Des Moines Gets First Net-Zero Commercial Building

April 21, 2015 By Karen Henry

MODUS Market 1 Energy ManageMODUS, an engineering design firm based in Des Moines, Iowa, has transformed a century-year-old warehouse into the city’s first net-zero office building, Engineering.com reports.

The $17 million renovation project includes $2 million in energy efficiency upgrades. The facility, located in the city’s historic Market District, is powered by a 189 kW solar car canopy array and a 31 kW rooftop array. On a typical sunny day, the solar arrays provide 1 MWh of electricity — twice as much as the facility needs. During the summer months, MODUS will sell excess power to the grid.

Windows provide an abundance of natural daylighting, which is supplemented with variable-intensity LED lights. The color spectrum of the lights change throughout the day, mimicking natural circadian light patterns.

Eighteen vertical loop geothermal wells were drilled for the facility’s geothermal heating and cooling system. The ground sourced heat pump feeds a variant refrigerant flow (VRF) HVAC system.

The energy efficiency upgrades have an expected payback period of under a decade.

Now known as Market One, the building serves as MODUS’ corporate headquarters and as an example of the company’s ability to incorporate energy efficient technology and design. MODUS is applying for LEED Platinum certification.

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