Developing a Net-Zero Framework for the WPI Campus

Authors: Joseph Howell; Aidan Mayer; Erika Wentz

Advisors: Soroush Farzin; Leonard Albano

Category: Undergraduate

Climate change is causing many people globally to consider their energy consumption and how it could be decreased. To achieve this goal, many buildings are being designed as net-zero energy by implementing various energy saving strategies. This project investigates this goal on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) campus. Campus-wide energy consumption was analyzed for developing baseline energy models. Seven buildings surrounding WPI’s Quadrangle (Quad) were selected and modeled to match the actual measured energy data and produce realistic energy analysis results. By creating and utilizing a matrix of different net-zero energy strategies, four scenarios were analyzed for implementation with the WPI Campus. Analysis was conducted by implementing four compositions of net-zero energy strategies, listed as energy saving scenarios. Each scenario compiled strategies within a category (i.e. Wall and Roof Improvements, Windows and Shading, etc.). Across the Quad, energy savings were calculated for each scenario culminating in a 65% decrease in total energy consumption. With photo-voltaic panels placed on available roof surfaces around the quad, the total energy decrease rises to 75%. From this analysis, recommendations were given for which strategies to implement at WPI, the installation of a modular solar canopy, and further energy monitoring within all buildings on the WPI campus.

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