Commercial Ducts

Issue Duct leakage is a significant issue for forced-air heating or air-conditioning systems. When ducts are run outside of conditioned space, leakage may decrease heating and cooling efficiencies by up to 40%. Over time, this will add up to a great deal of lost energy and money. Click here to view DOE’s guide to duct insulation and sealing requirements in commercial buildings. Overview The distribution system is an integral part of many mechanical ventilation systems. It can have a sign...
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Commercial Fenestration

Issue As the primary barriers between indoor and out, the openings of the building envelope, high performance windows, doors, and skylights (fenestration) are essential to an energy efficient building. Choosing such products involves several considerations, including appearance, energy performance, human factor issues, technical performance, and cost. Other factors like building orientation, natural and artificial shading, and climate will influence the properties selected for windows, doors,...
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Commercial Air Sealing

Issue Inadequately sealed building envelopes can lead to significant air leakage that decreases the comfort of a building by allowing moisture, drafts, and undesired noise to enter. Air leakage may also reduce indoor air quality by permitting dust and airborne pollutants to infiltrate the building. Overview A building envelope constructed with proper air sealing can provide many benefits, including: Increased comfort: A tighter building envelope reduces the amount of unconditioned air, d...
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Water Heating

Issue In commercial buildings heating water can account for more than 25% of energy use. Depending on the type of commercial establishment the water heater is being installed in. A laundromat, hotel, or hospital may use large amounts of hot water where a office building may not. In any case, savings from high efficiency hot water heaters can be substantial. High efficiency water heaters use 10% to 50% less energy than standard models. When combined with complementary products like insulati...
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Commercial Lighting

Issue Artificial lighting accounts for a substantial portion of energy use in homes and commercial buildings. Use of innovative lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy use in homes by 50 to 75 percent. Advances in lighting controls offer further energy savings by reducing the amount of time lights are on but not serving a useful purpose and by turning lights on automatically when and where they are needed. Overview High performance lighting with optional controls is a key element f...
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Commercial Ventilation

Issue The air within businesses can become stale from moisture, odors, and pollutants that penetrate the building or are generated internally by human activity and out gassing from building materials and furnishings. A steady supply of fresh outdoor air can increase indoor air quality and improve occupant comfort. Commercial buildings have had consistent building codes requiring a specific amount of outdoor air to be ventilated in to the building. As envelope construction practice has improve...
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What to expect in the 2015 IECC Commercial Provisions, Part II

By Ryan Meres, IMT The first installment of this article was published in the May 2015 edition of The Decoder. Part I discussed the improved provisions for commissioning, HVAC equipment, water heating, and lighting. In this article, we’ll cover some important changes to: Additional efficiency package options Rooms with fuel burning appliances Walk-in coolers and freezers Refrigerated display cases Equipment buildings More Efficiency Package Options The 2015 IECC now has six options for ...
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DOE Issues Final Determination On The 2015 IECC

The Department of Energy has announced findings on energy savings from adopting and complying with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Compared with residential buildings meeting the 2012 IECC, the 2015 edition achieves national source energy savings of approximately 0.87 percent, site energy savings of approximately 0.98 percent, and energy cost savings of 0.73 percent of residential building energy consumption. With the final determination established, each state is now req...
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What’s New in the 2015 IECC Commercial Provisions?

There was a lot of buzz around the residential provisions in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) last year but not enough around the commercial provisions. So what are some major changes for commercial buildings in the 2015 IECC? Here is a summary: Increased Commissioning! One of the major changes to the 2015 IECC that would help improve code compliance is the scope of increased commissioning. In the new code, commissioning is applied to HVAC, all lighting systems including oc...
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Taking a Closer Look at Commercial Construction Data

More regional energy efficiency organizations are examining commercial construction data to gain insights into the commercial construction trends and the economic impact of building energy code adoption and implementation on the construction trends. Raw construction data on permits can provide valuable information especially when paired with volume and accuracy. Permit data helps understand the state of both current and future market. It helps understand what kind of impact newer state-level ene...
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