Energy efficiency for the buildings is vital for the environment and sustainability. Buildings are responsible for significant energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. Using a LEED-gold-certified green office building we built a unique experimental testbed for a multi-disciplinary research project on energy efficiency. We collected the building energy data for almost a year's period through a networked metering infrastructure. In this paper, we systematically evaluate and analyze this data. The findings show that due to the centrally controlled Heating, Ventilation, Air-conditioning, and Cooling (HAVC) systems, the total energy consumption in large office buildings of this type is not proportional to the actual usage and occupancy. Even correlation to outside weather is low. Through the lessons learned from energy saving efforts in computer industry, we envision an Energy-Proportional Building design in future. The energy consumption of such buildings would be proportional to the actual usage and occupancy. We also discuss the key ideas we learned from computer industry for such buildings.
Complete paper in Adobe Acrobat format.
Conference presentation slides.