Part 4: Making Efficiency Real | 2018 ASHRAE Webcast


Now let’s identify the role of policy in
achieving energy efficiency goals. Mark Frankel is here to do just that in his
presentation Making Energy Efficiency Real. Mark? Thank you. Energy efficiency as
an industry got its start in the oil embargoes of the U.S. by OPEC which led to
widespread gasoline shortages and swift increases in the price of various energy
sources. These conditions led to a sudden broad interest in organized strategies
to reduce energy use and became the basis for official policies by States
and agencies around the U.S. to support reduced energy use. What we refer to as
energy efficiency was originally called energy conservation and the image of the
energy crisis as it was known at the time evoked memories of wartime
ration. The President of the U.S. at the time, Jimmy Carter, advocated energy
conservation strategies directly to the American public. He appeared in a famous
television announcement evoking FDR’s fireside chats wearing a sweater and
suggesting that Americans turn their heating thermostats down to 65 degrees
and wear sweaters to help reduce energy use in the U.S. This message did not have
broad appeal, however, President Carter also installed solar panels on the roof
of the White House later removed by Reagan. More significantly, he established
the Department of Energy as a cabinet-level agency and established the
National Solar Energy Laboratory, later, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
These organizations have had a major influence on the evolution of energy
efficiency in the U.S. and abroad ever since that time. During the energy crisis,
a number of adhoc efforts to reduce energy use by severely limiting
ventilation, shutting off alternate light fixtures, de-lamping fixtures, and a host
of other poorly planned or executed conservation measures created health
risks and safety hazards and generally gave energy conservation a bad name. Some
of these perceptions lasted decades more recently the term energy efficiency has
become more common than the term energy conservation in the industry suggesting
wiser strategies rather than shortages. The basic notion behind organized energy
efficiency programs is that utilities trying to meet load growth should seek
the least costly resource to provide new capacity. Improving energy efficiency of
buildings has long been recognized as a least cost resource
often costing a fraction of what it costs on a kilowatt by kilowatt basis to
establish new conventional generating resources like coal plants or gas
turbines. A classic tale from the early days of the energy efficiency industry pits
efficiency against nuclear power. In the Pacific Northwest U.S. in the 1970s,
the Washington public power supply system fondly known as WPPSS planned to
build five nuclear reactors to meet the projections of substantial regional load
growth. Over the course of a decade, WPPSS contracted with regional
utilities of all sizes to provide nuclear generated power and sold bonds
to finance construction, but construction costs climbed radically even as
projected electricity load growth failed to materialize. Eventually, a major
municipal utility, Seattle City Light, became convinced that it could meet its
low-growth in the near term with conservation programs at a fraction of
the cost of the nuclear power contracts. As the other utilities began to balk, the
WPPSS program collapsed in what at the time was the largest municipal bond
default in U.S. history. This left some utility ratepayers with
debt on the order of over fifty thousand dollars per residential electric meter.
When the feds stepped in to clean up the mess, the Bonneville Power Administration
was tasked with a specific mandate to support regional conservation as a least-
cost power resource. In the years since then, the Pacific Northwest has met a
major portion of its load growth with energy efficiency strategies and
continues to anticipate that energy efficiency will be the primary new
generating resource in the Pacific Northwest through 2025. With policy
encouragement and detailed regulations about how energy efficiency is evaluated,
utilities can recover the money they invest in energy efficiency strategies
directly from their ratepayers just as they would charge ratepayers for power
generating plants. The state of California has been the most aggressive
in the U.S. in requiring or encouraging utilities to support energy efficiency
programs and until recently the state spent as much on energy efficiency as
the rest of the U.S. combined. Nationally, investment in energy efficiency programs
climbed from 1 billion dollars annually to over 5 billion dollars
annually in the first decade of this century and has continued to increase.
This does not include recent rapid increases in renewable energy generation
investments. In California, the results of a strong commitment to energy efficiency
investments can be seen in a graph comparing energy use per capita in
California to the rest of the U.S. Since the 1970s, California energy use per
capita has remained flat or decreased slightly as it has increased in the
nation as a whole. In 2003, energy efficiency programs and
efficiency requirements for buildings and appliances delivered over 15% of
California’s total energy load. Though utility efficiency programs are focused
on least-cost resource acquisition, a broader policy goal is market
transformation. That is the proliferation of energy efficiency practices into
broader market adoption. Energy efficiency incentive programs are
considered to help take some of the risk out of new efficiency technologies and
to demonstrate to the broader market that these technologies are viable. As
these strategies become more widely adopted, they become opportunities for
incorporation into evolving building energy codes. Until recently, this has
been the broadly accepted model of market transformation. The energy
efficiency of televisions is widely considered as a clear example of energy
efficiency policy driving market transformation. The state of California
through its appliance performance standards in title 20 regulates the efficiency
of television sets sold in the state. Though a few other states regulate
television energy performance, California is such a big part of the U.S. market that
manufacturers adopted these standards for almost all of their production
models. This led to significant efficiency increases and reduced
equipment cost across the U.S. market even as screen size continued to increase.
Despite broad deployment of energy efficiency programs around the country,
the approach has grown to face several important limitations. The most important
limitation is the focus of energy efficiency programs on individual
building components or widgets as a way to improve building efficiency. Vehicle
performance trends in the U.S. provide an interesting contrast that the TV
example already described and a good analogy to the building industry. Over
the period of 1981 to 2007, significant changes were occurring
to the average U.S. vehicle fleet characteristics. The percentage of
vehicles with efficient manual transmissions dropped from 30 percent to
12 percent of the fleet. The average acceleration time for vehicles going
from zero to 60 miles per hours dropped from fifteen to nine seconds while the
weight increased from three thousand pounds to thirty-six hundred pounds despite these
significant changes to weight, power, and drive train. Overall vehicle mileage
increased from fleet average of 25 miles per gallon to a fleet average of 28
miles per gallon about a 10 percent improvement.
