The Challenge: Promote Wider Adoption of an Integrated Set of Emerging Commercial Building Retrofit Technologies
Buildings in the United States use 71% of the nation’s electricity and emit 40 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gases (GHGs), and much of that electricity is consumed by building lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). For California to ensure reliable electricity delivery and meet its GHG emissions reduction goals, this demand must be reduced. Innovative daylighting and shading systems help, but before investing in these technologies building owners must be confident of their energy, economic, and comfort benefits.
The Solution: FLEXLAB® Performance Testing
In this California Energy Commission EPIC funded project, the New Buildings Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), and TRC
Companies, Inc. — a global consulting, engineering and construction management firm — turned to the U.S. Department of Energy’s FLEXLAB® facility to (1) evaluate the energy performance of Integrated Technologies for Energy-Efficient Retrofits (INTER) shading and daylighting control system and (2) evaluate the system’s visual and thermal comfort performance.
The Bottom Line: The INTER System Increased Both Energy Savings and Cost Savings
With the retrofit to the INTER system of automated shading products and light emitting diode (LED) dimmable lighting with luminaire-level daylight controls, lighting energy savings increased substantially. HVAC load decreased for all configurations when in cooling mode, and provided additional energy savings beyond the lighting in summer and fall seasons. Some HVAC load penalty (negative savings) was observed in heating mode. No meaningful difference was measured for thermal comfort near the window wall for most cases.
Download the full case study here: Integrated Daylight Redirecting & Shading with Luminaire-Level Networked Sensors and Controls
"...FLEXLAB results unexpectedly became an even greater value due to the M&V changes at the field installations following occupancy reductions since COVID-19. Having these reliable dynamic measurements will help us make the case for retrofits..."
Cathy Higgins, NBI, Research Director/PI