Special Building Renovations
A number of building types have specific energy uses and needs, and as such the renewable opportunities may be different from a typical office building. This section briefly discusses the following Federal building types with specific design considerations for renewable energy: data centers, historic buildings, hospitals, laboratories, remote facilities, residential, and warehouses and service buildings.
Because data centers account for an ever-growing amount of energy consumption, designing high efficiency data centers is both a sustainable and economic option. Coupled with energy efficiency measures, renewable energy technologies can provide some opportunities for data centers. Since many systems require 100% makeup air, solar ventilation preheat can be useful in reducing the conditioning load of a large air turnover. In addition, photovoltaic systems can be specially designed for use in conjunction with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems to provide power for critical systems during power outages. More information is available on UPS in electrical renovations. The Federal Energy Management Program also has a range of additional information on energy efficiency in data centers.
Integrating renewable energy technologies into historic buildings can be tricky due to the constraints of historic preservation and the condition of the building. However, integrating renewable energy can be done and there are several options. Learn more.
Hospitals can take advantage of various renewable energy technologies when undergoing a renovation, including solar water heating, geothermal heat pumps, biomass heating, and photovoltaics. Learn more.
On average, U.S. laboratories use far more energy and water per square foot than office buildings and other facilities. Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs 21) is a voluntary partnership program dedicated to improving the environmental performance of U.S. laboratories. In addition to a wide range of information on energy efficiency and water conservation, Labs21 has also developed a best practice guide for onsite distributed generation systems for laboratories.
Renewable energy can be more cost-effective when a facility is in a remote location, far away from utility transmission lines or fuel sources. Learn more.
The Federal government may need to renovate residential buildings, such as Army barracks and prisons. Renewable energy technologies can be incorporated into these types of renovations. Learn more.
Warehouses and Service Buildings
Many Federal facilities include warehouses or service buildings used for storage that when renovated can incorporate renewable energy. Learn more.