Minimizing the environmental impact of our practice is a priority at Payette. At a minimum, our projects are designed to an equivalent of LEED Silver certification, and we have a building science department that assists in maximizing the energy efficiency of all our projects from the onset of design.
As part of our commitment to the environment, Payette signed the AIA 2030 Commitment in January, 2011, with the goal of designing carbon-neutral buildings by the year 2030. To reach that goal, the AIA has outlined interim reduction targets in the Energy Use Intensity (EUI), and the current target is to reduce the predicted EUI (PEUI) of our projects to 60% below the national average for their building type.
For the second year, we have tracked and reported our annual progress to the AIA towards reaching carbon neutrality. In 2012, we again fell a little short of the target with a firm PEUI reduction of 46%, however we did exceed the 37% average reduction of all the firms reporting for the AIA Commitment this year. While only 23% of our projects by floor area achieved the 60% target reduction this year, we are quite proud that one of our projects in particular has an anticipated 72% PEUI reduction!
While last year we had an average reduction of 51% in our predicted energy-use intensity, there are a number of factors that lead to a decrease in our second year of reporting. For instance, because the energy reduction is normalized by building square footage, our larger projects have a higher impact on the firm average. This year we had a few large projects that, though they achieved a significant reduction in the PEUI when compared with the national average, fell short of the 60% target and had a large impact on the firm average. Large projects also contributed to the smaller reduction this year in average lighting power density (LPD) savings, which had the target of a 25% reduction from ASHRAE 90.1-2007. In the coming year, we hope that our continual focus on these targets in all of our projects, regardless of size, will lead to larger anticipated reductions.
Additionally, this was the first year that the reporting tool included information on water usage and carbon emissions. 59% of Payette projects include a rainwater or graywater water reuse strategy to minimize the water consumption. The energy reduction in just four of Payette’s projects will contribute to 7,900 metric tons of carbon emissions annually. This is equal to the annual emissions from 1,540 cars being taken off the road.
Payette has set a goal of having an energy model for all of our projects, and we have incorporated an energy model into the design process for 92% of our projects last year, far exceeding the average of all reporting firms of 57%. Half of our projects will collect operational energy, allowing us to compare operational energy usage to these design targets and further improve our projects going forward.
AIA 2030 Commitment
Energy Savings: Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
Payette Entry in Northwestern Design Competition