Energy Efficiency

OVERVIEW

Our buildings consume more energy than industry or transportation, and we haven’t done a great job of reducing that consumption. We can do better by:

  • monitoring energy use

  • improving building commissioning

  • applying insights from building science

  • selecting innovative HVAC and building envelope technology

  • using natural ventilation and daylighting to provide low-cost alternatives to standard systems

As great as all these ideas are, they won’t be nearly as effective if we don’t engage occupants about energy use as well. Our articles look at all these strategies and more.

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  • Verifying Project Outcomes: Which Metrics Work?

    Feature Short

    Project success is increasingly tied to performance metrics, especially EUI. But that doesn’t always capture what owners are really looking for.

  • Owners, This RFP Hack Enables Lasting Building Performance

    Feature Short

    A request for proposals is not just about selecting the right team; it’s the first chance to create buy-in for your new building’s goals.

  • Net Zero Energy Is Achievable: Here’s How

    Blog Post

    The concept of the net zero energy (NZE) is a mature one, with established technology providing a clear path, especially for low- and mid-rise buildings.

  • The Best Indoor LED Luminaires of 2016

    Product Review

    Winners of an annual DOE competition represent some of the best LED lighting for decorative pendants, downlights, and healthcare. 

  • Study Vets Materials for Entire Wall Assemblies

    News Brief

    When you look at the whole assembly, it can change how you see the materials. Here XPS and fiberglass come out ahead, and SPF behind.

  • The Search for Better Insulation Continues

    News Analysis

    We can all celebrate 25 years of improvements to insulation, but we still have a wish list of seven better products we’d like to see.

  • Greenest of the Green Energy-Saving Products from Greenbuild

    Product Review

    The Greenbuild 2015 expo featured some exciting innovations, including a DC-powered “net-zero energy zone.”

  • Source Energy Is Federally Endorsed Metric for Net-Zero Buildings

    News Analysis

    The DOE releases a definition of zero energy buildings that it hopes will be adopted industry-wide.

  • The Embodied Energy of Tap Water

    Primer

    A third of the annual energy bill paid by a municipality goes toward water treatment. Here’s why clean water uses so much energy.

  • Full-Blown Energy Modeling

    Webcast

    Like any tool, energy modeling needs to be wielded properly. Savvy designers know that different kinds of models are useful at different times. For example, if you use a calibrated energy model only at the end of the design process, you’re not only misusing this particular technique—you’re also missing out on the dollar and energy savings this type of modeling can provide. This one-hour webcast will show you how to save thousands of dollars in first costs and operational costs.