In our role as a consultant to the architect for this project, Darden Architects in Fresno CA, we are assisting in the initial design phases of this project (Fall 2013) to determine the feasibility for a grid neutral design (zero net electric energy) versus a standard code-compliant design. Since the community college district’s project is funded by a public bond, life cycle cost analysis of proposed design features is an essential part of our work. In addition, the energy performance goal is intersected with a more complex building program and the challenges of the warm California Central Valley climate of the Modesto CA site.
We carried out a whole building energy analysis on an early concept design and compared the performance of a base building design that incorporates the district’s standard practices with a design utilizing a number of low-energy design features appropriate to the climate. At this early phase of design we were able to confirm a cost-feasible approach to the building envelope design and the HVAC system (ground source heat pump with chilled beams and hydronic baseboard heating) for a grid neutral building. We could also then determine an approximate size for the required solar PV system. Additional studies of the best daylighting approach in this climate are also underway.
Bernheim + Dean Team Affiliates
- Mechanical Engineering: Stephen Witek, P.E., SEED Inc
- Building Science: Will Vicent, BB&NE
- Lighting: Max Pierson, HLBLD