Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

From Photovoltaics To Solar Thermal Collectors: Evaluating And Improving Green Design

Date:
May 4, 2005
Source:
Woods Hole Research Center
Summary:
Relatively few good examples exist of buildings that have excellent energy performance. Often "green buildings" are developed and publicized, but then actual energy functioning is not reported, sometimes because performance is less than anticipated. Having inhabited its new green headquarters for the first year, The Woods Hole Research Center is addressing those issues by tracking, and making publicly available, information on the performance of its building.

Aerial view of the Ordway Building, showing 2-part array of 88 photovoltaic panels. Photo courtesy Charles C. Benton.

Relatively few good examples exist of buildings that have excellent energy performance. Often "green buildings" are developed and publicized, but then actual energy functioning is not reported, sometimes because performance is less than anticipated. Having inhabited its new green headquarters for the first year, The Woods Hole Research Center is addressing those issues by tracking, and making publicly available, information on the performance of its building.

Related Articles


Because the Research Center's Ordway Campus incorporates so many different efficiency and renewable (clean) energy collection strategies, Center staff decided to display the energy flows through the building in a series of web pages designed to provide a full overview of the building's energy performance. This near-real time display collects and synthesizes data from over 70 different sensors which measure flows of electricity, heat, and fluids (air and water) into and out of the building as well as the site's local environmental conditions. These pages provide information and data to interested members of the public as well as other organizations and institutions considering innovations like these for their own facilities.

According to Joe Hackler, a research associate at the Center, "Engineering is, by nature, conservative -- and if large gains are to be made in the efficient design and specification of mechanical systems to support very efficient building design and operation, the engineering community needs real performance data to support their efforts. The 'public face' of the monitoring system is designed to encourage any one to come in and explore how energy flows through a building of advanced design such as this one."

By using the facility as an example, and providing real-time data, the Center's experience can become a model for others to evaluate and emulate. In designing the project, the Center chose to use commercially available equipment and technologies to demonstrate that large gains in efficiency are easily made with good design and good construction practice.

In its first year, the Woods Hole Research Center facility has performed near expectations. Even with a facility that is nearly twice the size of the Center's previous combined offices and labs, the Center is using less total energy and spending less money on energy while reducing emissions attributable to operations to 28 percent of its previous total (a surprising 13 percent of the national office average for a building of the same size). Total energy usage was 89,669 kWh, with 30,469 kWh being generated onsite by a photovoltaic (PV) system, indicating that 34 percent of the facility's total energy requirement was provided by its own PV system.

While the building performs to a very high standard, the process of monitoring the facilities actual performance has uncovered some energy use inefficiencies. In addition, an overheating computer room located on the ground floor in a space not easily vented; electrical usage that cannot yet be attributed to a specific source; and higher than expected pumping costs are issues being evaluated. When remedied, the solutions will lead to continued improvements in overall performance.

The building, located on the Gilman Ordway Campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, was designed by William McDonough + Partners. Marc Rosenbaum designed the energy systems. The facility received a first prize in the 2004 Northeast Green Building Award in the "place of work (small buildings)" category from the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association. In recognition of Earth Day 2004, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) cited the Ordway Campus as one of the nation's ten best examples of "green design" in the AIA/COTE 2004 Top Ten Green Projects Competition.

The Woods Hole Research Center is dedicated to science, education and public policy for a habitable Earth, seeking to conserve and sustain forests, soils, water, and energy by demonstrating their value to human health and economic prosperity.

The Woods Hole Research Center sponsors initiatives in the Amazon, the Arctic, Africa, Russia, Boreal North America, the Mid-Atlantic, New England and Cape Cod. Center programs focus on the global carbon cycle, forest function, landcover/land use, water cycles and chemicals in the environment, science in public affairs, and education, providing primary data and enabling better appraisals of the trends in forests that influence their role in the global carbon budget.

Founded in 1985 by George Woodwell, the Woods Hole Research Center has approximately 40 staff members, consisting of scientists, international law and policy experts, researchers, and administrative staff.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Woods Hole Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Woods Hole Research Center. "From Photovoltaics To Solar Thermal Collectors: Evaluating And Improving Green Design." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 May 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050504003515.htm>.
Woods Hole Research Center. (2005, May 4). From Photovoltaics To Solar Thermal Collectors: Evaluating And Improving Green Design. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050504003515.htm
Woods Hole Research Center. "From Photovoltaics To Solar Thermal Collectors: Evaluating And Improving Green Design." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/05/050504003515.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins