El Moore Greens Near Zero Energy Design

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This is the work space for a design and learning community in Detroit that is developing a sustainable energy design for the El Moore building at 624 W. Alexandrine.


Near Zero Energy - Sustainable Design Schedule

  • Week 1 - Setting the Design Foundation
  • Week 2 - Field Trip
  • Week 3 - Envelope I
  • Week 4 - Envelope II
  • Week 5 - Windows and Doors
  • Week 6 - Thermal Modeling
  • Week 7 - Geothermal
  • Week 8 - Solar - Thermal
  • Week 9 - Solar - PV
  • Week 10 - Natural Ventilation
  • Week 11 - Lighting & Appliances
  • Week 12 - Energy Controls and Accountability

Week 1 - Setting the Design Foundation

Sustainability Goals

El Moore Energy Sustainability Goals

  • Sustain an indoor environment of human health and comfort by:
    • Winter indoor temp 69F, Summer indoor Temp 76F
    • Indoor humidity: 30% - 55%
    • Maximize natural ventilation and lighting
  • < 20% of Standard Energy Usage of a Building with Similar Use
  • > 33% of Energy from renewable sources
  • Clear Accountability ===> Basis for continuous improvement

Michigan Uniform Energy Code

State of Michigan Uniform Energy Code - Residential Buildings

Sustainable Energy Strategy

Step #1 - Size/Prioritize Demand

Step #2 - Reduce Demand w/ Passive Design

  • Reduce demand by passive means by 70%
  • Working with natural systems
  • Use Passive Haus Institute's design principles

Step #3 - Meet Demand with No/Low Carbon, Renewable Sources

  • Use no/low carbon, renewable sources to meet remaining demand
    • Solar Hot Water
    • Solar PV
    • Geothermal - Earth's energy
    • Natural Ventilation
  • Manage system complexity / maintainability

Step #4 - Meet Demand with High Efficiency / Low Load Sources

  • Use off-peak energy. Avoid adding to building new carbon based capacity (e.g. power plants)
  • Use high efficiency...no need to use extreme efficiency since demand is down...very small yields.

Step #5 - Control and Accountability

  • Direct feedback loop...you use the energy...you see the usage and pay for the energy.

Understanding Energy Demands

Typical Energy Demand Profiles


  • Heating Season: mid-September - mid-May (8 months)
  • Peak Season: mid-December - mid-February (2 months)
  • Largest total demand in year
  • Cooling Season: mid-May - mid-September (4 months)
  • Peak Season: July - August (2 months)
  • Humidity is as important as temperature ... drive you to psycho...charts
  • Solar gain is major contributor
  • Typically drive peak hour sizing of equipment
Shoulder Seasons
  • Spring Season: May - mid-June (1.5 months)
  • Fall Season: September - mid-October (1.5 months)
  • Varies widely...unpredictable
  • Creates very difficult demand patterns
Domestic Hot Water
  • Uses
    • Shower (gal/min*min/day*persons)
    • Washer (gal/load*loads/day*persons)
    • Sinks (gal/min*min/day*persons)
    • Dishwasher (gal/load*loads/day*persons)
  • Demand Characteristics
    • Peak Load
    • City Water Temps (40F Winter? / 55F Summer)
  • Interior
    • Motion detection
    • Number, lumens and efficiency
  • Exterior
    • Photocell
    • Number, lumens and efficiency
  • Refrigerator
  • Dryer
  • Washer
  • Dishwasher

Natural Elements

  • Where in the world is the El Moore
    • 42 degrees north latitude
    • Great lakes basin...clouds...temps
  • Sun
    • 23 East of South ...due to Woodward
    • Solar south vs. magnetic South
    • Sun rise, sun sets, height changes through out the year.
    • Shading of trees, other buildings
    • Same amount of sun as Florida! So what, Florida is not so good!
  • Wind
    • Urban micro wind climates
    • Use for natural ventilation
  • Earth
    • Temperature
      • Varies with depth
  • Water
    • Flows down hill...repeat...flows down hill
    • Water is heavy...
    • Average rain in Michigan

El Moore Building

El Moore - 624 W. Alexandrine
  • Built in 1898
  • 4 floors w/ basement
  • 15,000sf existing
  • Size
    • Width:
    • Length:
    • Height:
    • Volume:
  • Structure:
    • Exterior Walls: brick and Lake Superior red sandstone
    • Balloon frame
  • Orientation: SE
  • Window/Wall Ratio:
  • Additions
    • Add Elevator Tower
    • Rooftop Cabins (4)

Thermal Physics

  • Thermal Energy Movement
  • Sensible and Latent Heat
  • Building Performance
    • R Value => Resistance to Conduction (e.g. Insulation)
    • Air Infiltration => Air Exchanges per hour
      • Blower door test
    • U Value = Inverse of R (i.e 1/R)...used for windows
  • Thermal Bridging
    • Low thermal resistant penetrations in high thermally resistant structures (e.g. walls, roofs, etc)
    • Happens often with:
      • Joists
      • Windows connections
      • Doors connections

