PPI SUPPORTS DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY (DOE) RACE TO ZEROReturn to Race to Zero
According to the US Department of Energy (DOE), US buildings represent 39.8% of total energy use (residential and commercial buildings combined). The Race to Zero Student Design Competition inspires collegiate students to become the next generation of building science professionals by participating in a design challenge for zero energy ready homes. Focused on one of four categories of housing, student teams from around the world prepare complete architectural, mechanical and electrical designs, and perform detailed energy and financial analyses to evaluate their design choices. The goal is a HERS score less than 0 through the use efficient design and construction technologies, combined with intelligent use of renewable technologies.
The 2017 Race to Zero competition took place at DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado. PPI was one of ten industry sponsors, and BCD Director of Engineering Lance MacNevin attended the event as a juror, in the Suburban Single Family housing category.
The April 22-23, 2017 event had 39 teams and over 200 attendees from USA, Canada, Brazil and India. Students presented their design proposals to teams of jurors selected from the construction industry. The weekend also included poster presentations and a Career Connections event.
In March, teams submitted design documents for the jurors to review and assign preliminary scores. These same teams presented their designs to the jurors at the actual event. Presentations included information about structures, materials, site selection, mechanical systems, renewable technologies, energy modelling, and financial calculations. Several of the projects included plastic piping technologies such as PEX or CPVC for plumbing, PEX or PE-RT for radiant heating and cooling, and HDPE geothermal ground loop piping to heat and cool the buildings.
Based on an objective scoring scheme, through which jurors rated each of the design entries in ten categories, results were tabulated by NREL staff and the 1st and 2nd place winners were determined for each of the four categories. Winners were announced at the Awards Banquet on Sunday evening, including a Grand Winner - a joint team from Ryerson University and University of Toronto. Pictures of the 2017 competition focus on the student teams and their designs.
NREL's new Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) is conditioned with a PEX-based radiant heating and cooling system, which helped it achieve LEED® Platinum certification through USGBC. PP-R piping systems are used to circulate water through the HP Peregrine supercomputer to help cool it, and then to transfer this waste heat into the radiant floor heating distribution system. BCD products at work!
Note: Photo credits to "Ellen Jaskol/NREL, DOE Race to Zero".