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©2014 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 56, no. 10, October 2014.

Scott Bowman, P.E., Member ashrae; Carey Nagle, AIA

About the Authors
Scott Bowman, P.E., is retired from KJWW Engineering Consultants where he was project executive for the IUB/OCA project. He is owner of Integrated Design + Energy Advisors in Johnston, Iowa. Carey Nagle is project manager/project architect at BNIM in Des Moines, Iowa.

The Iowa Utilities Board and Office of Consumer Advocate in Des Moines is home to two agencies that govern state utilities, so it is fitting that the building be energy efficient and a symbol of the state’s sustainable stewardship. Design decisions were driven by energy-efficiency and integrated design—from the geothermal system to the height of the office furniture.
Located within the State of Iowa Capitol Complex, the 44,700 ft2 (4153 m2) IUB/OCA is an infill development on a 6 acre (2.4 ha) site of a former landfill. The IUB/OCA uses the building to conduct its business and also as an education tool for energy-saving technologies and increased efficiency and health in the built environment.

The earliest goal of this project was to meet energy use intensity (EUI) of 28 kBtu/ft2 (317 MJ/m2) per year, equivalent to 60% energy savings beyond the energy code baseline of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004. Every decision—from the envelope to materials to controls—was made with this goal in mind.

The IUB/OCA project demonstrates a “net-zero-ready” approach. Loads were reduced to the point that on-site renewable energy was appropriate, knowing more could be added later.

An integrated team process was employed to deliver verified results—including, but not limited, to assessing building placement, open-office versus enclosed-office relationships, material selection and configuration, strategies and systems. As a result, the IUB/OCA is a super-efficient building with an Energy Star rating of 100. (A typical office building this size would use more than three times the energy.)

Over the first two years of operation, the IUB/OCA has performed at an extremely high level, with an EUI of 22.1 kBtu/ft2 (251 MJ/m2) per year without renewable energy, and 18.8 (213 MJ/m2) with the photovoltaics (PV). This exceeds the baseline by more than 70% and the LEED energy model by more than 30%. The building is outperforming efficiency targets, and the PV is providing more on-site energy than expected. For year two, when the PV was available the entire year, the EUI was 22 without PV, and 17.5 with PV (Figure 1). Energy modeling (completed by The Weidt Group using DOE 2.IE as part of the LEED submission) was based on ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004 using the Appendix G methodology (addendum a), exceptional calculations, and on-site renewable energy.

Not wanting to overstate results, the design team developed the energy model to reflect conservative performance. Plug load strategies, for example, were not given full credit in the model despite the estimation that they would pay dividends.


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