Uncovering a Building’s Heartbeat Sensormatically

While energy use is a key component in building management, it is important that resource use not overshadow a building's purpose: to provide an adequate (or even enhanced) space for humans or machines to operate. Managing this interdependency between comfort and energy is not easy, but it's essential for high performance spaces as changing occupant comfort demands can consume significant amounts of energy. While optimizing each in isolation is simpler, the results could lead to less than ideal outcomes.

As managers seek to optimize both energy use and comfort, well-placed sensors and data collection systems can provide objective, useful, and actionable information. Building energy meters separated by panel, circuit, or receptacle are useful in determining, where, when, and how energy is being used. Comfort can be divided into visual, thermal, acoustic, and air quality categories. Sensors are able to measure each category in order to determine which aspects of comfort might be insufficient. Ultimately, the sensor data can be analyzed to establish linkages and tradeoffs and can lead to solutions that optimize both factors. Four different projects are presented to demonstrate how energy and comfort can be balanced at a building, campus, and program level.

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A Holistic View of Carbon in the Built Environment

This course examines the principles associated with carbon emissions over the life of a building. The carbon footprint of a building does not begin when the building becomes operational but rather during design and continues through demolition or deconstruction. The role that design and construction professionals play in regard to product transparency will also be discussed.

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Strategic Electrification, Decarbonization, and the Role of Advanced Heat Pump Technology (Print Course)

Some areas of the country, such as New England, New York, the Mid-Atlantic states, and California, are moving progressively towards adopting clean energy with the ultimate goal of reducing their carbon footprint. Strategic electrification, which includes building decarbonization and the adoption of heat pump technologies, is one of the ways in which states and organizations are striving towards a cleaner, sustainable, and economically beneficial future.

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Collaborating for Sustainability in Leased Space

Energy efficiency and sustainability have multiple benefits for commercial building occupants. Now, many forward-thinking corporations are employing sustainability tactics and focusing real estate strategy to attract and retain top talent, minimize operating expenses, and drive occupant comfort, health, and productivity. New technologies, a rapidly developing business case, and increasing research are making it easier for more organizations, across sectors, to leverage sustainability to capitalize on the same trends that are rapidly becoming the norm in top-of-the-market, class-A real estate. However, as tenants progress from site selection to occupancy, it becomes increasingly difficult to invest in sustainability. Tenants and landlords should collaborate early to maximize sustainability throughout the life of the tenant-landlord relationship.

In 2015, Congress passed the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, which directed several federal agencies, including EPA and DOE to identify and employ appropriate strategies to incentivize and engage commercial landlords and tenants to collaborate towards energy efficiency. This panel will discuss the opportunities that legislation will create for tenants and corporate occupiers to leverage energy efficiency and sustainability to meet corporate social responsibility goals and earn public recognition for their success. Panelists will also introduce a variety of tools and resources that are currently available to the market.

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Exploring Advanced Technology of Modern Energy Efficient Gas Fireplaces

Gas fireplaces are an energy efficient and sustainable home heating solution. This course will provide a clear understanding of gas fireplaces, home heat management, and the associated benefits, including home energy savings, safety considerations, installation options, and common gas fireplace solutions. After taking this course, architects, designers and builders will be able to deliver informative solutions to clients about heat management and gas fireplace installations in their homes.

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RMI's Innovation Center: First-Year Lessons Learned

The Rocky Mountain Institute’s (RMI) Innovation Center illustrates the potential of achieving net-positive-energy performance in a replicable manner, serving as a demonstration project for the design and construction industry. Its first year of operation has offered many lessons around technological incorporation, financial replicability and incentivizing an integrated design process.


With four decades of leadership and advocacy for hyper-efficient buildings and economies, RMI is the ultimate client and occupant for such an innovative project. First-hand staff video interviews will address design process, system integration, performance and occupant satisfaction. RMI researchers guide attendees through the building with interactive video technology, providing commentary to frame the experience. Observations will be contextualized by members of the architecture and engineering team, translating lessons that can—and should—be applied to the next generation of high-performance buildings.

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Housing's Next Frontier

Net Zero Homes are estimated to grow 33% from 2015-2016 alone, but why are they accounting for less than 1% of the U.S. housing stock?
Learn how you can boost your sales of Net Zero homes!

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A Model Zoning Code for Resilient Communities

This course will provide learners with an understanding of how land use codes impact resiliency through barriers and incentives. It will help you gain an understanding of the positive impact on health and productivity from codes promoting resiliency, review case studies detailing principals of natural ventilation, daylighting and onsite energy production.

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The Benefits of Specifying Low-e Coatings

This course will discuss the benefits of specifying high-performance architectural glass to improve the energy efficiency of buildings while reducing their operating costs and carbon emissions. An understanding of solar energy spectrum and common glass performance measures, in addition to the manufacturing processes for pyrolytic and magnetron sputter vacuum disposition low e-coating. The course will help learners to differentiate between passive and solar control low-e coatings and different glass performance measures. Finally, the course will analyze how low-e coatings can improve energy efficiency and assist with earning LEED credit contributions.

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DOE: Building America Solution Center - Energy Star Windows

Select and install high-performance windows, preferably windows that are ENERGY STAR rated or that meet or exceed the ENERGY STAR program requirements for windows, doors, and skylights. If you are seeking certification under the ENERGY STAR Certified Homes program or the U.S. Department of Energy's Zero Energy Ready Home program, read this for more specific guidance.

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