Now in its twelfth year, the Livable Buildings Award recognizes projects that demonstrate high occupant satisfaction, excellent design, and innovative operation strategies. This year, we are pleased to announce the Rocky Mountain Institute Innovation Center as the top winner, with an honorable mention for the Pomona College Millikan Science Building. These buildings, along with all of the finalists, received highly positive feedback from the buildings’ users, as demonstrated by the CBE Occupant Survey. In fact, these buildings received the first and second highest rankings for satisfaction with the buildings overall. Read more
More than ten years ago the California Energy Commission (CEC) and California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) established aspirational goals of Zero Net Energy (ZNE) for all new residential construction by 2020 and all new nonresidential and highrise residential construction by 2030 with half of existing buildings being renovated to ZNE by 2030.
Over the past decade these goals have evolved and the steps to achieve them have been discussed, debated, and fleshed out. The definition and implementation path for ZNE, the metrics to be employed, and role of the electric grid and utility infrastructure have all evolved over time and continue to evolve. More recently, awareness has grown that ZNE is not a goal in itself, but simply a step towards deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Decarbonization of the California economy is now seen as essential to achieving the state’s 2050 greenhouse gas targets.
A group of exceptional speakers discussed topics related to state policy as well as building design and operations essential to moving to ZNE and beyond toward an efficient, low-carbon California. Read more
As part of a four-year study on the design and operation of radiant systems, CBE in collaboration with the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and TRC Energy Services have completed case studies of nine commercial buildings that demonstrate good performance in terms of both energy performance and occupant satisfaction in buildings with radiant systems. These include commercial, government, and higher education buildings, and all but one were built, or underwent major renovations, since 2010. The projects represent diverse approaches to radiant system design, including in-slab and ceiling panel solutions. Eight projects are located in western U.S. states, and one in British Columbia. Read more
Two reports released from UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of radiant cooling and heating systems, a promising HVAC technology that is becoming increasingly used in commercial buildings in North America, including in a high proportion of ultra-low and zero-net energy buildings. These reports reveal how such systems work in practice, analyzing comprehensive data from a large group of buildings in operation. Read more
After a short hiatus, Interface Engineering rejoined CBE’s industry consortium this spring. With the firm’s emphasis on low-energy integrated design and creative collaboration, Interface’s participation will add significant value to CBE’s membership community. Read more