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  • e-News #82: Data Center Efficiency
    September 15, 2011
    1 comments

    Data centers are driving the growth of many hi-tech industries but a consequence of their rapid increase in capacity is greater consumption of energy and resources, and increased greenhouse gas emissions.

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  • e-News #81: A New Green Building Challenge for California
    June 29, 2011

    The California building industry has a new challenge this year. All new building projects must incorporate sustainable design and construction requirements to meet the new California Green Building Code (CALGreen).

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  • e-News #80: Energy Modeling for Compliance, Incentives and Beyond
    April 22, 2011
    1 comments

    Building energy simulation programs have been used for decades to predict energy performance of buildings and the energy savings associated with energy efficiency measures.  Building codes allow the use of simulation programs to provide greater design flexibility in meeting energy performance targets. But what, exactly, is that "energy performance target" and how is it formed?

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  • e-News #79: Solar Thermal - The Sun is at Your Service
    March 3, 2011
    1 comments

    Solar thermal systems have been used for decades for domestic water heating and space heating. They provide a cost-effective alternative for water heating, and can be also used in larger applications from commercial systems to power plants.

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  • e-News #78: Measurement and Verification - Verifying what, exactly, and why?
    January 31, 2011

    Buildings are dynamic systems, with energy use driven by a significant number of variables that change with time, from the
    weather, to usage patterns, to the attributes of the structure itself and the installed equipment. This issue of e-News details the measurement and verification (M&V) process for analyzing energy savings created through the design and operation of efficient buildings, applications of M&V in Energy Management Programs for existing buildings, and discusses measurement and verification via Building Automation Systems.

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  • e-News #77:The Doctor is Always In - Maintaining Optimum Performance with Fault Detection and Diagnostics (FDD)
    December 13, 2010
    1 comments

    With the trend towards increasing complexity of the lighting and mechanical systems of today's buildings, there is a broad gap between the design intent and the actual operational performance of buildings. A technology that has emerged over the last few years to address this problem is fault detection and diagnostics (FDD).

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  • e-News #76: Vertical Transportation
    October 21, 2010
    1 comments

    Elevators in modern buildings are faster and more comfortable than their counterparts decades ago. But even when you are standing inside an innovative looking elevator cab, it is hard to identify the green features in the elevator and recognize their energy savings. This issue of e-News details major sustainable features in elevators and escalators and some design considerations.

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  • e-News #75: Commission Early, Save Later
    September 13, 2010
    1 comments

    The building industry has come to appreciate the value of commissioning as a part of the construction process, helping to ensure the proper installation and operation of building components. The value of commissioning is not always apparent to building owners since it is a fair assumption that equipment should be properly specified and installed as part of the standard construction process. Commissioning has proved its worth because that assumption is often false, costing builders and owners money, and wasting energy.

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  • e-News #74: Combined Heat and Power
    July 30, 2010
    1 comments

    A building may contain a vast array of efficiency measures, or it may be old and inefficient. Either way, the electricity used in the building will likely be produced with inherent inefficiencies. The efficiency of fossil fuel based electricity production averages 34% (although new combined cycle plants can exceed 50% efficiency). The ultimate efficiency of any building pulling electricity from the grid is limited by that number.

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  • e-News #73: Ground Source Heat Pumps
    June 4, 2010
    1 comments

    A ground source heat pump (GSHP) is a heating and cooling system that transfers heat to or from the ground, using the ground as a heat sink in the summer and heat source in the winter. It can be significantly more energy efficient than an air source heat pump.

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  • e-News #72: Healthier Buildings, Happier People
    May 3, 2010
    1 comments

    Is it chilly in here or is it just me? While the performance of a building is frequently reflected in informal comments like this or, sometimes, complaints from building occupants, more formal methods of evaluating building performance can be extremely beneficial. Although the term is not universally embraced, the process of evaluating a building's performance is generally known as Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE).

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  • e-News #71: Evaporative Cooling: Saving Energy in More Ways Than Ever
    March 31, 2010
    1 comments

    Evaporative coolers provide cool air by forcing hot dry air over a wetted pad. The water in the pad evaporates, removing heat from the air while adding moisture. Although the concept has been used in residential "swamp" coolers in the Southwest for decades, technology advances have made evaporative cooling a viable alternative to conventional cooling in commercial buildings and in other areas of the country.

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  • e-News #70: Revitalizing K-12 Schools for a Greener Future
    February 26, 2010
    1 comments

    Many school districts are finding the resources to renovate their
    existing schools and build new ones while improving environmental
    conditions at the same time. Green design practices not only
    minimize operating costs, but they can protect the health of students and
    teachers. Green schools engage students in a learning environment where
    air is healthy, conditions are conducive to learning, and children can thrive.

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  • e-News #69: Chilled Beams
    February 2, 2010
    1 comments

    Chilled beams are among the recent energy-saving innovations making their way to the U.S. market. Chilled beam technology, which involves locating a low-temperature radiator at ceiling level to cool the rising warm air, has been utilized in Europe and Australia for more than a decade. Once cooled, the air slowly descends into the occupied zone, providing adequate cooling with minimal air movement and fan power, while providing an unobstructed radiant heat sink above the occupied zone.

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  • e-News #68: Guestroom Controls for the Hospitality Sector
    January 11, 2010
    1 comments

    San Francisco's Orchard Garden Hotel was San Francisco's first hotel to implement a cardkey system to control lights and HVAC systems in guestrooms. Monitored data from four rooms in the hotel showed a reduction in heating and cooling energy of 45% during the peak cooling season. Computer simulations based on monitored occupancy levels in the hotel estimate a savings of 32% of annual heating and cooling costs. Modeled across five different climate zones, the average savings were 26%.

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