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Building/Project Details

Building/Project NameAlpine Branch Library Construction / refurbishment date31/07/2014 Building/Project Size1,178.1 sqm
Building/Project Typeacademic Address 1830 Alpine Boulevard Alpine California 91901 United States Region americas

Performance Details

Net Zero Operational Carbon

Buildings or developments that are verified and certified as “net zero operational energy and/or carbon.” The building should demonstrate the highest levels of energy efficiency with the use of either renewables generated onsite or renewable energy procured offsite.

Achieved Certification Scheme: ILFI Zero Energy
Energy Use Intensity (EUI) (kWh/m2/yr): 89 Onsite Renewable Production Intensity (RPI) (kWh/m2/yr): 94.9 Verification Year: 2018

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Design Process:

The design features in the Alpine Library that help reduce energy use are as follows:

  • Building Orientation – the long side of the building faces south, taking advantage of north exposure for daylight in occupied areas without heat gain, and an excellent orientation for the solar array.
  • Windows – daylight is admitted to the building through large windows in the reading room, reducing the need for artificial lighting, which is typically about 30% of a building’s energy use. The glass is thermally resistant which means that it doesn’t transfer heat into or out of the building as readily as regular windows.
  • Building Insulation – the walls and roof are insulated to an extent that is optimal for this location and occupancy, reducing the loss of heating and cooling energy.
  • Lighting – lighting fixtures are LEDs, which are much more energy efficient than fluorescent lights, and are controlled by sensors which detect when the space is not occupied or when there is enough daylight to avoid artificial lighting, and will turn lights off or dim them.
  • Plug Receptacles – receptacles throughout the library are equipped with occupancy sensors which shut off power to the outlets when not in use.
  • Water Heating – solar thermal panels on the roof provide hot water for hand washing and a kitchen sink.
  • Heating and Cooling – the building employs a Variable Refrigerant Flow system, which is a very energy-efficient space conditioning system that brings cooling or heating fluid to precise locations only when it is needed, saving on energy used by pumps and fans that would otherwise run more often, and capturing waste heat when it is usable in the building.
  • Electronic Controls – controls adjust building conditioning (heating/cooling) according to actual building usage and can be adjusted for energy reduction during peak demand times.
  • Solar Power – The photovoltaic solar panels on the roof have a rated power generating capacity of 72 kW, and are predicted to produce about 108,500 kWh per year. At certain times of the year, the panels will provide more electricity than the building uses, so electricity will go back into the grid and SDGE will credit the County for this extra electricity.

Energy Systems Narrative:

Prior to opening to the public, Library staff were trained on the various building systems. Staff was shown how to adjust thermostats, lighting, operable partitions and various media items. County maintenance personnel participated in similar training sessions, with a focus on filter change requirements, locations or equipment, and shut-off valves.

Find out more about this case study from ILFI here.

Submitter's Details

OrganisationInternational Living Future Institution

“The building faces south, taking advantage of north exposure for daylight in occupied areas without heat gain, and an excellent orientation for the solar array.”