DOE releases data on how to achieve 50% energy savings in stores and other commercial buildings

Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of Energy and the DOE national laboratories have released technical support documents that suggest how to achieve 50% energy savings in four key commercial building sectors: general merchandise, grocery store, lodging, and medium office buildings.

The initiative is taking place less than two years after launching the Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative, which aims to achieve marketable net-zero energy commercial buildings by 2025.

The technical support documents were created by the DOE national laboratories under the direction of DOE’s Building Technologies Program. They describe the assumptions, methodologies, and analyses used to reach 50% energy savings over ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004 The technical support documents demonstrate that higher levels of energy performance can be achieved in the commercial building industry. These reports are often the basis for Advanced Energy Design Guides --"how to" guides that target architects, engineers, and other design practitioners.

The recommendations for general merchandise stores, include:

  • Reduce lighting power density by 47%, and install occupancy sensors in the active storage, mechanical room, restroom, and office zones;
  • Add a vestibule to the front entrance to reduce infiltration;
  • Equip rooftop HVAC units with high-efficiency fans;
  • Install daylighting sensors tuned to a 46.5 fc (500 lux) set point;
  • Reduce south facade window-to-wall ratio by 50%;
  • Replace baseline exterior walls with better insulated constructions; and
  • Reduce plug loads to 10% of peak during off-hours in high plug load stores.

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