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Net-Zero Energy Building Roundtable

8 September 2010 | Posted By Jeff Cole 4,360 views No Comment

NREL-Golden-ColoradoAre you hankering to design an ambitious Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB), but you just can’t overcome your assessment of the potential risk? Ever wanted the designers and project managers who have been there before you to whisper lessons learned into your ear? Well, here’s your chance to hear from some early explorers.

Environmental Design + Construction (ED+C) partnered with architect Bruce Haxton (bmhleedap@gmail.com), to host a NZEB roundtable in May 2010. Sixteen additional participants discussed sustainable and net-zero energy building concepts, and the processes and software that they used to achieve innovative new facilities with extremely high levels of energy performance. Roundtable participants included notable architects, engineers, researchers, project managers, software designers and researchers.

ED+C published an article in July that captures a number of the insights shared by the participants. Topics range from setting and maintaining a focus on performance goals, how to effectively structure performance contracts goals, things to focus on during early programming, the influence of energy performance objectives on the final design, innovative procurement methods, sophisticated analytical techniques to support integrated design, life cycle analysis, and their success pursuing innovative solutions. Performance verification and the importance of owner and occupant education are also covered. There’s something here for everyone, and you’re likely to find more than one comment that will have you saying “aha”.

The buildings most specifically discussed include the 220,000 square foot Research Support Facility at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo., and the 12,000 square foot Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Wisconsin.

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