Preparing for a Net-Zero Energy Tomorrow

11:30 AM - 01:00 PM
Pete Choquette, The Epsten Group, Atlanta
East Tennessee USGBC Presentation
The Foundry on the Fair Site, 747 World's Fair Park Drive, Knoxville
Email: US Green Building Council, East Tennessee Chapter

Because of environmental, economic, and strategic concerns ranging from climate change to instability in energy-rich regions of the world, our society has become increasingly concerned with energy conservation. Buildings play a prominent role as they consume roughly half of the energy produced in the United States. As a consequence, designers, builders, and owners are setting aggressive new goals for energy reduction, including signing on to the 2030 Challenge for net-zero energy buildings. However, current renewable energy options are too expensive to make net-zero buildings feasible in the short-term, leaving many to question what they can do right now.

Building professionals must work to optimize new construction, renovations, and existing buildings with a view toward the day when the first cost of renewables will be less prohibitive and buildings with smaller energy footprints will become the ideal candidates for their installation. To do so, methodologies for the design and validation of high-performance buildings need to be implemented and carefully followed through from conception through completion.

For new construction and renovation projects, this involves implementing step-by-step processes that consider a wide range of factors that affect building performance. These include solar orientation, the thermal properties and air-tightness of the building envelope, lighting and controls strategies, the efficiency of HVAC and process equipment, and understanding which renewable energy systems work best for a particular project type.

For existing buildings, a different step-by-step process must be followed ranging from Energy Audits through the implementation of simple lighting and controls upgrades and possibly leading to Retro-Commissioning of existing building systems.

This presentation includes case studies of how these methodologies have been successfully employed on projects to achieve improved energy performance and will conclude with an exploration of validation techniques that can be used in design and construction to ensure facilities perform to higher standards.

CEU: 1 GBCI credit, 1 AIA LU/HSW credit, eligible for engineer PDH

Cost: includes lunch, $5 members, $20 non-members, $10 students (with ID)




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