Zero Energy Certified

REDFORD CONSERVANCY FOR SUSTAINABILITY

VITAL STATS

Certification StatusZero Energy Certified
LocationClaremont, CA, USA
TypologyBuilding
Project Area10,631 SF
Owner OccupiedYes
Occupancy TypeEducational Building
Number of Occupants4

PROJECT TEAM

Owner
Pitzer College
Owner RepresentativeBev Lloyd (Pitzer College)
Project ManagerIntegral Group
General ContractorKar Construction
ArchitectCarrier Johnson
MEP EngineerIntegral Group
Lighting DesignIntegral Group
CommissioningIntegrated Commissioning Solutions
CivilAndreasen Engineering, Inc.
GeotechnicalLGC Valley, Inc. Geotechnical Consulting
LandscapeStudio MLA
StructuralJohn Labib Associates
Energy ModelingIntegral Group
Photo Courtesy of Redford Conservancy for Sustainability

BUILDING SYSTEMS INFORMATION

Wall R value and section specification3. Existing solid concrete with R-13 Insulation.
Roof R value30
Floor R value21
Window to wall ratio8%
Window U value0.38
Window descriptionWood, metal framed with an SHGC of 0.55

MECHANICAL HEATING AND COOLING

Passive cooling design (cross-ventilation, thermal chimneys, night-time air flushing).

Minimal electricity driven HVAC equipment via mixed mode VRF system and large diameter low energy ceiling fans.

VENTILATION

Ventilation is natural; air is buoyancy driven through operable window and skylight release.

LIGHTING

LED fxtures, occupancy sensors, and photo-cells are used along with glare-controlled daylighting to greatly reduce lighting power demands.

Photo Courtesy of Redford Conservancy for Sustainability

RENEWABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEMS INFORMATION

Panel Array Size52 kW
Panel Output per Capacity Nameplate327 W
Panel Quantity160
Panel Type and BrandSunPower E Series E20327-COM
Inverter Quantity8
Ownership DetailsUniversity Owned

PERFORMANCE

Actual energy use during performance period49,314 kWh
Actual energy produced during performance period82,995 kWh
Net Energy Use-33,681 kWh
EUI15.8 kBTU/sf/yr

PROJECT LEADERSHIP AND STORY OF PROJECT

The RRC was once an abandoned historic building which had been damaged in a fire and has been transformed into a net zero, LEED Platinum learning center which is educating the next generation of change makers. This project serves as an example of the importance of reusing existing buildings as it relates to embodied carbon and also the opportunities around us to transform existing spaces into new purposes. The project team worked together to implement smart, cost effective, simple design decisions which included passive design elements, re-using many of the buildings existing elements and on-site PV. These strategies work together to reduce the overall energy consumption of the building while also serve as an education opportunity for the students at the college.

Photo Courtesy of Redford Conservancy for Sustainability

DESIGN PROCESS

The design teams began working at the programming phase of the project to work on implementing smart, cost effective and simple design decisions which got us to our Net Zero Energy and LEED Platinum goals. The sustainable features include daylighting, thermal massing and natural ventilation as well as PV arrays, inclusion of skylight well which also act as thermal chimneys, punched windows with spectrally selective glazing and slow moving large blade fans. In addition, efficient plumbing fixtures reduced the water consumption of the building by 35%.

The team studied thermal comfort and passive strategies and were able to come up with a way to use the existing passive design elements of the original design for the renovation. These strategies worked to provide a more efficient HVAC system and decreased the size of photovoltaic system that would have been needed to offset a less efficient design.

ENERGY SYSTEMS NARRATIVE

-Daylighting analysis to maximize skylight design/placement for interior lighting

-Passive cooling design (cross-ventilation, thermal chimneys, night-time air flushing). An air flow study showed the building was a great candidate for natural ventilation. Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied (PPD) showed that the building would only be uncomfortable for a few hours on a few days out of the year; thus the HVAC system that is used only in certain circumstances.

– Minimal electricity driven HVAC equipment via mixed mode VRF system and large diameter low energy ceiling fans. No fossil fuel usage.

-Energy consumption minimized by thermally upgrading the building envelope (insulating low-e glazing, attic venting, thermally-broken wall/ceiling assemblies)

-LED fixtures, occupancy sensors, and photo-cells are used along with glare-controlled daylighting to greatly reduce lighting power demands

LESSONS LEARNED

Net Zero is best accomplished when design teams work together. The goal is not just to offset the energy consumption with photovoltaics, but to implement smart, cost effective, simple design decisions to reduce overall energy consumption. The studies done helped to justify design decisions and show that goals that may seem lofty and out of reach can be attained in simple and cost effective ways.

Photo Courtesy of Redford Conservancy for Sustainability
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