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Wisconsin University Energy Lab Uses 48% Less Energy Than Code Minimum

March 20, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will dedicate its new Wisconsin Energy Institute (WEI) building April 5.

The 100,000-sq-ft., five-story building is on track to receive LEED Gold certification and is designed to incorporate the energy efficiency that will be studied there, including:

  • The building is projected to use 48.8 percent less energy than code minimum
  • More than 35 percent of the building’s electricity will be provided from green power
  • The project uses chilled beam technology for cooling, which doesn’t require air movement and increases energy efficiency
  • Building design and orientation was optimized for daylight, reducing electricity demand
  • A photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof is planned to offset electrical consumption.

The Institute will house research in advanced fuels, renewable energy and energy storage systems. The WEI building will bring engineers and biological and physical scientists together to create integrated clean energy systems that both increase energy efficiency and diversify the energy sector. The laboratories, imaging and computational spaces inside of the WEI will allow agronomists, biologists, chemists, computer scientists, ecologists, engineers and mathematicians to collaboratively develop future energy systems.

The flexible design includes “plug and play” wet and dry laboratories that adapt to changes in research teams or disciplines giving scientists the capability to adjust labs for their work and the university’s first high-bay laboratories for the creation of large-scale integrated energy systems.

A similar “plug and play” concept is also being used at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s new FlexLab facility.



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