Utah Clean Energy Office Remodel

Since 2001, Utah Clean Energy has promoted energy efficiency and clean energy technology with the aim of educating the public and enacting change with policy makers.  In that spirit, they envisioned their new office building as an educational model in which developers and designers could learn methods on how to achieve Net-Zero.  They teamed with Blalock and Partners to design their new facility – an approximate 6,000 SF adaptive re-use of an aged downtown Salt Lake building – as an ILFI Net-Zero Certified building.  The design team utilized 9 primary strategies in pursuit of this standard:

  1. High performance envelope
    • Minimal air infiltration
    • High R-value walls and roof
    • Insulated slab on grade
    • Low U-value double pane windows
  1. Passive solar / natural lighting
    • Careful consideration of window size and placement with shading devices
    • Dynamic sliding screens used for passive shading
  1. Passive ventilation
    • Outdoor environment monitoring interface with mechanical equipment
    • Operable windows positioned to allow air flow through entire facility
    • Window and door position switches tied to mechanical equipment
  1. Responsible material selection
    • High recycled content materials
    • Reclaimed materials
    • Eco-friendly drywall
    • Low VOC products and materials
  1. Low embodied carbon structural system
    • Cross laminated timber (CLT) decking, glulam framing, wood studs
  1. High performance mechanical system
    • Packaged rooftop heat pump with direct evaporative cooling
    • Zero combustion equipment
    • High indoor air quality (MERV 13)
  1. Water and energy efficient fixtures
    • LED lighting
    • Low-flow plumbing fixtures
    • Energy star appliances
    • Heat pump/electric hybrid water heater
    • Water capture directed into drought tolerant landscaping
  1. Photovoltaic array
    • Approximately 50,000 kWh production
    • Smart grid system with battery storage
  1. Rainwater reuse / strategic landscaping
    • Roof drains divert rainwater to plants under building overhang
    • Drought tolerant and pollinator landscaping
    • Irrigation system tied to real time weather data

Outside of the building envelope, other energy efficient and environmentally responsible strategies were employed, including EV charging stations and drought tolerant landscaping.

ILFI certification requires monitoring the building’s performance over the course of a year.  At the end of that year, energy consumption data is compiled and compared to the certification standards for compliance.  Building energy models constructed by the design team indicate that the building will perform beyond the requirements of the standards.  Construction of the building is expected to be completed fall of 2023.