Briefings: GSA Studies Reveal Energy Savings
GREEN BUILDING REPORT
GSA Studies Reveal Savings
Two studies by the General Services Administration, part of its Green Proving Ground program, show energy savings possibilities in two areas: lighting and plug loads.
The Responsive Lighting study evaluated the performance of new workstation-specific lighting systems. The study was conducted in five federal buildings in California and Nevada that represented a diverse set of agencies, occupancy patterns, work styles, and lighting. Results showed energy savings that ranged from approximately 27 to 63 percent over baseline conditions depending on the workspace's normal use. Lighting accounts for 39 percent of electricity costs in office buildings.
The Plug Load Control study evaluated advanced power strips (APS) in eight GSA buildings in the MidAtlantic region. These power strips save energy by controlling plug-in devices according to a schedule or based on a given device crossing a power threshold.
Results showed the APS' schedule based capability to be highly effective, reducing plug loads at workstations by 26 percent, and nearly 50 percent in kitchens and printer rooms. This technology could significantly reduce costs, as plug-loads account for roughly 25 percent of total electricity consumed within office buildings.
For more information on GSA's Green Proving Ground studies, visit: www.gsa.gov/GPG.
AIA Introduces Energy Modeling Guide
According to the American Institute of Architects, "(Energy) modeling can help building owners have a better understanding of their properties' eco-footprint, be better equipped to report metrics and end up with greatly reduced utility costs."
That's one reason AIA has released a step-by-step map to predicting energy use in buildings. Beyond defining and making a case for energy modeling, this primer walks readers through different types of energy modeling and the individual tools and software available for it.
As a relatively new technical specialty, the guide also discusses how to bring energy modeling to other building team members, like engineers, and most important of all, including facility managers and building owners.
The guide is available for free download at www.aia.org/energymodeling
LEEDv4 Fifth Comment Period Open
Until Dec. 10th, the U.S. Green Building Council is soliciting public comments on its LEED rating system (LEEDv4), scheduled to be released next summer.
Approximately 35 credits are included in the draft open for public comment, and have been revised in response to feedback from previous public comment periods to further improve clarity, increase flexibility and options for project teams, and removing unsuitable requirements from previous drafts.
According to USGBC, LEED v4 will allocate nearly 20 percent of all points to optimizing energy performance over the stringent ASHRAE 90.1-2010, which would do more to help curb carbon emissions than any LEED rating system in its 12 year history.
To view the drafts of LEED v4 visit www.usgbc.org/leedv4.
U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL PERSPECTIVE
Energy Jumpstart: Reaching Out To The 69 Percent
By Lauren Riggs, manager, LEED Performance Programs, U.S. Green Building Council
The Energy and Atmosphere prerequisite (EAp2) in the LEED green building rating system acts as a gatekeeper for eligibility by establishing minimum energy requirements for existing building projects seeking LEED certification. This baseline is an ENERGY STAR rating in the 69th percentile among rated buildings of its kind — a requirement that is much harder for certain market segments to meet than it is for others. In this way, having a standard minimum energy requirement can feel like a one-size-fits-all t-shirt for existing buildings. And like the t-shirt, one size never fits all.
Often times, this requirement results in missed opportunities for energy efficiency by excluding existing building sectors, such as older buildings, that have a harder time meeting the baseline. To achieve market transformation throughout the existing building market, LEED must permeate all sectors of the existing building sphere.
Energy Jumpstart, or Pilot Credit 67, is an Alternative Compliance Path targeted toward buildings that struggle to meet the Energy Star standard outlined in EAp2.
Through this pilot credit, projects that can show a documented 20 percent increase in energy efficiency over a 12-month period, as compared to a three-year baseline, can satisfy EAp2 and become eligible for LEED certification at the Certified level.
This new pilot credit fundamentally differs from the Energy Star standard because it measures a project's individual progress, rather than its market standing. With support from the USGBC community, and access to LEED resources, these projects can continue to make improvements in energy efficiency over time, and can recertify at the Silver, Gold or Platinum levels.
Energy Jumpstart has great potential to broaden LEED's reach within the existing buildings market and would potentially reach 69 percent of the market that is currently excluded under the existing energy prerequisite. Like all pilot credits, Energy Jumpstart will remain in the library for testing and market feedback before it is officially adopted as part of the LEED rating system. What makes this credit particularly unique is that it's the first credit that, if adopted, can be used in place of an existing credit or prerequisite to gain access to LEED.
To learn more, visit usgbc.org/energyjumpstart.