Energy Efficiency

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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Treehouse Glazing

For Mexico’s library at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Sasaki Associates’ endeavored to create a treehouse in the middle of the campus forest. The floor-to-ceiling windows, fabricated with Solarban 90 Vitro glass, deliver a light-to-solar gain ratio of 2.22 and a corresponding reduction in demand for artificial lighting and AC.

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Sherzer Hall at Eastern Michigan University

In a Vacuum

The aptly-named Vacuum IG utilizes a vacuum between two panes of glass to prevent heat from escaping to the outside. As compared to a single pane glass with an R-value of 1, the glass itself delivers an R-value of up to 12 at a 8-mm thickness. When paired with SunGuard coated glass, thermal insulation goes up even higher. Furthermore, the hybrid, low-E Vacuum IG delivers impressive levels of light transmission, reflectivity and color.

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Going Organic

A metal warehouse in Duisburg, Germany, is now home to the largest installation of façade-mounted organic HeliaSol photovoltaic film. Produced with a self-adhesive backing in a roll-to-roll process, the film can be directly attached to walls and other surfaces. Ventilation below the film is not required, as this material doesn’t lose efficiency at high temperature in the same way as traditional solar panels. 

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VRF with a Splash of Water

A modular heat recovery system that uses variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology, the CITY MULTI WR2-Series can be integrated into water-side designs such as geothermal or existing water loops. Its compact size, convenient front-only service access and self-cooling cabinet design make the unit suitable for a variety of applications, especially in tight spaces.

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