building a sustainable and resilient community

Architecture 2030 and Net Zero Energy Buildings

Posted on | April 19, 2011 | No Comments

Today in class we talked about Architecture 2030, which is a private organization started by Edward Mazria to, in their words, “achieve a dramatic reduction in the climate-change-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the Building Sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed and constructed.”  Architecture 2030 is effectively trying to change the way buildings are built for the better, just like the ENERGY STAR program and many of the state and local programs that we covered in the previous weeks.  However, the goals, strategy and the messaging are notably different.  Architecture 2030 focuses on greenhouse gas reduction as a result of energy savings, while many federal and state programs place more emphasis on reducing energy and ultimately, costs.

This discussion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions seemed like an appropriate time to talk about how they are calculated.  Many of the tools and programs we are looking at in this class focus on energy consumption, but very few give outputs for GHG emissions.  If someone wants to calculate these emissions, an understanding of how variable GHG emissions are is necessary.  Following is a chart that gives rough averages for pounds of CO2 for each unit of energy measurement.

We talked a lot about tools and online resources that can calculate the estimated PV load for a building, once the energy consumption has been calculated.  Students will likely find a lot of help in these tools for their Term Project requirements.

Finally we talked about the Field Trip, which is a tour on Thursday morning of the PECI offices at Portland’s very new First & Main building. Assignment #3 is to use the spreadsheet analysis tool to try to come up with “Level 1” outputs. Some inputs students will be able to find on their own throughout the space, but some will not be obvious and will be given at the time of the field trip.  This should also serve as a reminder that students wishing to receive input on their mid-terms from REAL energy modeling professionals will have a chance to do so during the field trip!




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