Energy Efficiency

Electric Coop Emphasizes Efficiency

One of the largest power distributors in the Upper Midwest, Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative recently opened its Williston, N.D. headquarters featuring an expansive curtainwall. The four-story, 85,000-sq.-ft. Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC) building was designed by JLG Architects to achieve a LEED Gold certification with an emphasis on highlighting the efficient use of electricity, while creating a beacon for mwec on the north side of Williston. MWEC’s and JLG’s shared over-arching design goal for the new headquarters was focused on “looking to the future,” said Nick Lippert, AIA, project manager, JLG Architects. “The entire design aestheti

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Focus on People, Productivity

At Lightfair, Lutron launched its HXL platform to support human centric lighting, which according to the company, should promote comfort, enable enhanced well-being, and foster engagement. HXL combines four elements: quality light, natural light, connection to the outdoors and adaptive and personalized control. The system’s approach for addressing natural light, of course, is a combination that maximizes daylight with dynamic shading solutions, while also incorporating color tuning via its Ketra line. The company’s office of the future demo, which took visitors through the changing light in the course of a typical work day, was impressive. 

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A Long Way from Metal Halide

Another outstanding project from this year’s batch of IALD awards was the lighting design for the Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber in Edinburgh. By KSLD | EFLA Lighting Design, the soft light from new bespoke led fixtures lends a healthy glow to parliamentarians. Judges called these fixtures a “technically brilliant solution” as how to light a room that functions effectively as a TV studio and an accessible public space.The first step was eliminating the old metal-halide lights as they were expensive, difficult to maintain and obsolete. New HDTV cameras require upgraded lighting to meet broadcasting standards. With a mere six weeks to develop and install the lighti

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UCLA Athletics, Los Angeles, Cailf.

UCLA Scores Big with Smart Lighting Retrofit

The university’s athletics department featured a lighting control retrofit, which helped the football team’s operations and assisted in meeting California’s stringent energy codes. Implement a lighting controls retrofit that would serve UCLA Athletics, as well as help meet California’s tough energy codes. Given Title 24’s stringent requirements, the most efficient light is one that is off. In fact, the quest to retrofit began when someone said, “Hey, turn the lights off.”

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Green Gas

While gas stations aren’t typically the first thing to come to mind when someone says “green building,” a St. Louis area gas station challenges that perception. The ZOOM station’s unconventional-looking canopy over its gas pumps supports a two-way solar panel system capable of producing 109,000 kWh of electricity annually—enough to power most of the station and its convenience store and car wash. Manufactured by Prism Solar Technologies, the glass-on-glass solar panels can generate 35% more energy per watt than traditional modules via advanced bifacial N-type silicon cell technology that can generate electricity on both its front and back surfaces. The panels al

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Unisphere

United Therapeutics’ (Unither) Unisphere is the largest net zero commercial building in the U.S. A biotechnology company focused on the development of products to address the needs of patients with chronic and life-threatening conditions, Unither, in planning the 210,000-sq.-ft. addition to its six-building campus in Silver Spring, approached the project, in the same manner as the development of one of its products. They identified a primary objective: build a facility to keep up the design and development flow of the company’s new products; second, create a building that would exemplify a new environmental theory to the structures of this genre; and third, create a contempo

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Geothermal Contributes to Net-Zero Success

All builders in Whisper Valley are required to hook up to EcoSmart’s GeoGrid, a 5-mile loop of underground distribution piping that links each home to a geo-exchange network, engineered and manufactured by REHAU, a global provider of hydronic technologies and a strategic partner in the Whisper Valley project. “It took a bit of time to figure out who was doing what,” says Dennis Ciani, head of marketing for Pacesetter Homes, an Austin-area builder that constructs about 500 homes per year, including most of the new homes in Whisper Valley. “But the geothermal loop was already in the ground and all homeowners had to do was tie into it, which turned out to be fairly easy

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The Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute, City of Commerce, Calif.

The Net Zero Plus Electrical Training Institute

Many equate net-zero buildings with significant solar power arrays. While renewables are a key component to any net zero energy project, there is a lot more to it than just PV. If anyone ought to know, it’s Brett Moss, training director for the L.A. County IBEW/NECA Electrical Training Institute. A 2016 complete retrofit, the school, prior to the deep-energy technology additions, already had nearly ¾ MW worth of PV on site, but that year, emerged from its cocoon, so to speak, to become the Net Zero Plus ETI, a 142,000 sq. ft., net-positive facility which generates nearly a megawatt’s worth of power, while only consuming about 740,000 kWh. While that’s a lot of renewa

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Millennium Center, Geneva, Switzerland

Perfect Harmony

Saint-Gobain’s latest innovation from its SageGlass division resulted in Harmony, an elegantly performing dynamic glass that was chosen as the preferred glazing of Switzerland’s new Millennium Center in Geneva. Unveiled at Glasstec last October, the solution enhances the visual and thermal comfort of occupants while maintaining views with a natural-looking, seamless connection to the outdoors.When transforming, Harmony delivers a gradual in-pane tint transition from fully clear to fully tinted. Everything, from conference rooms to concierge services, elevators and the Millennium Center glazing, will be connected to the Cloud and managed via smartphone apps, which are integrated i

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Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) North at LAX

Insulation Meets Stringent Code Compliance at LAX’s New Terminal

The new Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) North, a five-level, 750,000-sq.-ft. expansion, will improve operations, enable faster connections and ease passenger access, all while providing state-of-the-art facilities. Corgan is the lead architecture firm, in association with Gensler and gkkworks (now CannonDesign), on the design build project for the concourse. Because the new concourse is designed to complement the ocean wave theme of the airport, the architects envisaged a stunning curvilinear roof. This unique design element additionally demanded specific roof and wall configuration requirements. To bring the vision into reality, the team needed insulation materials that could be custom f

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