Clearly, auto manufacturers were learning to incorporate more efficient
technologies into the cars, but these improvements in efficiency were used
offset other decisions about weight and engine power.
If the vehicle characteristic cited for the 1981 model year had remained the
same through 2006, the efficiency improvements would have led to a 50%
improvement in miles per gallon to 38 miles per gallon over the same period. In
the building sector, similar improvements in individual building technologies have
likewise been overwhelmed by larger design decisions that negate the impact
of more efficient technologies. For example, increased glazing area as a
popular building feature has reduced building envelope performance more than
substantial improvements in glazing and insulation technologies have improved it.
Fortunately, around the turn of the century a new way of thinking about
building performance was introduced to the industry in conjunction with the
sustainability movement. Programs like the USGBC LEED program encouraged a
more integrated approach to building design that more readily recognized the
interactive effects of different building elements. By considering the
integrated design and functional aspects of energy efficiency strategies,
significant new frontiers are possible for energy efficiency efforts. These
strategies adopt integrated design principles to consider whole building
performance metrics. This is demonstrated by the recent rapid proliferation of
zero net energy projects. NBI has been tracking the increase in ZNE projects
across North America for the past 10 years. In some locations, these are
referred to as zero energy projects. We have seen a rapid increase in projects
achieving ZNE and projects targeting ZNE performance. A 700 percent increase over
time period as well as rapid proliferation of high performance
projects that could achieve ZNE if they incorporated rooftop solar
arrays. This is sometimes referred to as ZNE ready. This represents a new and
aggressive approach to energy efficiency. ZNE projects are being delivered all over
North America in every climate zone a diverse array of project types are being
built to ZNE with schools leading the way. The ability
of larger buildings to achieve ZNE is bolstered by the rapid decrease in the
cost of photovoltaic panels. As the price of PV drops, deployment is skyrocketing.
In many parts of the world, new solar PV installations are the least expensive
new generating resource available. This dropping cost of PV represents a new
challenge to conventional energy efficiency strategies. Many policy makers
and organizations are also recognizing that the growth of energy efficiency
industries represents a significant source of new jobs even as employment in
conventional extractive energy industries face a steady decline.
Employment and clean energy already substantially exceeds the number of jobs
in the fossil fuel industry. This potential will drive additional policy
motivation for energy efficiency deployment. Even as more and more
projects are demonstrating the feasibility of achieving ZNE, a new
urgency is driving efforts to vastly expand successful energy efficiency
strategies. World recognition of the risk of climate change has drawn widespread
efforts to reduce the energy carbon impact of the building sector. Although
federal support for climate strategies has evaporated, state and local
jurisdictions representing a significant majority of the U.S. population have
renewed their commitment to the Paris Climate Accord. In the U.S., building
energy use accounts for over 40 percent of national annual carbon emissions
making the building sector a critical element of climate policy efforts. Just
as energy efficiency has long been recognized as the least expensive
strategy to meet energy demand, energy efficiency is also widely recognized as
the most cost-effective strategy to achieve greenhouse gas emission
reductions. In a widely cited study by the McKenzie Group in 2009, a range of
energy efficiency strategies were shown to actually have a negative deployment
cost when the value of greenhouse gas reduction was factored in.
A major policy tool to drive energy efficiency is the adoption of more
aggressive building energy codes. With the recent focus on carbon reduction, the
code landscape has changed dramatically. Before the turn of the millennium, energy
codes were considered the lowest common denominator of energy performance
adopting small incremental changes in slow multi-year cycles, but the urgency
of climate change has led to rapid advancements in energy codes by a
variety of jurisdictions around the world. Many U.S. jurisdictions have set
targets for energy codes to achieve ZNE by 2030 for new construction. The rapid
increase in code stringency has left many widget-based utility energy
efficiency incentive programs high and dry in that these programs no longer
represent leading-edge strategies that can be paid for with rate payer
incentives. This has led to a general decline in the reach of conventional
utility incentive programs. These changes in the industry and policy drivers have
led us to an inflection point in the building industry with respect to what
energy efficiency programs will look like in the future. There are three
important trends to consider. Considering whole building performance is the basis
for efficiency programs. Opportunities for better building operation and more
effective integration of buildings with the electric grid. Historically, energy
code utility incentives and other building performance efforts have been
focused primarily on building design features, but as projects have pushed
toward deeper efficiency achievements there is increasing recognition that
operations strategies and occupant behavior must become part of the
building efficiency strategies. Tom’s discussion of building ghost loads
show examples of how building operating practices and tenant behavior can impact
building energy use. In the ZNE sector, it has become increasingly clear that the
success or failure of a project to achieve ZNE
is driven not just by design features, but to a significant degree by the
behavior of tenants and building operators in managing daily building
energy use patterns. ASHRAE has recently released the new Building EQ program
which is able to rate both the design and the operating characteristics of
buildings. This program will serve to significantly increase industry
attention on building operating characteristics and designs which
support good building operation. Meanwhile, some utilities and
organizations are piloting a new kind of utility efficiency program which
provides incentives based on actual building operating characteristics. This
approach is used at The Bullet Center, a net zero energy building in Seattle,
Washington. Building owners are paid incentives based on the difference
between actual energy use and a predicted dynamic baseline for energy
use in the building under conventional operating characteristics. The difference
between the dynamic base load prediction and actual measured energy use is the
basis of incentive payments. This program is called metered energy efficiency
transaction structure or MEETS. This is being considered by many utilities as a
new way to incentivize measurable energy efficiency based on actual building
operating characteristics. Notably, building tenants have a monthly budget
of free electricity and pay no energy bill unless they exceed their monthly
budget in which case they have to pay for all of the energy they used. this
encourages tenant behavior that aligns with the project’s zero energy goals.
