[Sbse] What advice for green architects

Kjell Anderson kjellanderson at gmail.com
Wed Jan 4 09:09:31 PST 2017

A few things that come to mind:

#1, reduce energy use through design - Passivhaus is a great framework for
doing that as mentioned previously. It relies heavily on insulation value
and envelope tightness. Commercial energy modeling is more often used on
larger or more complicated structures.

Regarding insulation: I am of the opinion that the commercial energy
modeling process - as it is commonly used - does not often correctly
attribute the cost and energy savings associated with passive techniques. I
have yet to have a satisfactory explanation, but from projects I've worked
on and data from others I've collaborated with I feel comfortable making
this assertion. Without getting into the details, just a warning to be wary
and make sure you are asking the right questions about energy and cost
savings for passive techniques if you are using energy modeling to optimize.

#2, look for free energy - sharing waste heat or cool with adjacent

#3 Solar ready roofs are a great idea that require just a bit of additional
structure (somewhere between 4 and 10#/sf) plus some conduit and electrical
room space. Some area for local battery storage is not a bad idea. Keep
drains, tie-offs, and other roof items out of the Solar ready zone.

Beyond that, it gets more complicated. Gas combustion can never be more
efficient than the theoretical 100%, whereas heat pumps and heat recovery
chillers can be 200% to 800% or higher in efficiency. So transitioning to
electricity based systems like heat pumps is a good start. The grid is
slowly greening as States set mandates for their utilities. However,
looking at EIA projections, the grid is not going to be 100% renewable any
time soon.

A larger issue is that in some areas the grid cannot accept excess A/C
electricity, so producing anything substantial on-site without storage is
not the best use of resources.

-Kjell Anderson

On Tue, Jan 3, 2017 at 11:21 PM, <tjh3 at me.com> wrote:

> Start with the Passive House standard (PHIUS), add a DC infrastructure
> inside the envelope(PV produces DC, storage uses DC and most appliances and
> new lighting use DC) and tie a city block of similar buildings together
> with a DC microgrid.
> On Jan 4, 2017, at 2:15 AM, Peter Papesch <papesch at mac.com> wrote:
> Hi, esteemed SBSErs:
> How can architects best advise their clients to build into their energy
> systems the renewable future?
> What is a realistic method for making the transition from fossil-fuel
> systems to renewables-supplied electricity?
> I will attempt to disseminate the information via our BSA-Sustainability
> Education Committee plus other Boston Society of Architects committees
> (like BSA-COTE) and outlets.
> Happy New Year to all - may it be rewarding, not just challenging!
> Peter Papesch, AIA
> Chair, BSA Sustainability Education Committee
> Co-chair, Back Bay Green Initiative
> 617 267-6598 <(617)%20267-6598>
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Kjell Anderson
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