Since buildings consume nearly a third of the energy used in the United States, optimizing energy performance in buildings can reduce energy demand and produce great benefits to the environment.
The Hewlett Foundation's building was designed to save energy and increase the comfort of occupants through individually controlled systems such as operable windows, localized manual floor diffusers, and natural light control throughout the workspace.
The building's heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system delivers fresh conditioned air via a highly efficient raised floor system. This process displaces used air in a room, pushing it up and out of the building via return air and exhaust devices placed in the ceilings.
An ice storage system creates ice during off-peak hours at night and uses it to cool the building during the day, thus minimizing the need for energy during peak demand periods. None of the systems use ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons. Ample daylight reduces the use of energy for lighting and contributes to an open interior atmosphere. Spectrally selective window glazing, motion sensors to shut down unnecessary lights when rooms are unoccupied, and photovoltaic panels on the roof all help the building exceed the already stringent California Title 24 energy efficiency standards by a projected 35 percent.
Comprehensive building commissioning includes design review, installation testing, and continuous measurement and verification of the overall system and individual devices. All of the building systems were meticulously tested upon installation and will be routinely monitored to ensure high performance over time. A red and green light system alerts staff when air conditioning or heating systems are active: red indicating that closed windows will provide the greatest comfort and energy efficiency.