Strategies adopted in successful ZNE projects have demonstrated that
providing meaningful and actionable feedback to operators and occupants can
mean the difference between achieving ZNE goals and failing to do so, but
these strategies can also be applied to existing buildings to engage operators
and occupants in more meaningful strategies to reduce energy use. This is
a focus on behavior instead of widgets and represents a new frontier for the
energy efficiency industry. Hundreds of companies have sprung up in the past
five years to provide direct and actionable feedback to building
occupants and operators that allow them to make better daily decisions about
reducing energy use. Another major change to the energy efficiency industry and
the building industry in general will be in how buildings interact with the
electric grid. To understand this, we need to talk first about how the electric
grid is changing. In the 1950s, the constant availability of electric power
was a major marketing point. The most important characteristic of the grid is
dependability. Grid dependability is a major indicator of economic development
and stability across the world. Buildings rely heavily on grid dependability
and in some climates may become uninhabitable within hours of a grid
failure. Changes to the way we generate and use power have significant
implications for grid dependability and resource cost and will change the
way we think about energy efficiency. To provide power, utilities deploy
generating resources in a logical order. Here is an oversimplified example of a
daily utility load shape. Base load capacity consists of generating
resources that are always on and can be run continuously for long periods of
time. Examples of base load plants include
nuclear plants which need to run constantly and coal plants which start
slowly and run most efficiently at steady capacity. Load following resources
represent a more adjustable power source that can be dispatched in hours based on
anticipated daily load patterns. These plants may be combined cycle gas
turbines or other generating plants. Finally, a utility must have access to
peak power plants that can be cycled very quickly in response to short term
load variability. Peak power resources are also often purchased by utilities on
the spot market as needed. With the rapid drop in the cost of photovoltaic solar
electric generation and the proliferation of renewable energy
installations, utilities face a new challenge in managing the grid. In
addition to the monumental complexity of managing distributed renewable
generating resources on a large interconnected grid, utilities face major
new economic challenges. In this hypothetical example, deployment of PV
solar electricity generation has taken a big bite out of midday electric demand,
but notice that despite the significant reduction in overall electricity use, the
peak demand is still relatively high requiring most of the same generating
capacity as before. The utility must therefore maintain nearly the same
generating resources even though they get to sell less power from those
generating resources. Making the overall operation more expensive relative to
revenues. We’re still for the utilities, the base load power plants can’t be shut
down, so the utility must find a market to sell the excess generation from the
solar resource. In some cases, this can lead to negative power prices where the
utility is actually paying customers to use power.
This utility operating characteristic has manifested in the state of
California as the famous duck curve. In this case, as more distributed generation
in the form of photovoltaics is added to the grid each year, the shape of the daily
grid load looks more and more like a duck. Notice again that despite the
significant reduction of electricity demand in the daytime, the evening peak
power needs remain relatively unchanged. Although the load shapes I just
described look relatively smooth over the course of a day, the reality is much
messier. This graph shows the high degree of monthly variability of wind power, a
rapidly proliferating, generating resource. Over many years in the Pacific
Northwest, in this plot of 30 years of monthly wind data, delivered wind
capacity can vary by 50 percent or more in the same season and even a fixed
panel solar PV installation on a building will experience significant
moment-to-moment fluctuations based on cloud cover. The vagaries of power
generation must be dealt with by utilities in real time at every moment.
This leads to a constant balancing of different generating resources that have
different costs to operate. While buildings may see demand and peak power
charges on their bills, utilities are facing highly variable power prices from
moment to moment as they strive to keep their load balanced. Any failure in this
regard leads to power outages. For individual buildings, the cost of
electricity typically follows a simple pattern. Energy use peaks in the daytime
perhaps with a slight lull at midday as employees leave for lunch.
Electricity rates are often tiered with a base rate for low use periods and a
peak rate for high use periods. There is also typically a demand charge which is
based on the magnitude of the 15-minute peak use for the building during a
billing cycle. Depending on generating constraints, different utilities use
different mixes of rates and factors to come up with total monthly utility bills.
