Energy Analysis: ARCHT 540/640



In May of 2010 CCA president, Stephen Beal, signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). This agreement puts the college on a path to climate neutrality: an impressive objective that will require strategic planning and aggressive action. This seminar will undertake some of the first steps toward this ambitious goal.

This course represents collaboration between school administrators, faculty and students. Working as a team, participants in this course will investigate the twenty-five active facilities from the two CCA campuses. Specific activities will include analysis of utility billing data, benchmarking all buildings using the EPA’s Portfolio Manager software, conducting energy audits of facilities, exploring energy conservation measures and the feasibility of renewable energy systems, identifying facility re-design opportunities, developing project proposals, producing a financial assessment of each proposal, and creating a climate action plan and timetable.

In addition to these structured activities and goals, participants will be able to define and pursue their own targeted investigations. These studies may involve the collection of building performance data including temperature, humidity, light and electrical power information. These may also involve building simulation, re-design proposals or an investigation into the viability of other sustainability initiatives. Water-use, waste-stream and transportation may be some of the areas of investigation that compliment the energy and emissions focus. Students will have full access to CCA facilities as part of this seminar.

In addition to pursuing the ACUPCC’s environmental objectives, this course will give participating students a number of valuable and marketable skills. While most of the concepts covered can be applied to both proposed and realized facilities, this seminar will focus on existing buildings. If we are to meet established climate goals like those defined in Architecture 2020 and AB32, we need to transform our existing building stock. Consider that existing facilities in this country represent 40% of U.S. and 10% of global energy use. Reducing the energy requirements of these facilities and introducing renewable energy sources to power them are necessary if we are to make a serious attempt at meeting any reduced emissions target.

Another aspect of this effort is that the work involved in improving our existing facilities provides architects with professional opportunities that do not fluctuate with the economy or construction industry. These jobs are also uniquely American since we cannot outsource facility evaluations that require the inspection and monitoring of occupied buildings or operating equipment. With CCA-Oakland’s Macky Hall on the National Register of Historic Places, participants will have a unique opportunity to examine how the historic code interacts with energy performance goals. Participants will also have a greater understanding of the workings and operation of buildings through the exposure they will receive in this course; this understanding should translate into more informed, accurate and integrated design work in future architecture studios or professional practice.