Human Comfort and Health

Human Comfort

Flickr Error ( Photo not found ): PhotoID 3614064282

Human Health
  • Air quality
  • Toxicity of materials

Week 2 - Field Trip

  • Visited the El Moore Building Site

Week 3 - Building Envelope I

Thermal Conduction 101

Thermal Conductivity Equation
  • Thermal Conduction Equation: heat transfer ...
    • Increases with Delta T (difference in outdoor and indoor temperatures)
    • Increases with Area
    • Decreases with higher material resistance
    • Decreases with thickness of envelop material

R values for Building Materials

Envelope R Design

Sustainability R Goals

R Goals
  • Walls = 25 R
  • Ceiling = 60 R
  • Basement Floor = 20 R

  • Thicker walls makes the units smaller, they are already challenged with a narrow width, and trying to accommodate the historic windows gets more difficult with longer extension jambs.

El Moore Envelope R Design

Energy Efficient Wall Framing

Wall Systems

  • Typical Historic Wall (w/o stud)
    • Outdoor Air Film = .17 R
    • 13" Brick (@.20 R/in) = 2.6 R
    • 1" Air (@ 1.0 R / in) = 1.0 R
    • 2" Polyiso (@ 5.0 R/in) = 10.0 R
    • 3.5" Cellulose (@ 3.5 R/in)= 12.3 R
    • 5/8" Drywall (@ 1.0 R/in) = 0.6 R
    • Indoor Air Film = .68 R
    • TOTAL WALL R VALUE = 27.35 R (Michigan Code requires 18 - 20R excluding air films)

  • Typical Historic Wall (w/ stud)
    • Outdoor Air Film = .17 R
    • 13" Brick (@.20 R/in) = 2.6 R
    • 1" Air (@ 1.0 R / in) = 1.0 R
    • 2" Polyiso (@ 5.0 R/in) = 10.0 R
    • 3.5" Wood Stud (@ 1.25 R/in)= 4.38 R
    • 5/8" Drywall (@ 1.0 R/in) = 0.6 R
    • Indoor Air Film = .68 R
    • TOTAL WALL R VALUE = 19.43 R

  • Typical Historic Wall (Assembly)
    • TOTAL WALL R VALUE = 26.6 R
    • Energy Star recommendation = 20.6 R (see Energy Star website page)
    • 30% more than Energy Star

Ceiling Systems

  • Typical Historic Ceiling (w/o joist)
    • Outdoor Air Film = .17 R
    • 2" Roofing (@.20 R/in) = 0.4 R
    • 1" Air (@ 1.0 R / in) = 1.0 R
    • 18" Cellulose (@ 3.5 R/in)= 63.0 R
    • 2" Polyiso (@ 5.0 R/in) = 10.0 R
    • 5/8" Drywall (@ 1.0 R/in) = 0.6 R
    • Indoor Air Film = .61 R
    • TOTAL CEILING R VALUE = 75.78 R ...(Michigan Code requires 38R excluding air films)

  • Typical Historic Ceiling (w/ joist)
    • Outdoor Air Film = .17 R
    • 2" Roofing (@.20 R/in) = 2.6 R
    • 1" Air (@ 1.0 R / in) = 1.0 R
    • 12.5" Cellulose (@ 3.5 R/in)= 43.8 R
    • 5.5" Wood Stud (@ 1.25 R/in)= 6.9 R
    • 2" Polyiso (@ 5.0 R/in) = 10.0 R
    • 5/8" Drywall (@ 1.0 R/in) = 0.6 R
    • Indoor Air Film = .61 R

  • Typical Historic Ceiling (Assembly)
    • Energy Star recommendation = 52.0 R (see Energy Star website page)
    • 43% better than Energy Star

World Wide Envelope (WWE) Smackdown I

WWE Smackdown

Wall / Ceiling Section

  • File:4th floor attic and masonry walls.pdf
  • Exercises
    • Exercise #1 - Calculate R Value of Wall (w/o Stud)
    • Exercise #2 - Calculate R Value of Wall (w Stud)
    • Exercise #3 - Calculate R Value of Ceiling (w/o Joist)
    • Exercise #4 - Calculate R Value of Ceiling (w Joist)

WUFI Thermal Simulation Model

  • Simulation #1 - New Wall System
  • Simulation #2 - Existing Wall System

Week 4 - Building Envelope II


  • Infiltration is the uncontrolled, unintentional introduction of outside air into the building [1] on Wikipedia.
    • Measured in CFM and/or ACH
      • ACH=(CFM x 60)/building volume in cubic feet
    • Wind, buoyancy and building pressure effect
    • Also brings in dust, drafts, moisture, and associated energy use
    • Exfiltration is when air leaves the building, intentionally or not
    • Ventilation means providing fresh clean air for occupants to breathe
    • If the building is very well-sealed, may need to bring in outside air by mechanical means

Building pressure

  • Maintaining the building interior at a slight positive pressure helps reduce infiltration
  • Imagine the building as a balloon, or a lung