In many regions, demand charges can represent the majority of the total
energy bill, but as utility rates respond to changing supply conditions and the
cost to deploy solar power and battery storage decreases, buildings will become
increasingly incentivized to deploy new kinds of energy efficiency strategies in
new ways to reduce operating costs. These factors will affect the way we
will think about energy efficiency in the future. Buildings will deploy design
and operating strategies which strive to modify building load shapes in response
to grid load constraints and pricing characteristics. These efforts will focus
on different load modification strategies, load shedding where maximum
building energy use is reduced to reduce demand charge impacts peak shifting
where building design and operating strategies are modified to move more
building load onto non-peak pricing periods, dynamic response where buildings
are incentivized by the utility to respond to real-time signals from the
utility to temporarily reduce energy use during supply constrained periods, and
addressable energy storage or some percentage of on-site batteries or car
charging is dispatched directly by the utility to store temporary power surplus
from over generation. The main takeaway from this discussion of grid interaction
is that energy efficiency will no longer be defined only as reducing the flow of
electricity from the grid to the building, but will also include two-way
power flow, time-of-use pricing incentives, and more direct interaction
with energy generation and storage resources all of which will be measured
and accounted in real time, and as buildings continue to progress toward
deep efficiency and ZNE strategies, successful efficiency programs will
expand from a focus on building technologies to include the role of
tenants and building operation and on measured whole building performance
outcomes. There is much work to do. Thank you. And thanks, Mark. It is time to do our
final round tables. Let’s go to our panel to further discuss opportunities for
delivered energy efficiency and the role of policy. Alright, gentlemen. During the
last presentation, Mark emphasized the role of the design community in
addressing climate change, so Chris, let’s go to you. How is building energy
efficiency connected to climate change? Well, it’s interesting. If we understand
that buildings are our single largest energy demand sector and use sector, we
could easily say that buildings are our number one polluter. We don’t often think
of it that way because the exhaust pipes down at the power plant the good news is
that we, as knowledgeable building professionals, this is something we can
actually do something about. When we make better buildings, it sounds a little
corny, but when we make better buildings, we clean the air, and if we really want
to address, aggressively address carbon emissions and reduction in the pollution
associated with the building sector, we’ve got to deliver better buildings. A
lot of people who are trying to do the right thing, recycle or use less energy,
whatever maybe feel like they’re not making a difference, or what they’re
doing is not really having an impact, but in the design community, it totally matters
what we do because what we do will affect climate change, so I think it’s
really exciting to be in the design, a design professional in this time
And, I would just like to add going back to something that Chris had shared in
one of his earlier presentations. He was showing us how the the energy code our
codes are now currently at half of where they were 25 years previously and
heading down even further than that. So, you know, the design community has done a
lot already led by ASHRAE, and I think we still have a lot to do, but let’s just
keep pushing that bar lower. Very good. Alright, our next
question is what is the role of policy in shaping better building performance?
Mark, shall we go to you for that? Well, I talked about the different ways that
policy is trying to approach building performance I think that the most
important one is code because it affects every new building, and we keep building
them so it’s gonna keep affecting more and more buildings, but I think a lot of
jurisdictions that are trying to achieve their climate goals or their goals in the Paris Accord are looking to engage the existing building sector
as well, so they’re looking at some of the trigger points we talked about.
They’re putting disclosure ordinances in place to make people look at their
building performance the ASHRAE Building EQ program follows along with that nicely. I
think we’re gonna see more and more engagement by policy makers in the
building sector. You know, the market transformation
that’s happening, and that has to happen with regard to the building sector
requires both the push forces and the pull forces. We can educate and teach all
day long, but policy plays an important role of pushing and saying we’ve got to
do a little bit better. As Mark just said, you know, when we are improving an
existing building or some building that may be 40 or 50 years old and doesn’t
have insulation or good windows or good HVAC systems and otherwise sometimes if
we’re updating a building, and the local policy is requiring bringing that up to
code, that’s really effective market transformation mechanism. Codes
unfortunately are not uniformly applied or even present across the United States,
and our peers around the world you know look to us for policy guidance as well. So, a lot of countries that are just starting to think about building codes
for the first time, or thinking about how to update their energy codes in
particular in the context of you know an uncertain energy future, policy plays a
key role. ASHRAE understands this. One of the
things that we’ve got going on at ASHRAE is the GGAC initiative, the grassroots
government advocacy initiative, and the goal there is to engage local ASHRAE
members in helping to shape local code decisions. All too often, a local code
decision is maybe made by somebody who doesn’t understand the latest efficiency
technologies or the role of PV, or the role of insulation, or the latest HVAC
technologies, so we need those knowledgeable ASHRAE members and design
professionals and others who are really leaders in the industry to become
actively engaged in helping to shape those local decisions. I just would like
to add that where you see membership and design community engaged in this, you
really see aggressive advance policies places like Seattle, Vancouver, the BC
Step Code is a really exciting new code that’s gonna make a big difference New
York, the Northeast, there’s all kinds of states
and of course California has been doing this for a long time. There’s leadership.
Very good, very good. I just like to add a couple of thoughts on that is that you
know as these energy requirements for our buildings keep going down and down
and down, you know, we’re engineers. We are
accepting the challenge to come up with the ideas and the technologies and
whatever to make that happen so. A lot of people balk at policy thinking oh that’s
just government trying to push me. What we find is that the more we hurt, the
more we look to policy decisions to help us navigate those difficult times. Energy
is actually pretty cheap right now, but what happens when we have energy
inflation we need the policies to help us navigate those waters. Perfect sense.
Alright, one more question. How should designers account for greenhouse gas
emissions in building performance upgrades? I’m going to answer your
question with a question. I love when you do that. Okay. I don’t know maybe 10 or 15
years ago, there was something at the Chicago Climate Exchange that put a
dollar value on greenhouse gas reductions. What happened to that? And you might not know, but I bet Mark does. Well there’s a lot of countries of
course that have a value on carbon and there’s active carbon markets around the
world. There’s some in the U.S., the state of California and other states on the
west coast are signing on to that. In the Northeast, they have a carbon market. We
had an election where we tried to get a carbon tax and car cap-and-trade system
in place in Washington. They were both on the ballot, and they didn’t make it,
but it’ll come back. I think we’ll see that more, and I, you know, I think we need
to recognize also that when we talk about source energy, we are starting to
integrate some of the upstream impacts of greenhouse gas emissions into our
energy sources. So ,as as Chris said, you know, we think about the pollution from
buildings as being way far away at the other end of the grid but that’s
directly related to buildings, and I think more and more designers are
starting to account for that. You got your question answered. I was I
was counting on it. I wasn’t worried about it. Good. Well, speaking of questions, that is
the end of our round table, excuse me, and now once again it’s time
to hear from you. If you have a question for our expert panel, please use the
interface on your screen to submit. And we have a stack, so we are ready to go.
