On November 3, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the first technical support documents providing recommendations on how to achieve 50 percent energy savings over the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-2004 in grocery stores and medium-sized retail buildings in each climate zone in the country. According to the reports, the 50 percent goal can be reached by utilizing a diverse set of energy efficiency measures including high efficiency windows and lighting fixtures as well as advanced heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. To maximize the cost effectiveness of these efficiency measures, the reports recommend “a design approach that analyzes buildings as holistic systems, rather than as disconnected collections of individually engineered subsystems.”

The reports were written by NREL's Commercial Buildings team, under the direction of DOE's Building Technologies Program, and support DOE's goal of producing market-ready, net-zero energy commercial buildings by 2025. A net-zero energy building produces as much energy as it uses over the course of a year by utilizing photovoltaic (PV) or other on-site electricity generation systems.

Click here for more information on the technical support documents.

Click here for more information on high performance commercial buildings.