Air sealing the building

El Moore Air Infiltration Design

Air Infiltration Goal

  • 0.50 ACH is the goal of the El Moore thermal design

Air Infiltration Design Strategies

  • Windows
    • Use Green Garage detail window opening sealing methods...foam all window frame to wall connections (see below).
    • Use windows that have a low ACH...Kelly windows have a double seals
  • Doors
    • Use high performance weather stripping on all exterior doors
  • Walls
    • Foam seal all of the rigid polyiso panel seams
  • Ceiling
    • Foam seal all of the rigid polyiso panel seams
    • Attach the wall polyiso to the ceiling polyiso with foam.
  • Complex areas (e.g. when structural members come through the walls)
    • Spray foam (not on brick per Historic req'ts)

Week 5 - Windows and Doors


Window 101

Window Sustainability Goals

Flickr Error ( Photo not found ): PhotoID 3065347095 Our sustainability goals for the windows at the El Moore are:

1) Window-to-Wall Ratio (WWR) < 27%...studies show this is the maximum for an effective passive design.
2) U Value (1/R) < .30
3) Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC)... < .30 for all directions
4) Visual Light Transmittance (VLT or VT)... > .50
5) Air Infiltration ... window system < 0.20...window-to-wall connection < 0.10
6) Historic acceptability ... meet Department of Interior Standards
7) Natural Ventilation ... Ability to Open
8) Materials ... all recyclable, non-toxic, sustainably produced ... Cradle-to-Cradle
9) Maintainability ... ease to clean, durable, long life, can be repaired
10) Security ... discourage theft

Window-to-Wall Ratio (WWR)

  • In general, best strategy is to reduce the Window to Wall Ratio (= Area of Window/Total Area of Wall)
    • A 30R wall resists heat transfer 10X better than 3R (.33U) window.
    • Studies of passive designs show that a maximum of 27% WWR
    • The El Moore WWR is fixed for the historic building.
  • El Moore WWR
    • Historic (approx 19%)
      • North: 24%
      • South: 22%
      • East: 17%
      • West: 17%
    • 5th Floor
      • North:  %
      • South:  %
      • East:  %
      • West:  %
    • Tower
      • North:  %
      • South:  %
      • East:  %
      • West:  %
U Value (1/R)

  • Measure of heat resistance of the window system ...this includes the glass, sash and frame.
  • El Moore selection and rationale to meet U < .30 goal
    • Cardinal 366 Glass - double pane...meets target U goal
    • Kelly Window double hung wood frame window...wood has a lower U than aluminum
    • 366 / Wood U Value = .28 (estimated)
  • Resources

Solar Heat Gain (SHGC)

El Moore Selections to meet SHGC goals:

Visible Light Transmittance (VT)

VT Goals met through:

Air Infiltration

  • Has two major parts:
    • 1) Rated in the window system
      • Kelly Window has a great double seal...our Green Garage windows went through blower test.
    • 2) Related to where the window frame meets the wall system:
      • Typically under the trim
      • See Green Garage Wall-Window Detail
      • Developed process for eliminating air infiltration using spray foam + infiltration (see image below)
El Moore Window-to-Wall Connection Design for Zero Air Infiltration

Historic acceptability

  • Need to meet the Department of Interior Standards for Windows (see p. 35)
    • El Moore windows will match the current windows.
    • Double pane window "darkness" has been approved by SHPO

Natural Ventilation

  • Most current windows are double-hung...so bottom and top windows open.
  • Design Guidelines:
    • In = Out
    • Enter low >>>>leave high
    • Need to control with HVAC system ... especially humidity!
  • Need to design:
    • the "flow-thru" so air can enter and leave in equal volumes.
      • Use double-hung window: open 4" at top and 4" at bottom
    • Controls for announcing "natural ventilation day"
    • Green Garage lesson = fewer natural ventilation days than thought
      • Maybe 15 in spring and 15 in fall. Total = 30 / year.
    • What about the elevator tower as a stack? Fire?


  • El Moore Selections:
    • Aura Paint ... low VOC
    • FSC Certified lumber or equivalent
    • Reuse of wood for trim and jambs...via deconstruction
    • Local Supplier: Kelly Window on Linwood; window glass made in Indiana


  • Durability = Sustainability
    • Wood Sealing + Painting
      • Use Aura Paint...long lasting
      • Factory sealer ((best)
    • Seal on Double Pane
      • Cardinal Metal seal is best in industry...lowest failure rate.
    • Hinges and locks need to be heavy duty
  • Investigate "NEAT" coating on Cardinal glass .. sheds dirt...reduces cleaning
  • Way to wash outside from inside??


