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Zero Carbon Emissions Office Building Prototype

3 January 2011 | Posted By John Jennings 20,892 views No Comment

Photo Credit: Net Zero CourtCheck out this article by HOK titled “The Path to Net Zero C o2urt – Where Form Follows Performance”.  An integrated design team led by HOK and energy and daylighting consultant The Weidt Group undertook a 10-month virtual design charrette to create a prototype market-rate, zero-emissions design for a class A commercial office building in St. Louis. The team used the USDOE’s definition of a zero emissions building: “A building that produces and exports at least as much emissions-free renewable energy as it imports and uses from emission-producing energy sources annually.”

The team selected an urban site in midtown St. Louis, Mo. They chose this site because the city has a distinct four-season climate, electricity costs in Missouri are among the country’s lowest, and more than 80 percent of the state’s electricity is generated by coal-fired plants—so the power is cheap and dirty. The 170,735-sq.-ft., Net Zero Co2urt, is a new prototype for a reasonably priced, readily constructible, and marketable zero carbon emissions office buildings.

Carbon neutral designs always will be location-specific but there are some similarities to the NW with this example (low electricity rates) so this is worth a read. There are also few examples of net zero buildings out there, especially of large buildings. Like the hospital “Targeting 100” prototype developed with NBBJ, the Puget Sound Integrated Design Lab and NEEA’s BetterBricks is currently developing a similar office prototype for the Pacific Northwest. So stay tuned to see an example of how we can achieve net zero in the Northwest!

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