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The Bullitt Foundation’s Cascadia Center’s Energy Performance

11 July 2011 | Posted By Jeff Cole 3,412 views No Comment

Designed to be the most energy efficient commercial building in the world – at least for the moment – the Bullitt Foundation’s Cascadia Center will achieve this objective through integrated architectural and engineering design, cutting-edge technology and components, carefully selected building materials and conscious choices by tenants.

In 2007, Congress created a Zero Net Energy Commercial Buildings Initiative, with a market transition goal of Zero Net Energy for new commercial buildings by 2030. The Cascadia Center will demonstrate how to achieve that level of performance in 2012.

Given the prominence of the project and its ambitious goals, there has been a lot of interest in the energy performance. To answer questions, Denis Hayes (Bullitt Foundation), Jim Hanford (Miller Hull Partnership) and Paul Schwer (PAE Consulting Engineers) developed an energy performance analysis based on the models used in developing the project. Some key findings:

  • The EUI is 16 kBtu / sq. ft based on Gross Floor Area and 21 kBtu / sq. ft. based on Treated Floor Area—a remarkable achievement for a project of this size and budget.
  • At 52,000 sq. ft., there are no comparable buildings in the US Department of Energy’s “Zero Energy Building” database. The only commercial building currently in the database is a 6,500 sq. ft. lighting consultancy outside San Jose, CA.
  • Lighting loads represent 23% of energy usage and have been limited to 0.4 Watts per square foot (vs. 0.9 Watts / sq. ft allowed under Seattle code)

Of course models can vary from reality, which is why the Cascadia Center team will be measuring actual performance once the building is commissioned. But until then, this analysis offers a detailed look at the information and thinking driving decision making.

Download the analysis here.

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