Retrofitting a 1970’s Office Building into a Net-Zero Energy Global Headquarters

Throughout the course of this fast-track project, ASHRAE, the design team, the construction team, and our commissioning agents encountered numerous systems and enclosure challenges with this remodel of an aging office building to meet the requirements of current ASHRAE 90.1 energy goals. During the middle of construction, the project team also had to adjust in real-time in the midst of a global pandemic.

The end goal was to transform ASHRAE’s new headquarters into a living laboratory, demonstrating how aging buildings can be renovated and upgraded cost-effectively into high-performing facilities.

Commissioning Opportunities

01

Renovating an energy-consuming, older building to achieve an aggressive energy target

Solution:

Enclosure air and thermal performance improvements for the façade and roofing were critical to reducing the building energy footprint and all within a very tight construction budget.

02

Radiant heating and cooling design strategy in a Southern climate

Solution:

A familiar approach in northern climates, passive radiant heating and cooling ceiling panels are not common in the Southeast. As such, there was a learning curve for less experienced project team members. Understanding and executing the principles of this design strategy were critical.

Controls infrastructure for the radiant panels, while quite reliable for flow control, also added significant pressure loss to the pumping system, impacting system flow rates at peak loads—this required modifications to the TAB and commissioning approach to meet the design requirements.

03

Donated systems equipment provided ASHRAE with great new products, but in an unconventional way for a typical project

Solution:

While donated equipment is an excellent benefit to ASHRAE in many ways, this approach does present a challenge in that the installing contractors are not entirely responsible for the equipment performance. The project team had to work around this, particularly during start-up, check-out, and performance testing of each system. The entire team, including equipment vendors, worked collaboratively to provide ASHRAE with the best equipment and performance for the project.

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Upcoming Events

Cx Energy 2021 Conference + Expo

Case Study: New, Net-Zero Energy ASHRAE Headquarters
April 6 at 2pm

Darren Draper, PE, CxA, LEED AP, Epsten Group

Ginger Scoggins, PE, CxA, FASHRAE, Engineered Designs, Inc.

The new ASHRAE building, located in Technology Park in Peachtree Corners, is a 1970’s era 66,000 sq. ft. building that is being remodeled into a high-efficient, net-zero energy facility to become ASHRAE’s worldwide headquarters.  During the course of the design of the project, the design and commissioning team encountered many envelope and system challenges involving the remodel of an older building and the effort to renovate it to meet the requirements of current ASHRAE 90.1 energy goals, as well as the challenge of designing to a stringent list of owner project requirements.  This presentation will focus on those challenges and how they were addressed by the design and commissioning team in order to meet the project goals.

Interested in learning more about our Commissioning Services?