NREL's Buildings Research Honored by Architecture Magazine
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Golden, Colo., January 15, 1997Architecture magazine's Progressive Architecture Award went to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Passive Solar Industries Council today for their joint efforts in designing energy-efficient buildings. The prestigious award is one of two given annually for outstanding contributions to architectural research and building design.
A key element of NREL's award-winning entry is a computer software program called Energy-10, which allows architects to predict the energy-saving effects of various building design elements. The software is especially useful for small commercial buildings of less than 10,000 square feetthus the name Energy-10.
"Using energy-efficient strategies such as daylighting, window shading and insulation mean that small commercial buildings can use 50 percent less energy with little or no increase in design cost," said engineer Douglas Balcomb of NREL's Center for Buildings and Thermal Systems. Balcomb is the primary developer of Energy-10.
More than 75 percent of all non-residential buildings are less than 10,000 square feet. Yet budget constraints limit the amount of time that architects can devote to energy considerations for smaller buildings. Energy-10 produces a good estimate of energy performance in as little as 20 minutes by entering simple parameters such as the geographic location of the building, total floor space, and the type of heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system.
Energy-10 is available commercially through the Passive Solar Industries Council. For more information, contact Helen English at (202) 628-7400.