New Foundation Headquarters in Houston Utilizes Renewable Geothermal and Solar Energy
The Northeast Community Resource Center is a new health and human services facility serving Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. CMTA provided the necessary Energy Modeling and Analysis through a combination of software and DOE database reference to develop real world data for this project. The energy modeling and analysis alone led to over $92,000 in yearly utility incentives. As part of this, CMTA lead the sustainability charrettes at each stage. Although not a LEED project, this facility will be designed to LEED checklist goals with an aggressive targeted EUI. The project team studied all features of the building envelope, including walls, windows and roof systems, as well as the building’s orientation. Glazing selections were optimized to balance energy consumption with daylighting of the learning environments. All systems have been designed to drastically exceed code minimum requirements and optimized to perform Zero Energy.
CMTA and the project team studied all features of the building envelope, including walls, windows and roof systems. Modeling was used to demonstrate the benefits of a “tight building” to the owner and design team. Given the available land plot, the orientation was predetermined. This orientation was less than ideal, being a long east/west arrangement, requiring heavy focus on active and passive shading devices, as well as interior program organization to minimize glare. Glazing selections were optimized to balance energy consumption with learning environment daylighting.
Three dedicated outside air units with a total integral energy recovery wheel for heat recovery were included in the design to deliver filtered, pre-conditioned air throughout the building and will operate decoupled from the geothermal systems. Outside air is delivered directly from the dedicated outside air unit to individual spaces to maximize effectiveness. Demand control ventilation strategies and dehumidification mode operations will be implemented to regulate air delivery throughout the building, based on carbon dioxide and humidity levels.
The heating system consists of all-electric, ground-source geothermal heat pump units to both heat and cool spaces throughout the building. These high-efficiency units contain ECM fan motors and two-stage compressors. The geothermal wellfield will consist of a series of manifolded vertical bores piped directly to the building circulating loop. A detailed life cycle analysis was performed to compare three system options for the project, including first costs, energy costs and maintenance costs.