COTE®: Replicable, Net Zero Energy Commercial Building Renovation in the Southeastern U.S

With Stanton Stafford, PE, LEED Fellow

Friday, March 10, 2023

In 2018, ASHRAE, the organization best known for developing building design, operations, and efficiency standards, initiated the process of relocating its global headquarters within Metro Atlanta. Part of ASHRAE’s goal with their new headquarters – a 66,000 square foot, three-level building they purchased in Peachtree Corners, GA – was to showcase how to transform inefficient circa-1970s office buildings into dynamic, high-performance workplaces. With a budget of $12M and an 18-month design and construction schedule, ASHRAE began its process framed by an Owner’s Project Requirement (OPR) document that included five mandatory criteria for the project:

  • Safety during construction and building operation.
  • Develop a replicable model for zero energy building renovation that exhibits the best possible sustainable features affordable and appropriate to the budget and program.
  • Exceed the requirements of ASHRAE Standards 90.1-2016, 62.1-2016, and 55-2017.
  • Compliance with “Sounds Matter”, produced by GSA Public Building Service, December 2011.
  • Net Zero Energy, Building EQ rating 100.

This presentation will show how the integrated Owner-Architect-Engineer-Contractor team worked through an iterative process that, ultimately, delivered the project on time, on budget, and on point relative to ASHRAE’s mandatory criteria…while in the middle of a pandemic. The audience will learn how blower door testing and thermographic scanning identified envelope performance issues and how sensitivity and daylighting analysis and parametric modeling paved the way for 55% spatial daylight autonomy and low Energy Use Intensity.

This presentation will discuss the programmatic analysis and stacking decisions responsible for a 10% reduction in the forecasted energy consumption of the building. The audience will learn about the MEP system selection process that anchored an interior transformation that leveraged a mechanical system strategy atypical to hot, humid climates to provide improved thermal comfort, larger volumes, and air turbulence / improved IAQ will close the presentation. Finally, the presentation will close with an overview of the renewable energy system and building upgrades being conceptualized by ASHRAE.

Learning objectives:

Attendees will learn:

  • What constitutes zero energy and zero carbon buildings
  • The importance of a “passive system-first” design process when designing for thermal, visual, acoustic, and energy performance
  • How modeling can help optimize envelope and daylighting strategy
  • About radiant cooling/heating systems in existing buildings
  • How an integrated AEC team should operate to deliver a project

Date and time

Friday, March 10, 2023
12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
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AIA Atlanta

About Stanton Stafford, PE, LEED Fellow

Stanton Stafford is a Mechanical Engineer and Principal for Buro Happold Atlanta, a studio he helped launch in July 2022. Buro Happold focuses on occupant-centric and low-carbon design through the firm’s MEP, Structural, Sustainability, Planning, Facades, Low-voltage and Specialty Analytics service offerings. An Atlanta native, Stanton received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia. He has spent his 20+ year career between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta working in the higher education, government, commercial, aviation, healthcare and science & technology sectors.

In 2021, Stanton became a LEED Fellow – one of ~300 globally – having served as Mechanical Engineer of Record for over 2 million square feet of LEED Platinum Certified, WELL Certified and Zero Net Energy projects in Metro Atlanta. Nationally, Stanton is the Immediate Past Chair of ASHRAE’s Technical Committee 2.8 (TC 2.8) – Building Environmental Impacts and Sustainability which authors ASHRAE’s Green Guide and is a cognizant TC for Standards 90.1 and 189.1. He also served as a Charter Member of ASHRAE SPC 228P which is developing a Standard Method for Evaluating Zero Energy and Zero Carbon Building Performance. Locally, Stanton is a Founding Board Member, Past Chair and current Advisory Board Member of the Lifecycle Building Center of Greater Atlanta, a not-for-profit delivering triple bottom-line value through building material salvage and reuse. Stanton was also a Charter Member of the University of Georgia’s Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board and is a member of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s and Georgia Trend Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Classes of 2016 and 2017, respectively.

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