  • Discourage entry
    • Height is a barrier for most windows
    • Windows have locks
    • Garden windows may have some need
      • indoor shutters (winter considerations)


Exterior Door Sustainability Goals
  • U Value (1/R)of exterior doors
    • Use wood (1.5R/in) or Fiberglass w/ insulated core (5R/in)
  • Air Infiltration
    • Try and achieve two point/strip wind barrier (one will leak) on all four sides
    • You must have some way to create the compression to create the seal
      • door closer
      • threshold with gasket
    • Carefully select weather stripping to meet your specific needs
    • Great resource is PEMKO ... they make 1,000's of products to help you reduce drafts at doors
  • Historic Acceptability
    • Reuse historic doors
    • have new doors made to matach historic pattern
  • Natural Ventilation
    • Can you keep the door open?
  • Visible Light
    • Include windows in doors where possible to bring in natural light
  • Maintainability
    • Fiberglass is the strongest (dent and rust resistant)
    • Wood painted with Aura paint
  • Materials
    • Have doors custom made with reclaimed wood (Antil Windows)
    • Reuse historic doors (we can reclaim 30 doors)for interior
  • Security
    • Need to design locking/access system for doors
  • Fire Rating
    • Hour rating

Week 6 - Thermal Modeling


  • Purpose: estimate the thermal performence of a building
  • Recent development ... last 15 years
  • Supported by Dept of Energy...created DOE-2 Standard
  • Many Whole Building Modeling tools approved by DOE

Thermal Modeling Goals

  • Whole building / Holistic analysis
  • Support "What If" Analysis
  • One input for equipment sizing

eQuest Model

EQuest Image.gif
  • Green Garage uses eQuest Whole Building Modeling tool
    • DOE2 Approved Tool.. Dept of Energy Approved Modelling Standard
    • Overview of functions and features
  • We have experience with Energy 10 tool

Thermal Modeling Guide

  • Inputs
    • Output only as good as input (check and double check inputs)
    • Envelope design
    • Windows and doors
    • Uses Michigan weather file (temp, humidity, precipitation, wind speed and direction, snow, sun/ radiant energy, cloud cover, ...etc.)
    • Number of people that work in a building
  • Outputs
    • Typically look at peak cooling and heating loads
    • Check and double check results
    • More difficult to model the closer you get to Zero Energy

eQuest Updates: email from Kirsten (07/19/13)

Here's a couple of observations from the latest updates to the El Moore eQuest energy model:

Changing only the SHGC from .36 to .27 and U-value from 0.29 to 0.28 results in a change in whole-building space peak loads: Cooling from 115.0 to 105.8 KBTU/h, Heating from 179.0 to 176.9 KBTU/h

On top of that, I next changed the infiltration rate from 0.50 to 0.25 ACH with the following results: Cooling from 105.8 to 98.3 KBTU/h, Heating from 176.9 to 130.3 KBTU/h

So the SHGC made a relatively small difference but the infiltration rate made a more than 25% difference in heating load.

Week 7 Geothermal



Example of how geothermal systems works in heating and cooling modes
  • Uses the ground - air temperature differential to improve the efficiency of heating and cooling the building. The improvement in efficiency can be up to 30%.
  • Ground temperature is between 40F (Winter) - 55F (Summer)...See details on ground temperatures here.
    • In the summer the ground is cooler than the air, so is a better "source" for cooling
      • Summer Example: Ground Temp = 55F vs. Ambient Air Temp = 90F
    • In the winter the ground is warmer than the air and is a better source for heat
      • Winter Example: Ground Temp = 40F vs. Ambient Air Temp = 10F
  • Limitation is the ground absorbs energy slowly

Geothermal System Components

  • Components
    • Loop Field
      • Types
        • Horizontal
          • Depth of loops > 8ft...typically 12ft.
        • Vertical
          • Depth of loops 150 - 200ft.
      • Sizing
        • Rule of thumb 300ft of loop per 1 ton of energy
    • Heat Pump
      • Inverter compressor is preferred so it can match supply with demand more precisely (i.e. more efficient)
    • Distribution / Exchangers
      • Forced air
      • Radiant floor
      • Split System ... with refrigerant to the exchangers
  • Optional
    • Domestic Hot Water can be connected for preheating hot water

El Moore Design Requirements

  • El Moore Peak Loads
    • Heating Peak Load = 130 KBTU/hr
    • Cooling Peak Load = 98 KBTU/hr
    • Domestic Hot Water needs to be estimated

El Moore Geothermal System Design

Potential Loop Field Design

Proposed Geothermal Loop Field Design
  • Field Size
    • Rule of thumb: 1 ton = 300ft of loop
    • El Moore Demand = 11 tons => 11 loops 300 ft long
  • Location
    • Back area
    • Close to building if possible to reduce the supply lines
  • Type
    • Vertical Loops
  • Potential Ideas
  • Potential Issues
    • Limestone at 110ft found at Forest Arms

HVAC Equipment

  • Mitsubishi City Multi
    • City Multi unit (PDF Catalog)
    • Water Source Heat Pump: Model pQRY-p120THMU-A (p. 76 in Catalog)
    • Distribution Method: Ground Loop Water =to= Refrigerant

Domestic Hot Water

  • Potential for integration with geothermal system with preheat tank
  • excess heat in the summer could be returned through preheat tank
  • use geothermal system to heat domestic hot water in the winter

Financial Incentives

  • DTE Special Geothermal Rate
    • includes time-of-day
  • Federal Tax Incentives ... seed DSIRE website for Micigan
    • 10% Federal tax credit for Commercial Buildings...In October 2008, the U.S. Congress passed The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424), extending the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to include geothermal heat pump systems. A 10% credit of the installed costs against a company's taxes is provided for a geothermal heat pump. Under U.S. Code Title 26, Section 48, 10% of the installed cost of a geothermal heat pump system (minus any subsidies) is applicable for corporate tax credits as ITC. There is no cap on the amount of qualifying expenditures that can be used for the credit, nor a limit on the credit itself. It's in effect through 2016.
    • Accelerated depreciation

Week 8 - Solar Thermal Panels


Solar Thermal System

Why is it Important?

