At San Francisco’s Exploratorium,
science lessons turn into adventures.
The new home of the children’s hands-on museum is a century-old warehouse on a pier suspended over San
Francisco Bay that has been transformed into a highly efficient facility. While museums are inherently
large energy consumers, daylighting
and the use of bay water for heating
and cooling help reduce energy use.
Programmable circuit breakers cut
peak building consumption loads
from up to 400 k W down to less than
150 k W and average loads were cut
in half. Rainwater is stored for reuse
underneath the pier in a waterproof-sealed cavity inside one of the building’s new structural pile caps.
Laboratories and data centers are
notoriously large energy users. Yet
NREL’s Energy Systems Integration
Facility (ESIF) uses laboratories with
megawatt-scale testing facilities and
a high performance computing data
center (HPCDC) to help solve energy
challenges like integrating renewable energy technologies into the
electricity grid. The ESIF’s design
includes strategies such as heating
parts of the building with waste heat
from the HPCDC to increase the
building’s overall energy efficiency.
The ESIF boasts an annual EUI of
168.3 kBtu/ft2 despite the energy
intensive work completed inside.
Performance Takes Off
Outagamie County Regional Airport,
located near Milwaukee, took a
different “flight path” for its new
general aviation campus when it
targeted a net zero energy design.
Taking advantage of federal funding
and guidance, the airport’s design
team created a terminal building that
goes beyond simply providing a comfortable environment for passengers,
pilots and staff. An energy-efficient
design, which reduces energy use by
40% over a conventional building, is
coupled with extensive use of natural materials such as wood. It also
serves as a real-life case study to
lift the design aims of future airport