Solar Today Spring 2017 : Page 12

Design Solutions -Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing (MEP) Systems Electric resistance heating, mainly located in the floor, provides heat for the building. Oc-cupants are also provided with Hyperchairs, innovative desk chairs with built-in heating and cooling functionality. No mechanical cooling is provided in the building; instead, the project takes advantage of natural ventilation for night flush, as well as ceiling and desk fans to extend the thermal comfort range for occupants. Lessons Learned The project team came away from the project with a number of lessons learned. 1. With careful planning, net zero energy construction can be cost effective and not difficult to achieve in new construction. 2. Commissioning and monitoring of the building systems is absolutely critical to achieving the desired levels of performance. 3. Tenant engagement and education is crucial to meet net zero energy goals. 4. Integrated project delivery is useful to help manage cost, contracts, and risk. 5. Involve a commissioning agent or con-trols expert from the start of the design process to check specifications, provide input, tackle system interoperability issues, and overcome scope gaps. Insights / Great Ideas 1. Formalize goals in the initial contract. For instance, RMI set the passive house air tight-ness target as a requirement in the contract. 2. Carry out blower door testing during construction to identify any minor leaks before they become difficult to fix. 3. ”Oversize” insulation instead of HVAC: the project’s super insulation allowed occupants to ride through a period of time where the heat-ing system was running at only one third capacity. 4. Install sub-metering with enough granularity to find problems and ensure building is operating as designed. 12 SPRING 2017 SOLAR TODAY Copyright © 2014 American Solar Energy Society. All rights reserved.

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