The Department of Energy has just completed the nation’s largest Net-Zero Energy Building. The 220,000 SF Research Support Facility (RSF) at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado will hold 800 employees when it officially opens in August along with its Net-Zero and LEED Platinum status.
Achieving the essence of a Net-Zero building the RSF will produce as much energy as is consumed by the building. This was done through an integrated design approach led by passive design strategies which targeted a 25,000 BTUs/SF/year energy budget, about 50% less than a typical office. Natural day lighting and ventilation along with a 3-layer pre-cast exterior wall system serving as a thermal mass lead the conservation strategies. Other methods include radiant floor heating/cooling, electrochromic windows on the West façade which change tint in direct sunlight