A Tale of Two Buildings

Post date: Dec 28, 2010 4:57:15 PM

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times, it was the age of wonder, nanotechnology, the Large Hadron Collider and the promise of Net Zero. It was the epoch of Intelligent buildings and buildings with two much glass. It was the season of GSHP and all sorts of advanced technologies bolted on. In short, efficiency was only a notion with some buildings performing marginally better, but most staying the same because they were designed with 40% to 50% WWR, a curtain wall displaying a poor thermal performance plus air handling units and heating/cooling equipment with unexceptional levels of performance.

However, the promise of better energy performance only requires a building with masonry wall construction incorporating good thermal performance plus a low WWR design with punched windows that are recessed to shade from the summer high angle solar heat gain, roof overhangs and careful selection of HVAC equipment.

As shown in the “Architectural Elements & Building Envelope” page these design elements can help reduce the heating and cooling loads by anywhere between 30% to 50% and simultaneously reduce the whole building energy use by approximately 30% without having to resort to advanced technologies. Adding “best-in-class” efficient lighting designs, which only require careful design and selection of appropriate lamp-ballast combinations (see the “Lighting & Daylighting” page) can provide an additional reduction in cooling loads together with a significant reduction in electrical peak demand.

Last, but not least, meeting the reduced loads with “best-in-class” HVAC equipment that is properly sized can help achieve overall energy savings as high as 50%, if based on HVAC designs such as CC + DOAS or CC/DV which are described in the “Efficient HVAC Equipment” page.