Effective management of energy use in commercial and residential buildings is a global climate change issue. This case study of sustainable building practice was a collaboration of architectural and energy engineering skills, using an existing land-mark office building. The building was studied to optimize approaches to improving its aesthetics, indoor environment and energy performance.
Green Power Labs used DesignBuilder / EnergyPlus software to model existing energy use, predict the change in energy requirements of the building over its life, and identify priorities for improvements. We examined the potential for reducing energy use and improving air quality through adding a ventilated second skin to the building, and the large impact of office equipment and lighting on overall energy use. The second skin concept includes solar air heating and an opportunity for building-integrated electrical generation where shading is currently provided by window blinds.