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Implement Energy Standards (Proposed)

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The 2015 iCAP, chapter 2, objective 2 is "Identify the highest achievable energy standards for new buildings and major renovations, and incorporate these into the campus facility standards by the end of FY16."  The Energy Generation and Building Standards SWATeam discussed this objective with Provost Fellow for Sustainability Scott Willenbrock and F&S Associate Director of Engineering and Construction Services Fred Hahn, during FY16, aiming to exceed the base level of the Illinois Energy Conservation Code.  Discussions continue during FY17 to identify the highest achievable energy standards for campus.


At present the overarching guidelines for energy efficiency are as follows:

1. Each new building shall achieve a minimum 30% reduction in energy usage as compared to its baseline while major renovations shall achieve a minimum 26% reduction.

2. For all projects with a budget of at least $5,000,000 the new or renovated building must receive LEED certification at the Gold Level.

Scott Willenbrock, Provost Fellow for Sustainability is working on revising and suggesting some improvements in Building Energy Standards at UIUC, which will be discussed with Fred Hahn and later F&S staff to identify the new standards. In guideline 1 above, a baseline should be clarified in a way that does not change with time or does not change with the design of the proposed building or renovation. ASHRAE 90.1-2013 Addendum bm, contained in a 2015 Supplement, is an energy code that meets these criteria and recommends a stable baseline to avoid the ambiguity. To increase the requirements for energy efficiency over time, one simply increases the percentage better than the baseline that is required. By choosing an independent baseline, the designer receives “credit” for energy-efficient design choices, thereby incentivizing such choices. For guideline 2 above, LEED could be a distraction for energy conservation because it has so many other categories which can fulfill the LEED requirements without performing well in energy efficiency. Thus, the final recommendation is to abandon LEED, which is not always useful for guiding energy efficient design choices.

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