Shrinkage is a good thing when you want it to happen. Energy consumption in buildings is a great candidate for shrinkage. Do you have a building in mind?
Two reports (1-2) were published recently to show how to achieve 50% energy savings over the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-2004 in medium-sized retail buildings and grocery stores. They represent the first technical support documents for commercial retail buildings under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative.
In all cases studied, these design measures were recommended to achieve a 50% reduction in energy consumption:
a. Place daylighting sensors and controls in all climate zones with side- or top-lighting and use a 400 lux control set point.
b. Reduce lighting power density by 40% and use occupancy sensors in the active storage, office, lounge, restroom, and electrical/mechanical spaces.
c. Shade all windows on the facade (assuming south-faced).
d. Reduce the facade glazing by 20%.
e. Install efficient fans in all rooftop heating/ ventilation/ air conditioning units.
The following climate zones and the corresponding cities were represented in the analysis:
Zone 2A: Houston, Texas (hot, humid)
Zone 2B: Phoenix, Arizona (hot, dry)
Zone 3A: Atlanta, Georgia (hot, humid)
Zone 3B: Las Vegas, Nevada (hot, dry) and Los Angeles, California (warm, dry)
Zone 3C: San Francisco, California (marine)
Zone 4A: Baltimore, Maryland (mild, humid)
Zone 4B: Albuquerque, New Mexico (mild, dry)
Zone 4C: Seattle, Washington (marine)
Zone 5A: Chicago, Illinois (cold, humid)
Zone 5B: Denver, Colorado (cold, dry)
Zone 6A: Minneapolis, Minnesota (cold, humid)
Zone 6B: Helena, Montana (cold, dry)
Zone 7: Duluth, Minnesota (very cold)
Zone 8: Fairbanks, Alaska (extremely cold)
Energy savings at 50% were found indeed possible with medium-sized retail buildings in each climate zone. The same held true for the grocery stores in all cities except Miami, where, however, the low-energy option cost more. These results will be shared with ASHRAE and other interested parties like DOE's Retailer Energy Alliance. The authors indicate that their results are "intended to serve as starting points for project-specific analyses."
Certainly, any building can be made to save 50% in energy, somehow, and without any legislation. Then you can truly say: Honey, I shrank our energy footprint.
(1) Technical Report NREL/TP-550-42828, "Technical Support Document: Development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Medium Box Retail - 50% Energy Savings," by E. T. Hale, D. L. Macumber, N. L. Long, B. T. Griffith, K. S. Benne, S. D. Pless, and P. A. Torcellini. Golden, Colorado, September 2008.
(2) Technical Report NREL/TP-550-42829, "Technical Support Document: Development of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Grocery Stores - 50% Energy Savings," by E. T. Hale, D. L. Macumber, N. L. Long, B. T. Griffith, K. S. Benne, S. D. Pless, and P. A. Torcellini. Golden, Colorado, September 2008.