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Green Design

New Proving Grounds for Energy Efficiency

New developments in the energy efficiency arena are happening all the time. From new products meant to increase efficiency and lower life-cycle costs to new design paradigms that weave new technologies and procedures with traditional building methods, green design has become commonplace in the market. However, the best-laid plans do not always delivery the best results. As reported by Smart Planet, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory recently unveiled the Facility for Low Energy Experiments (FLEXlab), a new testing facility for users to “mock up a building to test how the materials, components and designs they want to use might impact a project’s overall energy footprint and also comfort for occupants.”

A rotating disc in one of the labs allows users to test components and designs at different angles, allowing for more accurate results depending on the time of the day and the season (see the video below).

The individual labs within the facility are made of multiple cells, allowing components to be compared across different criteria. The lab’s first customer, Webcor, is using the rotating lab to measure components for a new office building it’s building for a client. The lab allows users to test all operational components, allowing for real-world testing of major systems to measure efficiency and to determine how one component may affect the operations of other components.

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