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article_Marseille.jpg

©2016 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 58, no. 7, July 2016

Tom Marseille, P.E., Member ASHRAE; Ben Gozart, Associate Member ASHRAE

About the Authors
Tom Marseille, P.E., is a mechanical engineer and the managing director of the Seattle office for WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff, and U.S. director of sustainability. Ben Gozart is a mechanical engineer for WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff in Seattle.

The Greenfire Campus is comprised of a six-story apartment building (23,400 ft2 [2536 m2]) and four-story office/retail building (27,300 ft2 [2174 m2]), a large green “commons” between them, and structured parking below each building. The project addresses the challenge of reducing carbon emissions with an integrated design for two buildings that use dramatically less energy than typical buildings in Seattle.

The principle of “sensible sustainability” provided a guiding hand for setting high performance strategies. For Greenfire Campus, this meant seeking a practical balance between green construction strategies and life-cycle cost-effectiveness. This project was completed using an integrated, highly collaborative effort throughout design and construction. Both buildings received LEED v3 Gold certification.

The heart of the central plant in both buildings consists of ground source heat pumps that connect to a shared geoexchange loop consisting of 20 wells or boreholes sized to provide approximately 18,500 Btu/h (5422 kW) capacity each, or a total of 370,000 Btu/h (108 436 kW) overall system capacity. Both central plants produce heating water. In the apartment building, heating water is distributed to a radiant floor that provides a high degree of comfort and energy efficiency by enabling lower thermostat settings than more traditional heating systems. The office building heat pump serves active chilled beams, and provides both heating water and “high temperature” chilled water if determined necessary on hot summer days. Supplemental heat for both buildings is provided by electric boilers.

Ventilation in the apartment building is provided by individual heat recovery ventilators serving each residential unit. A centralized heat recovery ventilator is used to meet ventilation requirements for the office building and to provide primary air to active chilled beams.

Domestic hot water demand in the apartment buildings is met by a combination of a solar thermal array located on the roof and gas-fired water heaters. Heat generated by the solar thermal array on the sunniest summer days in excess of building demand is redirected to the geoexchange loop via a heat exchanger, recharging the ground.

 

Energy Efficiency

While the guiding principle initially for the project was to choose sensible sustainable design strategies rather than setting specific performance targets, 2030 Challenge energy baselines were examined and referenced as part of the early design process to help inform the design.

EPA Target Finder for the office building indicated an appropriate baseline median annual energy use intensity (EUI) of 110 kBtu/ft2·yr (1249 MJ/m2·yr). The 2030 Challenge Regional Residential baseline published by Architecture 2030 indicated an EUI of 40 kBtu/ft2·yr (453 MJ/m2·yr).

The project team conducted energy and thermal simulations to help determine the most effective solutions. Strategies used in the project included a high efficiency lighting system, emphasis on maximizing daylighting, passive cooling in the office building, radiant floors in the apartments, exterior shades to manage peak solar loads, air-to-air heat recovery between ventilation and exhaust air, the geoexchange loop, solar thermal domestic hot water in the apartment building, and photovoltaic (PV) solar energy for the office building.

 

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