Your Zero Net Energy Building May Destroy the Grid

With emerging standards requiring different forms of Zero Net Energy and aggressive owners developing ZNE buildings already it's an important time to look at the potential impacts net metered buildings can have on the historic grid structure and operations. High penetration of renewable energy can destabilize the grid operations and cause havoc for grid operators.

We'll provide a detailed discussion of the different definitions of ZNE and how they impact design and interaction with the grid. We'll outline current issues with high penetration of renewables on Hawaii's grid structure and how they may apply to ZNE building design for larger grid systems. We will provide building strategies that can enhance ZNE building design participation with the grid such as battery storage with renewables, demand response, thermal energy storage, and controls. Finally the team will outline ongoing changes to the grid structures and enhancements needed to prepare the grid for true ZNE buildings on a mass scale.

Register

Designing Building Spaces that Integrate Building Design and the Outdoors with Oversized Fenestration Products (Print Course)

Finding ways to bring the outdoors inside is a modern building design trend that continues to influence the specification process. Consumers’ desire to blend nature with the built environment incorporates a desire to increase the amount of natural lighting and nature inside the home or commercial space.

Research continues to evolve demonstrating the need for nature to be incorporated in the built environment, not simply as a luxury, but as an investment in health and productivity. Mounting pressure for building and design professionals to not only meet LEED standards and current codes, but exceed them, continues to leverage the need for sustainability, green building manufacturing, and products that address the needs and wants of the consumer.

Up until recently, it can be said that only luxury markets could afford the type of oversized windows and doors that permit the most amount of sunlight due to intricate design, complicated installation, and maintenance of oversized windows and doors. However, new products on the market are making this design and lifestyle trend more accessible and with more choices than ever.

Register

Occupant Aware Buildings, or Building Aware Occupants?

As technology and intuitive interfaces enable occupants to become more aware about buildings, buildings are becoming more aware of them. Smart buildings leveraging big data collected from thousands of inexpensive sensors and the IoT, promises to improve convenience and comfort, all in a more sustainable manner. Is this a win-win?

High performance buildings with passive design strategies require engaged occupants. Training these occupants for hoped behavioral changes, is both an imperative and a challenge. Even if trained people forget or don't care, or the specific people occupying a building changes.

Does this mean ultimately your building may know more about you than you are comfortable with, even though you are more comfortable in your building? Is the next generation of high performance only possible at the expense of personal privacy? Can we count on this additional layer of systems complexity to be reliable, affordable, maintainable and secure?

Register

Designing Restrooms for Sustainable Operation (Print Course)

Designing restrooms for sustainable operation requires unique strategies beyond those typically associated with green building. This course does not discuss the details of LEED certification or environmentally responsible materials and related documentation. Instead, the focus of this course will be to educate architects and designers on operational approaches that encourage sustainable restroom project design.

Thoughtful product specification considers energy costs, battery usage, waste, and usage of consumables that in turn allow the architect or designer the opportunity to educate the client on the benefits and incentives that sustainable design creates for both building owners and occupants. While architects and building designers who specify sustainable design products must take into consideration the economical investment necessary from the client, specifying for sustainable operation allows a restroom to operate both sustainably and cost-effectively while retaining the architect’s aesthetic vision.

Register

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.

Register

Understanding Wood – How Next-Generation Designers and Artists Impact the Global Forest Ecosystem (Print Course)

Social responsibility should be at the forefront of every designer’s practice, as their designs impact raw material use, land development, and the health, safety, and welfare of building occupants.

This course will discuss one natural resource that is facing a significant threat from exploitation and development: the global forest ecosystem.

We will discuss how building product manufacturers can offer material alternatives that do not further dwindle the world’s endangered wood species. We will also dive deep into a collaborative project between an engineered surfaces company, Interlochen Arts Academy, and visiting artists to return a pine plantation forest to its native state while studying ecology, creating art, and educating a future generation of artists.

Register

Propane Tankless Water Heating in Commercial Building Applications, Efficiency and Performance Benefits

Water heating is a major energy end-use in commercial buildings and is very significant in certain commercial building types. Many commercial building owners and operators have a critical need for water heating systems which are reliable, able to meet varying levels of demand, energy efficient, and able to fit within a building’s space constraints in order to maintain their business operations. Propane tankless water heaters are a flexible, energy-efficient technology which provides these attributes in many commercial applications.

This course will explore how commercial buildings use energy and the potential application of propane tankless systems to provide a solution for water heating needs.

Register

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.

Register

Exceeding Thermal Performance Goals by Choosing Wood (Print Course)

Designing with wood offers architects the flexibility to design projects with increased insulation. From a thermal perspective, wood-frame building enclosures are inherently more efficient than steel-frame, concrete, or masonry construction.

This course will provide an understanding of how wood can help contribute to significant energy savings in the built environment.

Register

Designing With Nature In Mind

Welcome a new shift in design, where architecture and nature unite. Homes are built into landscapes, rather than overtaking nature, and incorporate elements of the earth into their design, promoting peace, creativity, and inspiration.

Building materials, such as architectural stone veneer, are being used indoors and outdoors to reflect the qualities found in nature, including symmetry, surprise, and well-being.

Not only does architectural stone veneer bring the beauty of nature into residential and commercial spaces, but it’s also a sustainable alternative to other building materials; it can be recycled, lower transportation and labor costs, and earn LEED credits. It is regulated by strict industry standards, providing durability and versatility, all while offering nearly limitless options in color, texture, look, and use.

Register