Because of its relatively large impact on the environment, energy performance received the most points available of any LEED credit. Many strategies were used to limit energy use in Euler. Several of them relate to lighting including:
- Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CLFs)
- Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs)
- Vacancy sensors in all classrooms and offices
- Operable window shades encouraging the use of natural light
- Scheduled lighting in hallways and common spaces
- Daylight sensors that automatically dims lights in some areas like the atrium
The heating and cooling system utilizes variable frequency drives that, when possible, dynamically slow down pumps and motors. As well, an energy recovery system reclaims heat from the high volume of exhaust air required for lab spaces.
Incorporating renewable energy sources reduces a facility’s reliance on fossil fuel and other non-sustainable energy sources. Cooling in Euler is provided primarily by an efficient open-loop geothermal system that pumps up to 600 gallons of well water per minute through heat exchangers in the building.
A 10kw photovoltaic solar panel array on the Nussbaum roof and two 50kw Endurance wind turbines nearby provide supplemental electricity. These were projected to provide a combined 20% of the buildings electricity.
After construction, the building went through an enhanced commissioning process, which is an investigation comparing actual building performance with design specifications and goals. This especially focuses on the building automation system, which controls the heating and cooling system. It helps with energy and water measurement to allow verification of system performance.
Refrigerants are substances required for the operation of cooling systems, and contribute to stratospheric ozone depletion and climate change when released into the atmosphere. In this project, refrigerants and HVAC equipment were selected to achieve high efficiency while minimizing contributions to ozone depletion and global warming including not using any CFC-based refrigerants.