- Petroleum and Emission Reduction Planning Tool
This planning tool helps your vehicle fleet reduce petroleum consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Create a comprehensive plan for your fleet by using several savings methods. If your fleet includes multiple vehicle types, add more vehicles to each method.
- Trivalent Chromium Plating Conversion Case Study: Independent Plating, Worcester, Massachusetts
Traditionally, metal finishing relies on the use of a number of toxic chemicals to achieve the performance requirements of its customers. Independent Plating recently converted a nickel plating line to accommodate a new technology that substitutes trivalent chromium for hexavalent chromium, a Higher Hazard Substance. This case study documents the company’s decision-making process and the business case for making the change.
- Sustainable Architecture Resources
This guide provides information about frequently used reference resources and journals related to sustainable architecture and building. Additionally, helpful tips are located around this guide on how to go about searching for green architecture sources in the library catalog and databases.
- The Perennial Question 2012: Farmers’ Choices and the Biofuel Future
The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) is a strategic response to concerns under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 about petroleum fuel supplies and environmental sustainability (EPA 2012). RFS2 regulations mandate specific amounts of renewable fuels to be blended into gasoline and diesel. Analyses of the shifts in land use, crop management, and crop marketing implied by RFS2 typically either neglect or simplify farmers’ choices, whether due to the investigative questions asked, the modeling frameworks used, or the suppositions made in those analyses. Much remains unexplored and, therefore, unknown about the bases for farmers’ actual decisions to dedicate their land, labor, and resources to the production of perennials. This report aims to start narrowing the gap between science and practice by exploring the bases for a subset of farmers’ choices, specifically those surrounding decisions to engage in perennial planting, management and marketing. We do not assume the processes that farmers’ use to make decisions mimic the calculus of scientific optimization. Rather, we suggest farmers’ behavior patterns, decision-making processes, and decision contexts are important variables that are worthy of investigation and of incorporating into to the scientific and policy-analysis mix. Information about farmers’ choices can provide new depth to scientific analyses that are driven by such policies as RFS2. Perhaps most importantly, a better understanding of the bases for farmers’ choices can provide information important for analyzing and developing a full range of effective policies and interventions.
- Air Leakage Testing and Air Sealing in Existing Multifamily Units
Envelope air sealing was included in the retrofit of a 244 unit low-rise multifamily housing complex in Durham, N.C. Pre- and post-retrofit enclosure leakage tests were conducted on 51 units and detailed diagnostics were performed on 16. On average, total leakage was reduced by nearly half, from 19.7 ACH50 to 9.4 ACH50. Costs for air sealing were $0.31 per square foot of conditioned floor area, lower than estimates found in the National Residential Efficiency Measures Database (NREMD) and other sources, perhaps due in part to the large-scale production nature of the project. Modeling with BEopt software — using an estimate of 85% of the envelope air leakage going to the outside (based on guarded tests performed at the site) –calculated a space conditioning energy cost savings of 15% to 21% due to the air sealing retrofit. Important air leakage locations identified included plumbing and electrical penetrations, dropped ceilings/soffits, windows, ducts and wall-to-floor intersections. Previous repair activity had created significant leakage locations as well. Specifications and a pictorial guide were developed for contractors performing the work.
- Winchester/Camberley Homes New Construction Test House Design, Construction, and Short-Term Testing in a Mixed-Humid Climate
The NAHB Research Center partnered with production builder Winchester/Camberley Homes to build a DOE Building America New Construction Test House (NCTH). This single family, detached house, located in the mixed-humid climate zone of Silver Spring, MD, was completed in June 2011. The primary goal for this house was to improve energy efficiency by 30% over the Building America B10 benchmark by developing and implementing an optimized energy solutions package design that could be cost effectively and reliably constructed on a production basis using quality management practices. The intent of this report is to outline the features of this house, discuss the implementation of the energy efficient design, and report on short-term testing results. During the interactive design process of this project, numerous iterations of the framing, air sealing, insulation, and space conditioning systems were evaluated for energy performance, cost, and practical implementation. The final design featured numerous advanced framing techniques, high levels of insulation, and the HVAC system entirely within conditioned space. Short-term testing confirmed a very tight thermal envelope and efficient and effective heating and cooling. In addition, relevant heating, cooling, humidity, energy, and wall cavity moisture data will be collected and presented in a future long-term report.
- Greenbuilt Retrofit Test House Final Report
The Greenbuilt house, is an all-electric, 1980’s era home in the eastern Sacramento suburb of Fair Oaks that was retrofit by Greenbuilt Construction as part of Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) Energy Efficient Remodel Demonstration (EERD) Program. The project was a joint effort between the design-build team at Greenbuilt Construction, led by Jim Bayless, SMUD and their project manager Mike Keesee, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The goal of the Energy Efficient Remodel Demonstration program is to work with local builders to renovate homes with cost-effective energy efficient retrofit measures. The homes remodeled under the EERD program are intended to showcase energy efficient retrofit options for homeowners and other builders. The Greenbuilt house is one of five EERD projects that NREL has supported. NREL’s main role in these projects is to provide energy analysis and to monitor the home’s performance after the retrofit to verify that the energy consumption is in line with the modeling predictions. NREL also performed detailed monitoring on the more innovative equipment included in these remodels, such as an add-on heat pump water heater.\
- National Bioeconomy Blueprint
The Bioeconomy Blueprint will guide Federal agencies–in coordination with one another and in partnership with private-sector entities–to enhance economic growth and job creation, improve the health of all Americans, and move toward a clean-energy future through scientific discovery and technological innovation.
- Energy and Water Linkage: Challenge to a Sustainable Future
Needs for affordable and clean energy, for water in adequate quantity and quality, and for food security will increasingly be the central challenges for humanity: these needs are strongly linked. In some regions, the increasing demands for water in support of energy development and use pose challenges to its availability for food and other human needs and for important ecological systems. It is critically important that planning and investment in energy and water infrastructure and associated policies take into account the deep interaction between water and energy. A systems approach based on specific regional circumstances and long-term planning is essential. Viewing each factor separately will lead to inefficiencies, added stress on water availability for food production and for critical ecosystems, and a higher risk of major failures or shortages in energy supply. In almost all regions of the world, innovative ways of achieving higher efficiency in use of energy and water will be the key factors that determine whether these linked challenges can be met.
- The Power of Curiosity: How Linking Inquisitiveness to Innovation Could Help to Address Our Energy Challenges
Almost every country in the world will face massive energy challenges over the next few decades. In the UK we are already faced with an energy ‘trilemma’ — three important goals that are pulling us in different directions. We need to aggressively reduce carbon emissions, while ensuring that a varied energy supply can reliably meet our energy needs, and we need to achieve this without exacerbating fuel poverty, by keeping energy bills at affordable levels. In this context, we need fresh insight into energy supply, demand, and efficiency. The challenge is that innovative solutions will need to engage with the complex interplay of technology and behaviour, suggesting that the traditionally technology-led energy sector needs to become more curious about the foibles of human nature, and customers need to become more curious about their interaction with the energy technologies they rely on every day. Unfortunately, most people are not particularly interested in their relationship to ‘energy’ as such, and a variety of attitude surveys suggest growing levels of ‘green fatigue’. We may think about the issue of ‘energy’ when we notice our gas and electricity bills are getting higher, but our curiosity is rarely piqued while turning up the heating or leaving the lights on. Perhaps if we better understand the nature of curiosity in general, we might find ways to cultivate curiosity about our shared energy needs, both in the energy industry and the population at large. If we can do that, it may help us spur the kinds of social and technical innovation that are now political, economic and ecological imperatives.
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