Design and Evaluation of Energy-Efficient Modular Classroom Structures, Phase II

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    We are developing innovations to enable modular builders to improve the energy performance of their classrooms with a minimum increase in first cost. The Modern Building Systems' (MBS) classroom building conforms to the stringent Oregon and Washington energy codes, and at $18/S.F. it is at the low end of the cost range for modular classrooms. We are investigating daylighting, cross-ventilation,solar preheat of ventilation air, electric lighting controls, and down-sizing HVAC systems. The work described in this paper is from the second phase of the project. In the first phase we redesigned the basic modular classroom to include energy efficiency features tailored to five distinct climates. Energy savings ranged from 6% to 49% with an average of 23%. Paybacks ranged from 1.3 yrs to 23.8yrs. an average of 12.1. The initial work in Phase II (which added two more climates) has been to refine the designs for each of the seven climates and reduce payback periods. In Phase II the number of baseline buildings was expanded by simulating buildings that would be typical of those produced by MBS for each of the seven locations/climates. A number of parametric simulations were performedfor each energy strategy. Additionally we refined our previous algorithm for a solar ventilation air wall preheater and developed an algorithm for a roof preheater configuration. These algorithms were coded as functions in DOE 2.1E. We were aiming for occupant comfort as well as energy savings. We performed computer analyses to verify adequate illumination on vertical surfaces and acceptableglare levels when using daylighting. We also used computational fluid dynamics software to deterimine air distribution from cross-ventilation and used the resulting interior wind speeds to calculate occupant comfort and allowable outside air temperatures for cross-ventilation. To choose the final mix of energy strategies, we developed a method to compare incremental costs versus energy savingsfor all strategies at once. The results of parametric energy simulations were graphed against detailed cost information. This allowed us not only to easily see which broad strategies were most cost effective but also to choose the best configurations of the strategy. Final results were obtained by simulating the strategies chosen from the cost/energy graphs. In some cases adjustments were madein the chosen strategies since the final performance is not readily predictable from parametrics of many systems.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages6
    StatePublished - 1997
    Event22nd National Passive Solar Conference - Washington, D.C.
    Duration: 25 Apr 199730 Apr 1997


    Conference22nd National Passive Solar Conference
    CityWashington, D.C.

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-23305


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