Our first question is addressed directly to Mark. What is the role of energy
modeling in energy efficiency? We talked about this a little bit before, and I
think when we look at the trajectory of getting our codes down to super
efficient buildings, we really have to move into performance where we’re
actually modeling building performance and understanding integrated system
performance. And I think there’s a big challenge for the modeling community
because there’s so few modelers that actually follow up with whether their
model was accurate after they build it. They make all modeling and makes a whole
bunch of assumptions about how the buildings going to be used to prove that
the building that you’re designing is better than it could have been and
that’s the end of it, and we really need follow-up to see do did I use the right
inputs in the model, is the building actually being used that way, can I make
better decisions at the front that make the model more predictive and that
follow-up I think is on the industry to institute into the design process. And
that will improve that both the assumptions and the accuracy. So we
talked earlier about whether modeling was accurate. We need to get to higher
and higher accuracy by having a follow-up system for modeling and it
needs to be part of building operation. We need to calibrate those models over
time, so that it becomes an active part of building operation. So it becomes part
of the the whole life cycle of the building. You know, ASHRAE plays a key
role here. First of all, we are fortunate the energy models we have today and the
energy modeling tools we have today are dramatically better than they were back
when I was in grad school. And ASHRAE 90.1 now has multiple paths of
compliance which rely on those energy models, but Mark brings up a really
important missing piece and that’s that feedback loop where we
can do all of this very creative modeling and figure out you know what we
do in ASHRAE 90.1 is we’re looking under you know for every little kilowatt and
every little BTU we can find that’s cost-effective. We need the
feedback loop of performance of actual performance to understand okay is the
occupancy schedules in the model the way it should be, the lighting schedules, how
about the weather tapes that we’re using? We need that feedback loop, so that we
can constantly refine those models. Okay, let’s move on to our next question. How
can HVAC professionals do a better job integrating batteries, solar PV, and other
distributed energy resources that are being deployed through tariffs and
programs in support of state greenhouse goals? Is that one for you, Tom? Well, I’ll
take a crack at it, but it’d like to hear what Mark has to say on it also. You know,
I think, I think Mark already mentioned about how the cost of solar has been
coming down and down and down and down to the point of where that’s becoming a
more mature technology, and just like our colored TVs at home, they’re probably, I
don’t know, a tenth the cost of what they were 15 years ago for the same-size unit.
So, you know, these are emerging technologies, and I think probably you
know a little crystal ball on this question here, are building systems going
to look the same in 10 or 15 years as they do now? And my guess is no. I would
just add that as Chris, alright excuse me, as Tom said, the price of solar has
come down. The price of batteries is parallel and coming down, and soon
they’re gonna cross the threshold where in various locations around the country
it makes sense to deploy batteries to avoid demand charges or deploy ice
cooling ice, ice storage strategies. All kinds of new technologies are going to
come into this equation very soon. You know, we often talk about buildings, but
one of the key transition industries that’s going to be affected by all this
is our utilities. As Mark pointed out in his presentation, you
know, they’re very sensitive to the time in which we are asking for energy, and
these technologies are gonna really change the way the utilities interact
with buildings. Alright. Very good. And let’s move on. This comes from John in
Waterloo, Ontario. John writes I agree that envelope is the first and most
important element in energy efficiency. How do we get away from all glass
buildings? How do we make insulation sexy? And I believe there’s a second question
that goes together, and I’ll read this one as well. It’s Eric in Madison,
Wisconsin. ASHRAE 90.1 clearly indicates an energy efficient building needs to
have a window to wall ratio that does not exceed 40 percent. Will the
architectural community accept this or continue to believe more glass is better?
So, they kind of go together with that one gentleman. What’s the answer. Well,
this is pretty close to home here. First of all, we have a love affair with
glass. We we love glass and fortunately the glass and glazing industry has not
been silent or stagnant with regard to its innovation. The glazing systems that
we have today are dramatically better than the glazing systems we had just 20
years ago. We can cut cooling loads in half. I don’t foresee our love affair
with glass changing anytime soon. I do see that as we seek deep energy
efficiency in this holistic thinking, we might use glass differently. We might be
a little more sensitive to building orientation or over glazing. The one
question was actually inaccurate. ASHRAE doesn’t say 40 percent. That’s in
the prescriptive compliance path of 90.1. 40 percent is the limit, and if you
want more than 40 percent glazing like these all glass buildings here in
downtown Atlanta, you’ve got to go to another compliance path within ASHRAE,
and you’ve got to do a building model. We’re finding that some of the, you know,
really leading zero energy buildings are realizing that I don’t
necessarily need an all glass building, maybe I
don’t need 40%. One of some of the day lighting studies suggest that you know
we can get really great day lighting in schools and in office buildings at about
30 percent glazing. You’ve got to have the right glazing and again you want to
have the energy-efficient glazing. Fortunately, like I said the window
industry has been a great innovator over the past couple of decades and we’ve got
really low U factor products, really great high visible transmittance
products, and glazing systems that you know look optically clear and
blocked 75% of the solar gain. What does that do to your cooling level? What does
that do to the size of your HVAC system and your installed capacity? So, there’s a
lot of innovation that we can count on there. I want to say that it’s not just
the architects that like glazing. The developers love it too. Some in some
cities they’re convinced that if they don’t have as much glazing as the
building across the street, they’re not going to sell their condos, so let’s not
put it all on the architects. We’ll try not to beat up on the architects. Just for a few minutes.
