The FEMP Web Site Offers New Renewable Energy and Sustainable Products

March 7, 2007

A variety of new items and tools highlighting renewable technologies are now available on the FEMP Web site. A new renewable energy case study details a renewable installation that has been monitored for system performance. The General Services Administration (GSA) included an 11.5-kW building-integrated photovoltaic system into a sustainable design and construction project at the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse in Denver, Colorado-the first federal courthouse to build solar electricity into its structure. The system produces up to 60 kilowatt-hours of electricity daily, and is one of many measures incorporated into the building to reduce its energy use by 50 percent compared to a typical courthouse.

Also new to the FEMP Web site is the addition of the latest Web-based version of FRESA, the Federal Renewable Energy Screening Assessment program. This software can be used to do either a general or more detailed screening of numerous renewable technologies. The general screening provides the user some direction as to whether or not to consider further research and analysis into a particular technology for that site; the specific screening results in more detailed life cycle and system specification data. FRESA can be accessed online.

Another screening tool developed by FEMP is a collection of interactive solar resource maps. These maps were originally created as a collaborative effort between the FEMP and geographic information system staff at NREL as part of a Technical Assistance Marine Corps project, but provide benefits for any agency wanting to consider the feasibility of solar technologies at a particular site. The maps allow a user to see the availability of solar resources at sites across the United States, and show where PV, solar hot water, and solar ventilation preheat technologies are cost-effective today and where they will be cost-effective as the utility rates for electricity change.

FEMP's Web site also features an abundance of new sustainable design tools. For instance, four new Best Practice Guides provide information on design, construction, and operation of specific technologies that contribute to energy efficiency and sustainability in laboratories, including efficient electric lighting; exhaust and intake design; low-pressure-drop heating ventilation, and air conditioning design; and water efficiency.

Produced by Laboratories for the 21st Century a joint program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, the guides include information from actual implementation of such technologies in various laboratory facilities, highlighting quantifiable performance goals and possible methods to achieve them.

Also available are three new Labs21 case studies. The most recent case study profiles the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center in Ada, Oklahoma. Annual energy consumption in the laboratory was reduced by 45 percent due to an upgrade in the building's mechanical system and the incorporation of renewable energy. This retrofit, financed with an energy savings performance contract, implemented a geothermal ground source heat pump and other energy efficient systems. As a result of these upgrades and "green tag" purchases from wind power, the Ada Lab is EPA's first "zero emissions" facility.

Another case study profiles the Marian E. Koshland Integrated Natural Science Center (KINSC). Designers estimated that the KINSC system saves 52 percent in cooling and heating energy annually for the entire facility as compared to a system using 100 percent outside air, variable air volume fume hoods, and no energy recovery.

The third new case study spotlights Emory University's new eight-story Whitehead Biomedical Research Building. Completed in 2001, it has incorporated many energy- and water-efficient features including: energy recovery, condensate recovery for cooling towers, rainwater harvesting for irrigation, natural lighting, and lighting controls. The building also earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDâ„¢) "Silver" rating.

Finally, the High Performance Federal Buildings Database site spotlights more than thirty federal facilities that have succeeded in creating high performance buildings that save energy and reduce environmental impact. The database can be used to examine project details or to explore construction or retrofit ideas for your facility. FEMP is sponsoring this federal portal to the High Performance Buildings Database, which lists more than 75 federal and non-federal buildings.

For more information about these renewable and sustainable products, please contact Alicen Kandt of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at alicen_kandt@nrel.gov or 303-384-7518.