Deep-energy conservation was the first step toward achieving net-zero-energy at Painters Hall. Opsis
Architecture’s design called for insulating the entire building envelope, maximizing natural light, installing ultra-efficient light fixtures and establishing real-time energy monitoring equipment.
Copyright © 2010 by the American Solar Energy Society Inc. All rights reserved.
less expensive than one produced on site. Opsis
Architecture’s design called for insulating the
entire building envelope, maximizing natural
light, installing the most efficient light fixtures
and establishing real-time energy monitoring
equipment. Spectra Construction furred-out
interior walls, added blown-in cellulose insulation, insulated overhead and under floors and
sealed air leaks. Spectra installed locally manufactured Jeld-Wen ( jeld-wen.com) double-pane
operable windows with the same grid-pattern
as the originals, but with a U-value 400 percent
Operable windows and passive cooling vents
save energy by creating opportunities for cross
ventilation, natural cooling and fresh airflows.
Light-colored floors and walls and white-washed
ceiling slats reflect the abundant natural light
streaming in through the windows, almost eliminating the need for daytime lighting, even on
Fluorescent light fixtures illuminate the
building’s 3,400 square feet (316 square meters)
at 1.51 kilowatts (k W) per square foot, a 53. 6
percent reduction in baseline loads for a typical
building. Motion sensors turn lights off when
occupants are not present, and when dimmers
are used to reduce lights to half power, overall
building consumption drops by 1 k W — saving
Solar Powers Community Center —
And then Some
Kyle Kobel of Tanner Creek Energy (tanner
creekenergy.com), a leading commercial solar
installer in Oregon, evaluated the site. With the
$1 or more per day.
Energy monitoring equipment tracks real-time use, creating energy awareness and increasing the likelihood of behavioral change toward
conservation. Painters Hall uses TED, The
Energy Detective ( theenergydetective.com),
a simple-to-install, yet sophisticated, tracking
system. For $300 in hardware, TED measures
total building consumption, photovoltaic system
(PV) production and individual circuit loads.
The device and its software also communicate
with Google Powermeter, a free web-based program. Owners can access Google Powermeter’s
dashboard via the internet at any time, sharing
data with others and receiving weekly summaries
by e-mail that compare usage trends.
Along with a ground-source heat pump by
WaterFurnace ( waterfurnace.com) for high-efficiency heating and cooling, the overall combination of energy conservation strategies yielded
impressive early results: The average monthly
building consumption for Painters Hall is 600
kilowatt-hours per month.
Painters Hall uses TED, The Energy Detective, to
track real-time energy usage, photovoltaic system
production and individual circuit loads. Energy
monitoring encourages the building’s occupants
to conserve energy.
A gallons-per-minute meter records flow through
the neighborhood’s district ground-source loop.
The system is providing an ultra-efficient source
of heating and cooling.
With the largest all-porous neighborhood street
system in North America, combined with naturalized open space, trees, green roofs and rain-garden landscaping, Pringle Creek Community
returns more than 90 percent of rainfall back to