Utilizing Emerging & Existing Technologies to Reduce Carbon

New emerging technologies are being developed to help drive decarbonization. The following resources spotlight low carbon technology strategies for specific building types as well as both new and existing technologies and their applications and functionalities. 

The documents below contain steps that building owners and operators can implement to achieve low carbon across multiple building types, organized into simple, intermediate, and advanced options.

 

BENEFICIAL ELECTRIFICATION AND FUEL SWITCHING

Electrifying Our Buildings: Challenges and Solutions
Webinar 
The move to clean energy and renewable sources of power is driving a move to electrification in the building stock. This webinar explores options available today and different approaches to meet carbon goals, featuring building owners and design teams that are leading the market to achieve electrification goals. 

Tools and Resources for Electrification – Supporting Resources
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Webpage
This page collects case studies, rubrics, toolkits, and tools/resources with a specific geographic focus on electrification best practices.  

Electrification Futures Study: A Technical Evaluation of the Impacts of an Electrified U.S. Energy System
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Report
For this multi-year study, NREL and its research partners—Electric Power Research Institute, Evolved Energy Research, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Northern Arizona University, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory—used multiple analytic tools and models to develop and assess electrification scenarios designed to quantify potential energy, economic, and environmental impacts to the U.S. power system and the broader economy. 
 

ENERGY MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Energy Management Information Systems Technical Resources Report
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Report
This report provides a comprehensive technical overview of and best practices for understanding, designing, and implementing Energy Management Information Systems (EMIS).

Energy Management Information System Powers NREL’s Intelligent Campus
National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL)
Case Study
NREL utilizes energy management information systems to monitor, analyze, and control the campus’s building energy and overall system performance. This case study takes a closer look at how NREL implements this technology.

EMIS Crash Course
Webinar
In this webinar, the Better Buildings EMIS Technology Research Team and experts from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory discuss how energy management systems, including energy information systems and fault detection and diagnostics, are used.
 

ENERGY MODELING

EnergyPlus
U.S. DOE
Tool
EnergyPlus™ is an open-source whole building energy simulation program that engineers, architects, and researchers use to model both energy consumption—for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and plug and process loads—and water use in buildings.

Building Energy Modeling for Owners and Managers
RMI
Report
This guide provides commercial building owners and operators with the information to define and procure Building Energy Modeling (BEM) services. It describes a brief overview of BEM, service considerations related to BEM, and the full contracting process.
 

HEAT PUMPS

Heat Pump Systems
U.S. DOE
Guidance
Heat pumps are an energy-efficient alternative to conventional heating and cooling systems. This resource provides brief overviews of the different types of heat pump systems.

Decarbonizing HVAC and Water Heating in Commercial Buildings
U.S. DOE
Report
This resource can be used as a starting point when conducting the technical, economic, and feasibility assessment for converting to all-electric heating solutions. The attractiveness of facility electrification will vary substantially by region, climate, utility rates, existing systems, and other factors.

LIGHTING AND ENVELOPE

Advanced Lighting Control System Performance: A Field Evaluation of Five Systems
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 
Report 
This evaluation project provides data and information that can help those responsible for energy use and savings at commercial facilities determine the effectiveness of advanced control, LED-based lighting system retrofits.  

Upgrade Your Interior Lighting to High-Efficiency Solutions
Toolkit 
This toolkit collects resources from DOE's Interior Lighting Campaign to help facility owners and managers take advantage of savings opportunities from high-efficiency interior lighting solutions.  

Building Envelope Technology Research Team
Guidance
Through Better Buildings, the Building Envelope Tech Team collaborates with DOE's national laboratories to deploy high-performance envelope design solutions for space conditioning load reduction and to facilitate the construction of durable and high-performing envelope technologies.

  • Walls Resources: Exterior walls are the major components of the building envelope. By being a barrier between the interior and the exterior environments, walls need to have features that minimize energy losses while maintaining durability. 
  • Windows Resources: Recent advances in window technologies for both reductions in conduction losses and solar gains can help in tremendous energy savings in commercial buildings. 
  • Roof Resources: Roofs are another source of building energy loss, but roofing design and materials can help to reduce the amount of cooling required in certain climates by reflecting solar heat rather than absorbing it. 
     

PLUG AND PROCESS LOADS

Getting to Net Zero Energy Through Strategic Building Operations and Plug Load Management
Webinar
In this webinar, learn how the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) transitioned its headquarters from a LEED Platinum office to a certified Net Zero Energy building by implementing effective technologies to decrease plug loads.

Selecting a Control Strategy for Plug and Process Loads
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
Report
This report explores the most successful technologies to meter and control plug and process loads in commercial buildings.

Plug Load Reduction Checklist
U.S. General Services Administration (GSA)
Guidance
This to-do list provides a framework to develop a plug load reduction program. It can be used to implement a plug and process load plan, as well as for continual retuning.

For more information about Field Validation of emerging and existing technologies, visit our Field Validation Results page.


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