A solar thermal panel subsystem is important to a building's sustainability because it:

  • Directly connects the building and its occupants to the earth's natural energy source: the sun. The sun is the source of all our energy.
  • It is a renewable source of energy with no carbon footprint, except for the small pump (which may be run using photovoltaic collectors).
  • Reduces the operating costs of the building by supplying the energy to heat the building and provide hot water.

Solar Thermal Fun Facts...to know and tell

  • raise the temperature of water using the sun's radiant energy.
  • are typically 70 - 80% efficient in converting the sun's energy
  • come in various sizes ... 28" x 50"... to 48" x 120"
  • over 50 manufacturers...so many to choose from
  • water flows through the panels at approximately 1 gpm.
  • To Maximize output the panels should be:
    • facing "solar" south...it's constant throughout the year
    • tipped up from the horizontal at the same degrees as the latitude the panel is located (our is 42 degrees)
  • Collector energy production (per [www.builditsolar.com/ Build it Solar]:
    • Full Sun: 750 BTU/sf/day Winter
    • Partly Sunny: 560 BTU/sf/day Winter
    • Cloudy: 375 BTU/sf/day Winter

Types of Solar Thermal Panels

Two types of solar thermal panels
Flat Panel Solar Thermal Panel
Evacuated Tube Solar Thermal Panel
  • Flat panel
    • Very simple
    • Very reliable
    • Efficiencies up to 80%
  • Evacuated tube
    • Slightly more efficient...especially with sun at extreme angles
    • Higher failure rates with leaks in tubes

Components of a solar thermal system

Panel (flat panel)
Solar Thermal Flat Panel Components
  • Frame / box (metal)... structural and holds heat in
  • Insulation ... keeps heat from being transfered to the frame
  • Copper tubing and fins painted black ...absorbs the sun's energy and transfers to water in the tube
  • Glass ... creates greenhouse effect between the glass and tube/fins

  • Framing
    • We've used Unistrut
  • Fasteners for Panels
  • Weights / Tie down ... offset high wind loads...must be calculated by licensed structural engineer/architect

Storage Tanks
  • Store heat in water until it is needed
    • handles time differential between when heat is generated and when it is needed

Other System Components
  • Pumps ... to pump the liquid through the panels
  • Temperature sensors ... to determine if the panels are hot enough to raise water temperature water
  • Values ... open and close to allow water to flow on desired circuit
  • Controls ... turn system on when opportunity to gain BTU's, turn off when no opportunity

System Types

  • Drainback
    • No additive to water...water stays clean
    • Longer life of panels
    • Risk of freezing if drainback system fails

  • Closed Loop with Glycol (or equivalent)
    • Additive to water...water destroyed...small amount
    • Longer life of panels
    • Risk of freezing if drainback system fails

Uses for the Hot Water

  • preheating domestic hot water
  • heating the building

Example: Green Garage Solar Thermal System

El Moore Solar Design Strategy

Sustainability Goals

  • Maximize the renewable energy production in high potential solar areas
  • Maintainable...repair panels, system
  • Simplicity
  • Fit Historic Requirements

Solar Energy is Best When

  • Access to full sun ... year-round (no trees)
  • Panels can be positioned to face "solar" south
  • Production can overcome cost/complexity of infrastructure
  • Significant demand for electricity and/or hot water

El Moore Solar Potential Assessment

  • Access to full sun ... year-round (no trees, buildings)...Limited
  • Panels can be positioned to face "solar" south... Very Limited
  • Production can overcome cost/complexity of infrastructure... Possible...need to be very careful
  • Significant demand for electricity and/or hot water... Yes!

El Moore High Potential Sites

  • Rooftop cabins ... roof
    • Area (sf)
    • Plus
      • Open exposure to sun
    • Minus
      • Difficult to face solar south
      • Access could be tricky
      • Historic visibility requirements

  • Elevator Tower Roof
    • Area (sf)
    • Plus
      • Open exposure to sun
      • Can position to solar south
    • Minus
      • Limited Size
      • Access could be tricky
      • Historic visibility requirements

Week 9A - Solar Site Survey and Strategies

El Moore and the Sun

  • El Moore Relationship to the Path of the Sun
  • El Moore Key Data Needed
    • Roof Areas (sf)
      • Cabin Roof Area Total = 1,500sf
        • Front Cabins (700 sf)
        • Rear Cabins (800 sf)
      • Elevator Tower Roof
      • Upper Roof =
      • Lower Roof =
    • Latitude and Longitude
      • Lat = 42.3487N
      • Lon = -83.0659
    • Sun Obstructions
      • Elevator Tower (+ 8-10ft above cabin roof)

How much energy from Sun?