Alright, our next question. Did the elementary school deep energy efficiency
project first reduce loads to reduce the installed system capacity? And Tom,
this one would be for you. Well, that wasn’t part of the – it was an
HVAC renovation project, but you know one of the first times I went out and
visited the school was during the wintertime, and and I could see that
there was frost on half of the building. Insulation gap, so even without even
without thermographic inspection, you know, which means that probably all
designers should inspect their building projects on a frosty day, on a frosty
morning. That would be one of the takeaways from that. But, we did we did
you know repair the gaps in the envelope as as we rightly should have. We did not
replace the windows and you know we did upgrade the lights so and all of that
was part of the solution. Very good. Alright. Next question.
Do you consider site EUI over source EUI when analyzing building efficiency?
Mark? We talked about this a little bit before, but source EUI brings in the upstream impacts of energy generation sources or fuel
sources, but even that is inaccurate. You know, natural gas has upstream impacts
from leakage that are not part of the site energy equation or not fully part
of it, so that’s a pathway to a more holistic thinking about greenhouse gas
impacts. On the other hand, the the piece of data that comes to the building owner
who you’re expecting them to manage energy over time is site energy, so I
think we have to think of energy use in multiple levels. In the design, we should
think about site energy or source energy implications, absolutely, but we have to
remember that the feedback to the building itself is going to be a site
energy data point and so we have to be ready to talk about that as well. And,
I would refer that you know the question back to that chart that I had about the
two schools in Loudoun County, Virginia. Huge difference and site energy was
lower, source energy was higher and operating cost was even higher still.
Sorry, one more point on that. ASHRAE uses the cost as the basis for this and that
is considered a compromise between site and source energy. So yeah. I want to add
to this too. As Mark said, the owner gets an energy bill from his utility and
it’s based on site energy. I foresee a day when that energy bill will also
include the carbon implications of that the source energy associated with that. I
foresee a day because we understand that not every utility uses the same mix of
fuels. Some places have nice clean hydro, some places are going to use an awful
lot of PV, others are going to be constrained with natural gas or
petroleum or coal. We’re going to have to start giving signals if we want people
to start valuing those different metrics, and we now have the analytical tools. And,
and even in the energy modeling world now, we can look at local fuel mix to
actually understand the carbon implications of a given set of decisions.
And, I would just add that Energy Star, when you do an Energy Star benchmarking,
that has sight, it has source, it has cost, and it has
greenhouse gases. Excellent. Alright. Let’s see. Many older buildings located
in cities such as New York have single pipe steam feed condensate return
systems feeding radiators. Systems as designed are inefficient. Tenants wind up
with overheated spaces and wind up opening windows to reduce the room
temperatures. This is an obvious energy loss that does not get much attention.
How should we address this issue? Okay. You know, one of the things that you can
tell a steam heated building by how many windows are open. So that’s –
this is a very not uncommon. Okay? And whether it’s a one pipe steam system or
a two pipe steam system, again not uncommon. I would say you know that this
is very much in need of an energy upgrade. There would be significant cost
savings associated with natural gas reduction, although they probably have to
repipe the whole building. So, you know, it would be the building upgrade is
something that would need to be done, but but again, if you want to see how bad it
is, do that thermos per heating degree day
analysis. Okay. Let’s move on. This is Mohammed in Dubai.
Are there specific energy-efficient design considerations that need to be
considered for cooling designs in hot and humid climate cities? Great question.
First of all, it’s important for us to acknowledge that we haven’t addressed
really hot and really humid climates you know in our standards, in ASHRAE 90.1
until recently. And just in the past two cycles of 90.1, we actually are including
what is now known as climate zone zero. Extremely hot and dry climates, and
extremely hot and humid climates, and the envelope decisions and the HVAC
decisions that work most cost-effectively in those climates. We
don’t have those climates in the United States, so we you know we’re talking
about basically equatorial climates around the
world. The good news is that there’s a lot of proven evaporative cooling
technologies, solar shading technologies, the glazing technologies I talked about
earlier which reduce solar gain, and in some climates, evaporative cooling is going to work really well, and other climates you know you’re gonna have to
have other cooling strategies. One of the most effective cooling strategies is
keeping the sun out. That kind of flies in the face of that all-glass
love-affair that we have, but you know you’re gonna see a lot of innovation in
those climate zones where people are really trying to minimize cooling load. I
just want to point out from an energy engineering perspective, if you
look at the efficiency of refrigerant based cooling systems, the hotter it gets,
the less efficient they are per amount of energy put in. While evaporative
systems, the hotter it gets, the more cooling energy you get out of each unit
of energy put in. Important point. Alright. Let’s see what we have. With more
complexity of controls for energy savings and lack of expertise of
maintenance how do you deal with this especially when maintenance abandons
these controls and manually runs the system when things don’t work? Again, due
to lack of maintenance. I can tell over here. We’re gonna go to Tom to start
this one off. Okay. As we’ve said many, many times and in today’s webinar,
communications are important. Alright. And, wherever this is, somebody is paying
that utility bill and somebody should be keeping track of that utility bill and
somebody should be asking questions when the utility bills go way way up. Now I
know that you know we do a lot of K-12 school projects. And one of the
things about the K-12 community in Indiana is that they – all of the
different you know people in there, the teachers, the school boards, the
superintendents, they all have their own peer groups where
they get together and they discuss and they talk about strategies and
everything else. In Indiana anyway, there is no peer group for this constituency
that that the question is about here. So, I took it upon myself to try and
educate a whole lot of these guys and the results were you know
frankly really really good so you know. It can be done. I think most people, I
have faith in, most people they want to do a good job. They need to be – they need
to know what a good job looks like and and go from there.
