Clean and Efficient Buildings

On May 17, the White House announced new federal investments in accelerating energy efficiency and building electrification. The U.S. Departments of Energy, GSA, and EPA are preparing new programs to electrify buildings, invest $30m in America’s workforce, and save consumers money with cleaner and more resilient buildings.

The DOE Pilot program getting underway describes the outcome of low-carbon and carbon-neutral efficient buildings. Commissioning is expected to be a significant part of this program and its success.

From the Field - Grid-Interactive Efficient Buildings

In January 2020 the BCxA Blog introduced the “what” and “why” of grid-interactive efficient buildings (GEBs), but now we have more about how and when:

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Brattle Group have developed a new guide for efficient buildings. “A National Roadmap for Grid Interactive Efficient Buildings,” outlines the DOE’s goal for the nation to triple the energy efficiency and demand flexibility of the buildings sector by 2030.

Commissioning providers will need to understand the systems requirements and performance standards of GEBs in the not-too-distant future.

Grid Interactive Efficient Buildings (GEBs) combine smart technologies and distributed energy resources with energy efficient buildings. The GEB’s unique feature beyond an efficient smart building is its ability to connect and interact with the local grid system. The two-way flow of information and electricity between the grid and a GEB enables the building to act as a flexible resource.

What’s inside a GEB?

GEBs are well insulated, have energy-efficient windows, and use highly efficient mechanical and lighting systems. These buildings use smart equipment, sensors, and controls to optimize energy use based on occupancy, weather, and other factors. In the commercial sector, such controls could include an energy management and information system (EMIS), submeters, advanced power strips, electronic window solar film, and smart lighting controls.

The GEB roadmap states that over the next 20 years, GEBs could deliver between $100 and $200 billion in savings to the US power system and cut CO2 emissions by 80 million tons per year by 2030, or 6% of total power sector emissions.