  • General Radiation Information
    • "The solar irradiance intercepted by the earth at the top of the atmosphere, the solar constant, is quite stable with an observed value of 1365 Watts/m2 ± 0.3%. However, in the mean, only about half of this energy reaches the surface and is available to drive surface and biological processes. Of the other half, approximately 30% is reflected back to space, and the remaining 20% is absorbed by clouds, dust, and "greenhouse" gasses such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, and ozone." ... from NOAA
  • Weather Underground Solar Energy Calculator
    • Calculates kWh per month using weather data

How much energy (kW) from Solar Panel?

What is the best Solar PV Panel for the El Moore?

Week 9B - Solar PV Panels


  • Solar PV

Why is it Important?

  • Reduces carbon footprint
  • Connects people to the natural elements...the sun.
  • Reduces cost of energy

Solar PV Design / Products

Calculating Energy Production

  • NREL PV Watt Estimator ... this is an outstanding solar estimator. You can learn a lot by reading the help page.


Enphase Install Example
Enphase Circuit Diagram
Marsden Project - Enphase Circuit Diagram

Racking Options / Systems


Financial Incentives

  • Federal Tax Incentives ... seed DSIRE website for Michigan
    • 30% Federal tax credit for Commercial Buildings...In October 2008, the U.S. Congress passed The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (H.R. 1424), extending the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) to include solar panel system systems. A 10% credit of the installed costs against a company's taxes is provided for a geothermal heat pump. Under U.S. Code Title 26, Section 48, 30% of the installed cost of a solar panel system (minus any subsidies) is applicable for corporate tax credits as ITC. There is no cap on the amount of qualifying expenditures that can be used for the credit, nor a limit on the credit itself. It's in effect through 2016.
    • Accelerated depreciation

Week 10 - Ventilation

What is Ventilation in a Building?

  • It is the exchange of fresh air with "stale" air to maintain the air environment healthy
    • Controls high, unhealthy levels of CO2
  • Key component to human comfort
    • Prevents "close" feeling
    • Especially needed in tight buildings
  • Two Methods for Ventilation are:

What are the Requirements for Ventilation in the El Moore?

Ventilation Rates ASHRAE 62.1
Ventilation Rates ASHRAE 62.1

  • We're not fully certain and need more research
    • ASHRAE 62.2 says 0.35 ACH min...need to figure out how to apply with 0.25 ACH + bathroom requirements
    • File:Image-ASHRAE 62-2001 Ventilation Standard.pdf .. the latest I could find.
    • Also there is a spreadsheet to help calculate ventilation requirements...oh boy. 62n-VRP.xls...but no multi-family.
  • Mechanical Ventilation Requirements have two main components:
    • Makeup Air (outdoor air)
    • Exhaust (e.g. bathrooms)
      • Exhaust Ventilation. Exhaust airflow shall be provided in accordance with the requirements in Table 6.4.
      • Exhaust makeup air may be any combination of outdoor air, recirculated air, and transfer air.
  • Possible Calculation of Ventilation Requirement
  • Version 1.0: Currently using:
    • 50cfm for bathrooms
    • 50 cfm for elevator tower
  • Version 2.0: Estimate
    • 2nd Floor 2Bd
      • Bathroom 25cfm ... continuous
      • Kitchen 25cfm ... continuous
      • Living areas = 3 persons x 15 cfm = 45 cfm
        • 3 Persons = Bedroom #1 @ 2 persons + Bedroom #2 @ 1 person
      • Total 95 cfm = 25cfm + 25cfm + 45cfm
        • Air Source: 95 cfm = 45cfm fresh Outdoor Air + 50 cfm Recirculated
    • 2nd Floor 1Bd
      • Bathroom 25cfm ... continuous
      • Kitchen 25cfm ... continuous
      • Living areas = 2 persons x 15 cfm = 30 cfm
        • 2 Persons = Bedroom #1 @ 2 persons
      • Total 90 cfm = 25cfm + 35cfm + 30cfm
        • Air Source: 80 cfm = 30cfm fresh Outdoor Air + 50 cfm Recirculated

What is our Overall Strategy for Ventilation in the El Moore?

Mechanical Ventilation

  • Use Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV) to supply the fresh air
    • Energy Recovery Ventilators exchange heat and humidity
  • Can we tie the supply into the Mitsubishi Ceiling Units?

