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The construction of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's (NREL) new 220,000-ft2(20,438-m2) Research Support Facility (RSF) was completed in June 2010. The project's Request for Proposals (RFP) set a whole-building demand-side energy use requirement of a nominal 25 kBtu/ft2•yr (78.8 kWh/m2•yr). The RSF baseline plug and process loads (PPLs) were 35.1 kBtu/ft2•yr (110.6 kWh/m2•yr). To meet the building energy goal, PPLs had to be reduced by approximately 50%. This paper documents the methodology NREL researchers developed to identify and reduce PPLs as part of the RSF's low energy design process. They examined PPLs, including elevators, kitchen equipment in breakrooms, and office equipment in NREL's previously occupied office spaces to determine a baseline. This, along with research into the most energy-efficient products and practices, enabled these researchers to formulate a reduction strategy that should yield a 47% reduction in PPLs. The building owner and the design team played equally important roles in developing and implementing opportunities to reduce PPLs. Based on the work done in the RSF, a generalized multistep process has been developed for application to other buildings.

Citation: ASHRAE Conference Papers, Las Vegas, NV