We have to value the people that are running and operating buildings more.
We’ve said several times in this webinar today that we need to have everybody
around the table. Well a key constituency that has to be
around the table or the people that we’re empowering and charging to operate
the building. They’re critical players in achieving those deep energy goals that
we’re trying, to trying to achieve. Okay. Very good.
And this one is from Brazil. I’d like to know what the architects role would be
within this more holistic vision for achieving energy efficiency. I’ll start.
I will say you know the experience we’ve had now with sustainable building
projects, the LEED program, etc., is that this is really a team effort and the
architect plays a critical role in that, and they have to set expectations for
performance. It’s not just the engineer that’s gonna deliver building
performance, it’s absolutely the architect. There’s a whole bunch of
design strategies that have everything to do with building layout and physical
layout of the building and physical features and passive features. It’s a
critical place for the architects to be, but they also have to understand the
implications of their decisions on opportunities for system efficiency and
how the systems are going to work based on their designs. So it’s really about an
integrated approach to the whole thing. In the old days we used to say you
design the building, you throw the design over the wall to the engineers and they
put some system in it and then that get tossed over the wall the electrical
engineers and so on and so forth. It can’t be like that again. It can’t be
like that any more has to be a team discussion. That’s where the good
ideas and the best buildings come from and all the best high-performing
buildings are deep integration of architectural
and engineering design solutions. All too often, we set up this kind of bipolar
argument that doesn’t need to occur. That the architects want this, but the
engineers want this. Well, really, if we get those people around the table, they
both want the same thing. They want a successful building project. They want a
building in which the people are safe and comfortable and it uses the you know
the smallest amount of energy possible and lasts a long time and and that
people love being in. We spend all this time indoors, so what Mark said you know
we’ve got to make sure that it’s not a competitive environment, it is an
integrated mutualism environment which needs the architects and the engineers
at the table working together to come up with creative solutions. Alright. Our
next question comes from Egypt. Over time, the efficiency of systems or equipment
tend to be reduced. Is periodic maintenance enough to keep system
performance stable or are there solutions to keep systems achieving high
performance without affecting payback? Tom, let’s go to you. That’s an
interesting question. And you know, there are some things like you know lighting
you know lighting is going to deteriorate over time. So your efficiency is going to to be lost there. Regular maintenance should keep
stuff operating at the approximate right level. Okay? And whether it’s chillers or
something, you know, keep the tubes clean. You know? Keep your, you know, so keep your
coils clean. You know, keep your air filters clean and all of this other
stuff. So, I’m not I’m not enough of an expert to be able to answer that
question directly, but I don’t think that it should have much of an impact over
time. I guess I would say to keep in mind number one that things wear out they
eventually wear out and you can extend their life and keep them operating as
best as possible over time and eventually they wear out.
And, you need to not go way beyond that lifespan. It’s time to replace the
equipment. It’s – that’s the right thing to do. And the other thing is that replacing
in kind is not necessarily the best solution either because there’s so many
good new technologies and changes to everything that make it so much better
that you need to be on the lookout for upgrades in the replacement cycle.
Classic example is just look at the innovation that has occurred in small
package units of heat pumps and air conditioners just in the past few
decades. We used to think that you know a certain energy efficiency rating was
good and now you know that’s what we’re replacing with you know seer 18 and
20 and 22 units, so there’s there’s just a lot of times that that piece of
equipment or that piece of technology has played out its useful life. Or we’ve
added a new twist to an old heat exchanger, for example, I think about
ground-source heat pumps. You know, we didn’t really think about those twenty
years ago, but now heat pump technology has evolved so much that it
might be time to invest and change a piece of equipment. Maintenance obviously
everybody at home should replace their air filters, you know? Right, I’ll go home
and do that right away. Alright. Let’s see, so from Canada we have this
question. Can we use sophisticated analytical and automation software to
bring down the cost of energy efficient design – building design, rather. That makes –
do I need to read that one again? I may not have read that one clearly for you. Can
we use sophisticated analytical and automation software to bring down the
cost of energy efficient building design? You know, I have learned not to ever
underestimate the people that are doing advanced software design and
automation design and control strategies because every cycle of ASHRAE 90.1 we see
some new control technologies coming into play or we we see the next
iteration of a piece of energy modeling software and goes wow I didn’t realize
it could do that. So, I think there’s absolutely –
this is going to be a critical player in that holistic team that’s going to be
delivering more energy-efficient buildings. I think the technology is
pretty far ahead of the deployment; however, there’s a lot of really cool
technologies out there that are just barely starting to poke into the market,
and I think we’re gonna see a lot more of it. On the other hand, I would also
caution that if it’s a system that helps make it easier to run our buildings and
more clear what we should be doing that’s great. If it’s a whole bunch more
data that we’re dumping on somebody that they don’t know what to do with, that’s
not helpful. Okay. Alright, this is a long one so bear with me.
