Design Briefs

These technical briefs, shorter than EDR Design Guidelines, provide impartial technical advice on how to design energy efficient lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, motor, pumping, and other building systems.


  • Design Brief: Displacement Ventilation 2.0
    June 25, 2014

    Displacement ventilation provides improved IAQ, cooling energy savings, and better acoustics for high performance buildings.

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  • Design Brief: Demand Response
    June 17, 2013
    1 comments

    Demand response (DR) is an energy management strategy that allows electricity consumers to receive financial compensation for temporarily reducing or rescheduling power use upon request. DR creates opportunities for building owners and managers to realize financial, operational, and environmental benefits by changing energy use patterns in response to market signals.

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  • Design Brief: Economizers
    August 28, 2011
    1 comments

    Economizers rarely save as much as they should and some waste a lot of energy. Better design, controls, installation, monitoring, and maintenance can help economizers meet their potential.

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  • Design Brief: Chiller Plant Efficiency
    June 12, 2010
    1 comments

    Though more costly to install and more complicated to operate, a chiller plant offers a number of benefits over simple packaged cooling units, including greater energy efficiency, better controllability, and longer life.

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  • Design Brief: Indoor Air Quality
    May 24, 2010
    1 comments

    Designing buildings for both high indoor air quality and energy efficiency requires an integrated design approach. There is a movement in the commercial real estate industry to pay more attention to the issue of indoor air quality (IAQ) throughout the design and construction stages of a building's life.

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  • Design Brief: Centrifugal Pump Application and Optimization
    May 24, 2010
    1 comments

    Centrifugal pumps perform many important functions to control the built environment. The physics and basic mechanics of pumps have not changed substantially in the last century.

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  • Design Brief: Air Conditioning & Ventilation
    May 12, 2010
    1 comments

    Using the whole-systems approach to building design, designers around the world have succeeded at creating highly efficient air-conditioning systems that provide excellent workspace comfort.

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  • Design Brief: Advanced Variable-Air-Volume (VAV) Systems
    April 28, 2010

    This Advanced VAV System Design Brief provides recommendations to help engineers improve the efficiency of large HVAC systems. It focuses on built-up variable-air-volume (VAV) systems in multistory office buildings.

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  • Design Brief: Drivepower
    March 31, 2010
    1 comments

    To truly minimize the energy use of a drivepower system-which includes the motor, its controls, and the connection between the motor and the equipment it drives-designers need to consider how these components operate as a system rather than looking at them on an individual basis.

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  • Design Brief: Energy Efficiency Practices in Industrial Refrigeration
    January 12, 2010
    1 comments

    Energy costs are a significant expense for facilities that operate industrial refrigeration systems. In new construction projects, significant energy savings can be achieved by incorporating energy efficiency technologies in the project design. For facilities being expanded or upgraded, ensuring the efficiency of the refrigeration systems can lead to significant energy savings without compromising productivity.

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  • Design Brief: Central DHW Systems in Multifamily Buildings
    January 5, 2010
    1 comments

    Domestic water heating (DHW) accounts for a significant share of multifamily building energy use, especially in California's coastal towns. While each new construction project will have a different ratio of energy end uses, one can look at the existing building stock to get an idea of how much is attributable to DHW systems. According to the Department of Energy's Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), DHW accounted for around 32% of overall energy use for existing multifamily units in the late 1990's.

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  • Design Brief: Acceptance Testing
    December 22, 2009
    1 comments

    Acceptance Testing is one of the core components of the Standards' ongoing effort to optimize energy use in modern construction. It's intent is to address the importance of proper system installation, as realized energy savings from advanced systems depend on them being installed and operating properly.

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  • Design Brief: Industrial Process Heat Recovery
    October 26, 2009

    Process heating is a significant source of energy consumption in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, and it often results in a large amount of waste heat that is discharged into the atmosphere.

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  • Design Brief: Compressed Air
    July 20, 2009
    1 comments

    Compressed air - commonly called the fourth utility - is in high demand in most industrial facilities. Despite its widespread application, however, up to two-thirds of the compressed air systems in operation have either an obvious problem that affects production or a hidden problem that drives compressed air production costs higher.

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  • Design Brief: Automated Monitoring & Fault Detection
    June 12, 2009
    1 comments

    Commissioning, retro-commissioning, re-commissioning, and automated monitoring and fault detection are all systematic methods of ensuring that a building and its hardware perform to the level intended by the owner and design team.

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