Building an Energy-Efficient Courthouse

Even with a construction budget of more than $100 million, designing an energy-efficient courthouse may not be an easy job, as a recent project in Florida proves. The new Miami Courthouse delivers conditioned air to more than 516,000-square-feet of space.The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Atlanta regional office began working to address the energy-efficiency problem during the design phase.

11/01/2000


Even with a construction budget of more than $100 million, designing an energy-efficient courthouse may not be an easy job, as a recent project in Florida proves. The new Miami Courthouse delivers conditioned air to more than 516,000-square-feet of space.

The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Atlanta regional office began working to address the energy-efficiency problem during the design phase. Tim Wisner, regional energy coordinator for the General Services Administration (GSA) explains that the performance of new buildings is critical to meeting the Executive Order 13123 goal of 35-percent reduction in energy use by 2010 for GSA's regional property portfolio.

"With the growth we expect in gross floor area in our region, GSA needs to maximize the impact new spaces will have by making our buildings as energy efficient as possible," says Wisner.

Courthouses, which are typically large and complex buildings, present specific difficulties with respect to energy efficiency. They can be more energy intensive than other federal buildings, with their need to accommodate large numbers of occupants. In addition, they are usually located in downtown areas, designed with an expected life of 50 years and created as landmark buildings for the host communities. All of these factors pose energy-efficient design challenges, especially in the Southeast where cooling and humidity control are primary energy loads.

Terry Fuquea, senior project manager for GSA, requested design assistance from the DOE's Federal Energy Management Program, including:

 

 

A DOE 2 model was recommended for the project, and during a three- to four-month period, a team of experts worked to develop the model, which was eventually used to provide the project team with a detailed life-cycle cost evaluation of the utility's proposal to supply chilled water from a nearby chilled-water/ice-storage plant.

The DOE 2 model for the Miami courthouse also helped identify design changes in glazing, chiller efficiency, lighting and equipment power density that are estimated to reduce the peak cooling demand from 1,800 tons to 1,200 tons.

For more information about Miami courthouse model project, circle 103 on the Reader Service Card on page 91 of this issue.





No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Combined heat and power; Assessing replacement of electrical systems; Energy codes and lighting; Salary Survey; Fan efficiency
Commissioning lighting control systems; 2016 Commissioning Giants; Design high-efficiency hot water systems for hospitals; Evaluating condensation and condensate
Solving HVAC challenges; Thermal comfort criteria; Liquid-immersion cooling; Specifying VRF systems; 2016 Product of the Year winners
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing Arc Flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Putting COPS into context; Designing medium-voltage electrical systems; Planning and designing resilient, efficient data centers; The nine steps of designing generator fuel systems
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.
click me