typically far removed from the building site, and portions of the home are completed by installers outside the control of the factory.... However, this is about to change as the industry energy standards, last updated in 1994, will be raised to levels roughly equivalent to IECC 2015, an unprecedented leap in efficiency regulation."

The Greatest Energy Story You Haven't Heard: How Investing in Energy Efficiency Changed the US Power Sector and Gave Us a Tool to Tackle Climate Change

ACEEE, Research Report U1604, August 19, 2016, by Maggie Molina, Patrick Kiker, and Seth Nowak.
http://aceee.org/sites/default/files/publications/researchreports/u1604.pdf

"An invisible resource is working quietly behind the scenes to provide American families and businesses with the power necessary to live and work. This resource lowers harmful pollution, creates US jobs, reduces energy burdens for those most in need, and strengthens community resilience. It also improves the bottom line for business, returns at least double its investment, and saves American households, on average, $840 dollars a year. Energy efficiency has become the nation’s third-largest electricity resource. With increased support it could become the largest—and one of the world’s core strategies to tackle climate change."

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

Building Codes Assistance Project for the Energy Foundation, Aug. 2016.
http://bcapcodes.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Preparing-Design-Professionals-FINAL-08092016.pdf

"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. "

Our New Analysis Finds Energy Efficiency is the 3rd Largest Resource In the US Electric Power Sector

ACEEE Blog, Aug. 19, 2016, by Maggie Molina.
http://aceee.org/blog/2016/08/our-new-analysis-finds-energy

"Have you ever described efficiency as an energy resource and gotten a quizzical look in return? We have, even though utility system planners have been using energy efficiency for decades to make sure that power for their customers is both reliable and affordable. For those of us who have been in the energy efficiency industry for years, or even decades, we sometimes take for granted that others will understand what we mean. But we must not."

Proving its Long-Term Mettle: Longevity, Whole-Building LCAs, and Stainless Steel

The Construction Specifier, Aug. 2016, by Catherine Houska.
http://www.constructionspecifier.com/proving-its-long-term-mettle-longevity-whole-building-lcas-and-stainless-steel/

"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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The Energy Newsbriefs Blog is a continuation of the weekly Energy Newsbriefs. Please bookmark this site and return frequently. Although we will not be accepting comments from within the Blog, we would be happy to hear from you by email at library@energy.wsu.edu