Case Studies Using Energy Technologies

Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center, Basalt, Colo.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is a nonprofit dedicated to transforming global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future. Therefore, when RMI needed a new office and convening center for 50 employees in the mountain community of Basalt, Colo., they seized the opportunity to practice what they preached with a state-of-the-art building that achieved an unprecedented level of integration, automation, and performance.

Westside School, Seattle

Hillcrest Presbyterian Church in Seattle found itself in an awkward position. Its congregation had decreased, but remained in a large well-loved, but inefficient facility. At the same time, Westside School was about to lose its lease. A plan was born: the church would co-locate with another church and Westside would reinvent the facility as a school.

NIST Net-Zero House, Gaithersburg, Md.

In 2012 the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) completed the construction of a Net-Zero Energy Residential Test Facility (NZERTF) to demonstrate that it is possible to achieve net zero for a newly constructed house with conventional architecture, amenities, and size compared to homes in the surrounding area.

Brock Environmental Center: Virginia Beach, Va.

For buildings to withstand sea-level rise, coastline erosion, and hurricanes, they need to be built to work with nature, not against it. The Brock Environmental Center is a living example of how to minimize impact on the environment while being resilient to future challenges. The triple net zero building is the latest to receive Living Building Challenge certification and is the first in the U.S. to receive a permit for drinking rainwater treated to federal standards.

Energy & Mechanical Systems Topics & Opinions

Finding Common Ground: Defining Zero Energy Buildings

Buildings that produce more energy than they consume have moved from concept to increasingly common reality in recent years. But until a few months ago, no general, industry-wide agreement existed as to what exactly defined such a building.

Code Green

This new standard for green buildings will enable the transition from voluntary guidelines and programs to enforceable criteria that can be used by local, state or federal jurisdictions.

The Proof Is Performance

The road to high performing buildings is paved with high expectations — but, ultimately, it is measured performance that shows how energy efficient a building really is.

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