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  • Richard Conniff writes about behavior, in humans and other animals, on two, four, six, and eight legs, plus the occasional slither.

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Posts Tagged ‘performance gap’

Why Don’t Green Buildings Deliver on Promised Energy Savings?

Posted by Richard Conniff on May 25, 2017

by Richard Conniff/Yale Environment 360
Not long ago in the southwest of England, a local community set out to replace a 1960s-vintage school with a new building using triple-pane windows and super-insulated walls to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency. The new school proudly opened on the same site as the old one, with the same number of students, and the same head person—and was soon burning more energy in a month than the old building had in a year.The underfloor heating system in the new building was so badly designed that the windows automatically opened to dump heat several times a day even in winter.  A camera in the parking lot somehow got wired as if it were a thermal sensor, and put out a call for energy any time anything passed in front of the lens.  It was “a catalogue of disasters,” according to David Coley, a University of Bath specialist who came in to investigate.Many of the disasters were traceable to the building energy model, a software simulation of energy use that is a critical step in designing any building intended to be green. Among other errors, the designers had

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