Building Options

The approach to reducing the energy consumption of a building starts with conservation before considering more efficient energy production and/or
procurement. The best energy saved is the energy that is not required in the first place. To create a net zero retail building we will address energy efficiency measures in the following order:

  • Reduce energy demand. Approach by assessing lighting and building enclosure requirements and responding by increasing R(values, utilizing high
    performance windows, choosing lighting levels appropriately, etc.
  • More efficient energy delivery. Address through consideration of alternative ventilation systems and increasing daylighting into the building.
  • More efficient energy conversion. Consider higher efficiency rooftop units, condensing equipment where applicable or changing from rooftop units to more efficient HVAC systems (e.g. variable refrigerant flow).
  • On-site energy generation. Assess feasibility of roof or parking lot mounted solar electric panels.
  • Off-site energy. Consider the purchasing of green power.

Since virtually any building, with enough capital and site area for renewable technologies, can obtain a net zero designation, a single design is of little use. Five separate designs ranging from standard practice to ‘top of the line’, each showcasing a specific design upgrade, are presented for comparison and analysis. The following figure presents the total energy required to be offset for each scenario.

Figure 3: Total Energy Use 4 All Scenarios

The effect of the five scenarios on energy density, PV array size and PV array cost, along with a general description of each is presented in the table below. More detailed discussion of each scenario is presented in dedicated sections.

Table 2: Option Summary