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Small Buildings, Big Impacts: Developing a Library of Small Commercial Building Energy Efficiency Case Studies

Description

Small commercial buildings, or those comprising less than 50,000 square feet of floor area, make up 90% of the total number of buildings in the United States. Though these buildings

Small commercial buildings, or those comprising less than 50,000 square feet of floor area, make up 90% of the total number of buildings in the United States. Though these buildings currently account for less than 50% of total energy consumption in the U.S., this statistic is expected to change as larger commercial buildings become more efficient and thus account for a smaller percentage of commercial building energy consumption. This paper describes the efforts of a multi-organization collaboration and their demonstration partners in developing a library of case studies that promote and facilitate energy efficiency in the small commercial buildings market as well as a case study template that standardized the library. Case studies address five identified barriers to energy efficiency in the small commercial market, specifically lack of: 1) access to centralized, comprehensive, and consistent information about how to achieve energy targets, 2) reasonably achievable energy targets, 3) access to tools that measure buildings’ progress toward targets, 4) financial incentives that make the reduction effort attractive, and 5) effective models of how disparate stakeholders can collaborate in commercial centers to reach targets. The case study library can be organized by location, ownership type, decision criteria, building type, project size, energy savings, end uses impacted, and retrofit measures. This paper discusses the process of developing the library and case study template. Finally, the paper presents next steps in demonstrating the efficacy of the library and explores energy savings potential from broad implementation.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-09-14

California High Speed Resilience to Climate Change

Description

This LCA used data from a previous LCA done by Chester and Horvath (2012) on the proposed California High Speed Rail, and furthered the LCA to look into potential changes

This LCA used data from a previous LCA done by Chester and Horvath (2012) on the proposed California High Speed Rail, and furthered the LCA to look into potential changes that can be made to the proposed CAHSR to be more resilient to climate change. This LCA focused on the energy, cost, and GHG emissions associated with raising the track, adding fly ash to the concrete mixture in place of a percentage of cement, and running the HSR on solar electricity rather than the current electricity mix. Data was collected from a variety of sources including other LCAs, research studies, feasibility studies, and project information from companies, agencies, and researchers in order to determine what the cost, energy requirements, and associated GHG emissions would be for each of these changes. This data was then used to calculate results of cost, energy, and GHG emissions for the three different changes. The results show that the greatest source of cost is the raised track (Design/Construction Phase), and the greatest source of GHG emissions is the concrete (also Design/Construction Phase).

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-06-13

The Water, Energy, & Infrastructure Co-Benefits of Smart Growth Planning in Phoenix

Description

Phoenix is the sixth most populated city in the United States and the 12th largest metropolitan area by population, with about 4.4 million people. As the region continues to grow,

Phoenix is the sixth most populated city in the United States and the 12th largest metropolitan area by population, with about 4.4 million people. As the region continues to grow, the demand for housing and jobs within the metropolitan area is projected to rise under uncertain climate conditions.

Undergraduate and graduate students from Engineering, Sustainability, and Urban Planning in ASU’s Urban Infrastructure Anatomy and Sustainable Development course evaluated the water, energy, and infrastructure changes that result from smart growth in Phoenix, Arizona. The Maricopa Association of Government's Sustainable Transportation and Land Use Integration Study identified a market for 485,000 residential dwelling units in the urban core. Household water and energy use changes, changes in infrastructure needs, and financial and economic savings are assessed along with associated energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

The course project has produced data on sustainable development in Phoenix and the findings will be made available through ASU’s Urban Sustainability Lab.

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