Natural Ventilation

  • Use the single hung windows
  • Can't achieve cross flows which will reduce the capacity by 50%
  • Can't depend on this to meet requirements...but can help at the margin

Detail Strategies: Mechanical Ventilation

Energy Recovery Ventilator (ERV)

How does it Work?
  • Transfers heat and humidity from the
ERV Basic Heat Recovery Concept

What are the Benefits?
  • ERV can transfer 70 - 80% of the energy in the indoor air going out to the outdoor air coming in.
    • Varies by delta T
Energy w/o ERV

Energy Savings w/ ERV

What is the El Moore ERV Design?
  • Use one ERV's (1200cfm...gives added capacity as e need aprox 800cfm)
    • Locate in the basement near the chase
  • Controls
    • ERV is running constantly (7/24/265)
    • Interconnection with City-Multi is uncertain? Need to ask Dennis

Ventilation Distribution Design (ERV)

ERV Suppliers

ERV with Desiccant Wheel

Detail Strategies: Natural Ventilation


  • Use single hung windows
    • Explore value of double hung windows
      • Not worth the added air infiltration in the upper window if double hung

Detail Strategies: Ventilation


  • Maximum 500 fpm air velocity in ducts
  • Trying to maintain a consistent velocity
  • Maximum depth of the ducts:
    • 6" on 1st - 4th Floors because the Mitsibishi units are 7" tall and the duct needs to tie into them easily.
    • 8" in the Basement because different airhandler, but low (7'-3") ceiling.
  • Design to the maximum fan speed(cfm)that an airhandler can achieve. (Worst case).

Duct Sizing Tools

  • Duct Calculator
    • Method
      • 1) Use "2. Read Friction Loss Per 100' of duct (inches of water) and Duct Velocity (FPM)" to determine size of round duct needed.
        • a) Put in CFM
        • b) Put in length (ft) and number of 90 degree turns
        • c) Adjust Duct Size (in) so the Velocity (fpm) stays under 500 fpm.
      • 2) Use "Equivalent Rectangular Duct"
        • Enter the Round Duct size from step #1 and the depth of desired rectangular duct and it will calculate the width of the rectangular duct.
        • Try and keep the widths in even numbers i.e. a stock duct size.


  • Airhandler
    • 24,000BTU
    • CFM: Low = 483 cfm / High = 705 cfm
  • Thermal Modelling Energy Demand for Basement (per Kirsten)
    • 9K BTU Cooling
    • 19K BTU Heating

Domestic Hot Water

Hot Water Energy vs. Total Energy for Residential Uses

Hot Water is nearly 18% of Total Residential Energy Use

  • Energy for Domestic Hot Water is nearly 18% of Total Residential Energy Use

Where Does the Hot Water Go?

  • Tub/Showers (3 gpm)
  • Bathroom Faucets (1.5 gpm)
  • Kitchen Faucets (1.5 gpm)
  • Dishwashers (6 gal per load)
  • Laundry Washers (X gal per load)
    • Replace soap with ionizer..only uses cold water

How much Hot Water (BTU) will El Moore Use?

Residential Hot Water 101

  • The #3 most important factors that affect energy usage are:
    • Tank temperature = 130F
    • Ground water temp
      • Summer = 55F
      • Winter = 40F
  • Rated on flow x temperature rise = heated volume
  • BTU levels
    • Raise 1 lb of water 1F
    • 1 gallon = 8.3 lbs @ +1 F = 8.3 BTU
  • Tends to peak slightly in the summer


Products / Equipment

Week 11 - Appliances

Appliance Energy Usage Statistics

Appliances are a large part of the energy usage....see below.

DOE Energy Usage Chart.png

Sustainability Goals

  • Reduce the energy consumed to meet the need
  • Durability = sustainability
  • Buy local...economy and transportation energy footprint
  • Also, need to consider water for dishwasher and clothing washer

Strategy for the El Moore

  • Reduce the number of units
    • Washers and Dryers
  • Reduce the size of units
    • In general larger is worse...small is beautiful...but it must work!
  • Select in the energy sweet spot of the product line
    • In general this is where production is

Selecting Energy Efficient Appliances

Appliances on El Moore Short List

  • Range/Oven
    • Use gas
    • Convection Oven, 20% more energy efficient than conventional ovens

  • Microwave

  • Dryer
    • gas...cleaner

Place to Buy Them

  • an issue on the refrigerator...only available in Canada

Appliance Idea Bin

  • Use Fisher-Paykel
    • Refrigerator (24") has low Energy Rating, but this is probably due to thin insulation creating more space inside. We could put some rigid insulation around to improve it's efficiency ...covering the insulation with some trim. This could create a 26" opening with 1" rigid insulation on all sides. (Note: Need to leave space on top for air.) F-P 24" Refrigerator
    • Dishwasher Drawer - use a single drawer dishwasher. shown on F-P Site
    • Gas Range...with convection shown on F-P Site
  • Get a "Builder's Package" special pricing for the whole thing.

Week 12 - 14 Lighting

Why is Lighting Important?

  • Lighting...
    • is a significant part of residential energy usage. US Energy Information Administration says... "Residential lighting consumption was about 186 billion kWh/year or 13% of all residential electricity consumption."
    • affects our health and wellbeing. We need natural daylight to stay healthly.
    • is an integral part of a safe environment
      • brightness levels in hallways ... avoid tripping and falling
      • emergency lighting

What are the El Moore Sustainability Goals for Lighting?

