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Case Studies

These case studies of exceptional buildings continue to raise the bar for energy efficient best practice in California.


  • ArchSIM Case Studies: Urban Promise Academy Uses Energy Modeling to Exceed CHPS Requirements
    March 10, 2010
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    The new multi-purpose building at the Urban Promise Academy consists of approximately 11,000 SF of new construction including a multi-purpose gymnasium with raised platform stage, office, conference room, equipment storage, rest rooms, a lobby, and art/music classrooms. The project is located within the Oakland Unified School District.

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  • ArchSIM Case Studies: Modernization of Oakland High School Earns High Marks for Energy Efficiency and Comfort
    March 9, 2010
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    The modernization project at Oakland High School consisted of major renovations in Building E (a 5,573 SF wellness center) and Building F (a 20,400 SF historic shop building). In addition, the project included the construction of one new building, Building G (a 16,320 SF classroom building). In addition to the challenge of renovating aging buildings to provide a healthy and productive educational environment, the design team also had to meet stringent energy efficiency requirements.

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  • ArchSIM Case Studies: La Maestra Clinic Teaches Sustainability, Inside and Out
    March 9, 2010
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    La Maestra Community Health Centers is an award-winning not-for-profit organization that has been serving low-income and immigrant communities for 19 years.

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  • ArchSIM Case Studies: Coast Community College District Sees the Light
    February 24, 2010
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    The Coast Community College District (CCCD), located in Orange County, California, comprises three community colleges that enroll more than 60,000 students per year in over 300 degree and certificate programs. Founded in 1947, the CCCD enjoys a reputation as one of the leading community college districts in the United States.

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  • ArchSIM Case Studies: Shangri-La Construction Soars with Green Aviation Hangar
    February 24, 2010
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    The builder for Hangar 25, a corporate jet hangar with attached office facility located at Burbank's Bob Hope Airport, set out with the lofty goal to build the "most sustainable aviation hangar in the world".

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  • Case Studies: An Energy Efficient Multifamily Development
    September 21, 2009
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    Historically, multifamily residential housing developments had few incentives or disincentives to incorporate high efficiency design features and appliances into their projects.

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  • Case Studies: Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences
    June 12, 2009
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    The Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences (TCES) is a three-story, 45,000 ft2 building on Sierra Nevada College's Lake Campus that demonstrates how an ambitious project team can successfully reduce energy usage by implementing a variety of innovative mechanical designs at minimal additional first cost.

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  • ArchSIM Case Studies: Caltrans District 7 Headquarters - Orientated Towards Efficiency
    June 27, 2008
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    Building form and orientation can have a profound impact on overall building energy use and comfort. One of the greatest challenges facing architects designing new buildings is striking a balance between client needs and energy efficiency.

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  • Case Studies: Great Energy Efficient Buildings of California
    June 27, 2008
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    These are special case studies of great energy efficient buildings, selected from several areas in northern and southern California.

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  • Case Studies: Newspaper Increases Production and Saves Energy with a Compressed Air System Retrofit
    April 1, 2004
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    In 2005, the San Jose Mercury News' 410,000-square-foot printing plant redesigned their compressed air system. San Jose Mercury News engineering staff realized that the system was inefficient, leading to high energy and operating costs. To address the problem, the company turned to a statewide investor-owned utility sponsored energy efficiency program, Savings By Design (SBD), for help in designing the system and suggesting cost-saving improvements.

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  • Case Studies: Advanced Office Building Design
    March 1, 2004
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    Premier Automotive Group Headquarters and Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) Facility were designed and built using these strategies and this case study reports the signficant results both projects are demonstrating.

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  • Case Studies: Teaming Up with Nature
    February 1, 2004
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    Two Southern California projects have taken advantage of climate-related and site-specific characteristics to design and construct high-performance, environmentally friendly buildings.

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  • Case Studies: Thinking Outside the Box
    January 1, 2004
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    Large retail or big box stores are looking toward energy efficiency and sustainable design strategies to provide a competitive edge and increase profitability across the nation and in California's hard-hitting marketplace.

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  • Case Studies: High Performance Learning
    December 1, 2003
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    Choices made during the concept, design, and construction phases of new K-12 school projects in California impact students, teachers, parents, and the community for various reasons. For children and teachers, their daily comfort and performance is affected by the classrooms, hallways, gymnasiums, and auditoriums where they interact from four to eight hours each day.

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  • Case Studies: Displacement Ventilation in Classrooms
    November 1, 2003
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    Displacement ventilation (DV) is an air distribution system designed to simultaneiously improve indoor air quality and reduce energy use. Cool, rather than cold supply air is provided through low sidewall diffusers directly to occupants. The cool air, at about 65 degrees F rather than 55 degrees F, falls to the floor due to gravity and spreads across the floor.

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UFAD Case Study - EPA (Denver)

UC Berkeley Center for the Built Environment

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This report summarizes the major findings from a field study of the Region 8 Headquarters building for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Denver CO.This building uses underfloor air distribution (UFAD) as its primary means of space conditioning.

Fairmont Hotel - San Jose

Pacific Gas & Electric

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The Fairmont Hotel in San Jose installed an energy management system that gave them a huge rebate from PG&E and enabled them to reduce their demand by 20 percent as needed.

Chino Valley Unified School District

Southern California Edison

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Primary school campus uses lighting upgrades, occupancy sensors, demand reponse programs, and more to improve light quality and lower energy bills by over 20%.

Case Study: High-Performance Laboratories

Pacific Gas & Electric

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This guide describes several energy efficiency strategies for designing and equipping laboratories, which typically consume 5 to 10 times more energy per square foot than typical office buildings.

Case Study: Allergan

Southern California Edison

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Irvine-based global specialty pharmaceutical company Allergan won Flex Your Power awards in 2004 and 2005 through promoting energy awareness, upgrading manufacturing equipment, and consolidation of facilities. The savings totaled 12,785,530 kWh in 2005, which effectively was 11% of avoided electrical energy consumption.

Case Study: Bank of America Finds Opportunity in Energy Efficiency

Pacific Gas & Electric

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Bank of America employs HVAC upgrades and retro-commissioning to cash in on big energy savings - over $335,000 annually.

Case Study: Brookfield Office Properties — Long Beach, California

Southern California Edison

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This "Office of the Future" demonstrates the benefits of introducing advanced energy-efficient design and highly controllable lighting equipment into office spaces.

Case Study: University of California – Irvine, California

Southern California Edison

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UC campus uses lighting upgrades, occupancy sensors, window films, advanced HVAC controls, and more to save over 3.4 million kWh per year.

Case Study: Coastal Pacific Food Distributors – Ontario, California

Southern California Edison

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Seafood distributors use demand response techniques to reduce energy use while still keeping fish fresh.

Case Study: Hotel Intercontinental

Pacific Gas & Electric

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This LEED Gold hotel in San Francisco features comprehensive recycling and composting, efficient lighting and controls, ENERGY STAR appliances, and green cleaning procedures.

Case Study: Marriott International

Southern California Edison

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Hotel chain uses retrocommissioning to continuously monitor and improve energy efficiency in its Southern California properties

FreshChoice Keeps Energy Costs Down

Pacific Gas & Electric

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FreshChoice proves small and medium businesses can participate in demand response, while maintaining a comfortable atmosphere for its customers.

El Dorado Irrigation District

Pacific Gas & Electric

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In a demand response program, El Dorado Irrigation District meets the demand for drinking water while maintaining cost effectiveness for delivery.

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