If costs and short-term profits are the primary drivers of energy efficiency
and energy conservation, should ASHRAE advocat or lobby more for tax reform to
incentivize the length of time owners hold on to buildings? In Europe, the
lending requirements for buildings are different and thus owners of buildings
hold onto buildings much longer making the energy efficiency argument easier.
This looks like it might fall into your court Mark to start off at least. Well,
there’s a lot of different things we can try to make to change the economics
equation for building performance. We keep talking about the need to really
invest in our existing building stock to make them better, and that’s easy if we
have a couple extra trillion dollars. We need to change the marking conditions so
that people who own buildings make different decisions based on market
characteristics. Is it a tax structure? Is it a fee? Is it incentives? Or is it some
combination of all those things? There’s all kinds of different financial
structures that are being experimented with to try and drive building
performance improvement, but what we have now is not delivering enough. So, yes, I
agree. And, ASHRAE has a role in this. I mean, ASHRAE’s committed to the to the
2030 challenge and the Paris Accords and that means ASHRAE members should be out
there advocating for this stuff. Absolutely. We got to try new things. All
right, we don’t have a lot of time left. Let’s see what we can get through. Do
the principles discussed today apply to making energy efficiency a reality in
the industrial sector? I’ll take a really quick pass at that. Okay. In the industry,
their energy bills are huge, but it’s so much a part of their
bottom line that efficiency is a key value for them. They spend so much
money energy. If they can improve efficiency of every piece of equipment and
it can save them huge amounts of money. So, they actually – if you look at the
efficiency of industry, they’ve come down way more rapidly than overall building
energy efficiency say. Pumps and motors are way more efficient because of the
industrial need. Alright, we only have a very short time, so let’s see if we can
get through this one. What do you think of going with an EUI target like the
British Columbia step code in Canada versus doing an ASHRAE 90.1 model
approach? That may not be an easy, quick answer, but. Myself, I’ve been advocating
for what I call an outcome-based code for a long time. The idea that eventually
we need to get to the point where we are setting targets for our building
performance. We’ve already set goals of net zero energy use. To me, that means
we’ve set a goal to measure actual energy use and have it net out at zero,
so I think we’re on our way to what I call an outcome based code. The BC step
code is a good step on that way. Yeah, imagine what would happen if
building owners were actually rewarded for achieving those efficiency
objectives. Different lending structures, different utility rates. Would change the
market. Right. Something to think about. Well, gentlemen, thank you so much for all
your wonderful answers, but unfortunately we are out of time for questions. I want
to thank our viewing audience for their participation today, and before we go,
we’re going to turn things over to our panelists for a summary of today’s
program. Gentlemen? Okay. First of all, I’d like to thank everybody for taking
the time to tune in and for those architects out, there I’m going to ask
that you trust us to bring the same level of creativity to the systems that
you are bringing to the building. And to the building owners out there, I’m going
to ask that you perhaps ask the right questions. Ask the questions of the
engineer who you’re going to be hiring here. If you were going into surgery, you
wouldn’t want the low cost surgeon. If you’re going into court you wouldn’t
want the low cost lawyer. If you’re going into a design project, don’t go for the
low cost engineer. Do the testing, do the – ask the questions.
Make sure you’re hiring somebody who has the vision and the experience to
make energy efficiency a reality in your building. And finally to the HVAC
design community, I would say let’s make sure that we stay current on codes and
technologies. Let’s be curious and let’s have fun designing the next generation
of buildings that make energy efficiency a reality. Thanks.
I want, first of all, to have everyone recognize that in the future when we
talk about energy efficiency, we’re going to be talking about buildings that are
defined by effective integrated systems that involve the design, the operation,
the occupants, everything even the interaction with the utility grid, so
much more deep integration. Second, I would say that environmental priorities
that we’ve set for ourselves make buildings a big priority, so buildings
are part of the solution and designers should be out there actively trying to
help do their part to bring down that energy use of the building sector. And
finally, leading practitioners are already leading the way showing that we
can deliver high-performance net zero buildings. We know it can be done, so the
design community should take up the challenge. We have to prioritize buildings more, all
buildings, existing, new and we have to prioritize delivered building
performance more. To do this, we’ve got to engage everyone, architects, engineers, the
maintenance staff, the general contractors, the lenders, the insurers, the
building officials charged with seeing if we’re meeting the code. We’ve got to
charge – engage everyone, the commissioning agents for envelope, for lighting, for
HVAC. All of these people are working together for a common goal, a shared goal,
a building that actually performs. Fortunately, ASHRAE is strategically
positioned to address this challenge. We’ve got over 57,000 members around
the world who understand this stuff and understand the importance of our
buildings. We’ve got the skills, the knowledge, the ability, and the tools to
make a difference and to achieve these objectives. Working together with all of
the many committed building professionals around the world, we can
actually deliver on ASHRAE’s mission which is to serve humanity and promote a
sustainable world. Alright, thank you to all of you today. Wonderful program, but
that is all the time we have today. This webcast will be available on demand by
visiting the ASHRAE webcast page at ASHRAE.org/webcast by May 4th 2018.
Also on the ASHRAE webcast page, you can complete the participant reaction form
and print your certificate of attendance. Finally, on behalf of ASHRAE, I want to
thank all of our presenters and viewing audience for their participation in
making today’s programs such a success. Thank you for watching ASHRAE’s Webcast
Making Energy Efficiency a Reality. For ASHRAE and our membership worldwide, I’m
Jennifer Gladstone.

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