  • Our lighting design should achieve...
    • Energy: Use < 20% of the energy of an incandescent baseline
    • Health: Provide natural daylight in every room...provide natural daylighting in > 80% of rooms.
    • Saftey: Use the minimum fc (brightness) needed for safety...meet minimum standards
    • Comfort: Allow people to walk towards the lighter/brighter surfaces; use 3,000K Light

Sustainable Lighting Strategy

This strategy really drove the entire design process and the conceptual design that resulted from it. Our sustainable lighting strategy is:

  • Only place light where it is needed, when it is needed. Environments are often lighted everywhere at the same level, even if there is no need. This gives the environment a sterile look. This supports Christopher Alexander's (Tapestry of Light and Dark pattern (#135)) recommendations. (See his book, A Pattern Language).
  • Design windows to maximize daylighting.
    • Tall windows allow light to penetrate farther into the building. Light extends horizontally 2.5 times the height of the window.
    • Flared interior window openings let more light in for the given window size.
    • Place windows to maximize light where it is needed on the interior.
  • Use of Solatubes.
  • Provide minimum electrical lighting necessary for times when natural light is not sufficient, both indoor and outdoors.
    • Maintain 10 fc minimum in all occupied areas.
    • Use high efficiency electrical fixtures (e.g. induction, LED or T5/T8)
    • Use step down and occupancy controls.
  • Have emergency lighting integrated with regular lighting / PV system
    • This minimizes the points of failure and you have higher quality lighting.

Lighting 101: What we need to know to do sustainable lighting design

Lighting Terminology

Trends in Lighting

Natural Daylighting

Occupancy Sensors

Lighting Requirements and Design for the El Moore

Interior Lighting

  • Natural Light - Entire Building
    • Natural Light Goals are supported by...
      • Windows have Visible Light Transmittance (VT) = 69%
      • Light color on walls, upper cabinets, ceilings
  • Hotel Rooms (10)
    • Entrance Ceiling Light
      • Use CFL...unless 3000K LED is available in bulb type needed
      • Lumens: 60 Watt equivalent
      • Switch: Front door with key holder
    • Living, Bedroom Rooms
      • Table Lamps w/ warm bulbs ... CFL
      • Lumens = +/- 60W
      • Switched: Front door with key holder
    • Bathroom
      • Wall Fixture: CFL...unless 3000K LED is available in bulb type needed
      • Lumens: 60 Watt equivalent
      • Switch: Occupancy Sensor
  • Apartments (13)
    • Entrance Ceiling Light
      • Use CFL...unless 3000K LED is available in bulb type needed
      • Lumens: 60 Watt equivalent
      • Switch: Std
    • Kitchen
      • Pendants
        • Use LED ... need specialty style
        • Lumens: 40 Watt equivalent
        • Switch: Dimmer
      • Undercounter
        • Use LED fixture
        • Switch: Dimmer
    • Living, Bedroom Rooms
      • Table Lamps w/ warm bulbs ... CFL
      • Lumens = +/- 60W
      • Switched at door
  • Public Restrooms
      • Wall Fixture: CFL...unless 3000K LED is available in bulb type needed
    • Switched: Occupancy sensor
  • Hallways / Stairs
    • Low light (2fc) that increases brightness (7fc) with occupancy sensor
    • Lumens: 60 Watt equivalent
    • Switched: Occupancy sensor
  • Laundry Room
    • Ceiling lights that are off that turn on with occupancy sensor
    • Lumens: 60 Watt equivalent
    • Switched: Occupancy sensor
  • Emergency
    • Per floor system


Week 15 Resident Controls

Why are Controls Important?

  • Much energy is wasted in homes...over 50% (need reference)
  • "Tenants in high-rises, condos, co-ops and mixed-use buildings have been shown to use up to 25% less energy when submeters hold them accountable for the power they use."
  • Need to link behavior to impact...without this people can never understand their influence

Sustainability Goals

  • Empower: People to make the right decisions for the planet.
  • Accountability: Have a way to see the impact our behaviors have....they bear the true costs.
  • Feedback: See how changes in behavior change the impact...cause and effect. Studies show a 20 - 35% reduction in resource usage (i.e. impact) with meaningful feedback.
  • Information: Needed to optimize the systems performance and achieve high service (e.g. comfort) levels and at the lowest possible costs and environmental impact.
  • Reliable / Dependable: Is part of the solution, not contributing to added complexity and maintenance.

Control Solutions

Electric Submeters

Water Submeters


  • Quickbooks

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

Why is IAQ Important?

  • EPA Article "Indoor air pollution is among the top five environmental health risks."

What can we do about it?

Air Filtration
  • EPA Article "MERV 7 - 13 performs almost as good as HEPA at a fraction of the cost." and "No studies showing air filtration actually works...improves health."
  • El Moore will have two stage filters
    • Filter in ERV fresh air intake
      • Need Air Filters in basement ERV and Tower ERV
      • Can use a MERV 13
    • Filters in Mitsubishi Air Handlers in Units
      • Use MERV 7 - 13 per EPA
  • Sources for Air Filters
HEPA Vacuums

Heat Pump Heat Recovery Unit

Hotspot Energy Recovery for heat Pump

Heat Exchanger for Potable Water