Mitchell DeWein

Edward Ransom

29-Sep-2017, 9:30 - 10:00AM

Session: Net Zero/ GreenHouse Gas Reduction

Track G | High Performance Buildings and Communities

Towards Net Zero- Unexpected Challenges

Mitchell DeWein
Energy Analyst
CHA Consulting, Inc.

Edward Ransom
Deputy Director of Energy & Sustainability
Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance

The Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance (DCAMM) is tasked with the implementation of energy and water projects across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ 6,300 buildings. DCAMM has identified several candidate buildings as potential Toward Zero Net Energy (TZNE) facilities. TZNE involves retrofitting facilities by achieving deep energy reductions (40% or more) on existing systems and by also installing renewable energy systems to mitigate the remaining need for energy to operate the facility.

To design a net-zero energy consuming building from the ground up is a challenge in itself, but to reach this goal as a retrofit of an existing facility brings even greater challenges. In July of 2015, DCAMM selected Clough Harbour and Associates, LLP (CHA) to work on an ideal TZNE demonstration project in Western MA. This facility had several qualifying attributes:

  • 1.There was an existing solar PV system with space for expansion.
  • 2.The building had a mixture of old (1962) and new (2014) construction.
  • 3.Many systems had exceeded their useful life and were due for replacement or an upgrade.

Nonetheless, several of these qualifying attributes contained hurdles that needed to be overcome, including:

  • 1.The existing Solar PV system had operational constraints on both the building and utility side.
  • 2.The net-metering capacity would prove challenging.
  • 3.The 2014 building addition included a new Building Management System that was not commissioned in coordination with the existing structure.

The team conducted a TZNE Charrette to review energy related issues at the facility and select a TZNE path forward. Several TZNE project options were considered including an expanded solar PV systems, battery storage systems and a mixture of electric and natural gas measures. The next phase includes schematic design of the Energy Conservation Measures chosen, followed by the issuance of an RFP for a design-build project. Construction will begin in 2019.


Track: G High Performance Buildings and Communities | Session: Net Zero/ GreenHouse Gas Reduction


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