High performance buildings are designed and built for flexibility and efficiency. The built environment is no longer viewed as a non-performing asset, but rather a tool to leverage people and process to achieve the desired business results. Optimizing the performance of people and process requires building standards and design that consider the occupants, their culture and the need for adaptive and flexible space that supports the changing demographics and work styles of today, with a considerable bias in improving building efficiency and cost. In the past, the flexible and modular architectural elements combined with raised flooring, incorporating under floor air distribution (UFAD), defined a high performance building. The reality was these design principles often applied to new construction, where the building design was initiated on a blank sheet of paper. Additionally, flexible and energy efficient building design began with a paradigm of AC power distribution without consideration of more energy efficient DC power. Further, these high performance buildings have too often been devoid of the use of Photovoltaic (PV) or other alternative energy resources to contribute to the power requirements of the overall building or even the lighting systems within.
Today, with the efforts of EMerge Alliance® and many lighting industry leaders, along with Nextek Power Systems, high performance buildings can be taken to a new level of flexibility and energy efficiency. With the integration of a flexible DC Microgrid strategy that is capable of future-proofing your facilities, with options for Direct Coupling® of PV arrays or other alternative energy options. With simple gateways for alternative energy—minimizing the energy lost through unneeded and inefficient inversions—a high performance building can be designed with a more flexible and energy efficient lighting system that also better adapts to changing technology in lighting.
Finally, high performance buildings must support or allow the user to make quick changes to lighting fixtures. With safe Class 2 DC power, fixtures are not only more efficient, but are easily changed within a drop ceiling or open architecture. With savings of up to 30% from new efficient DC lighting system strategies, and the flexibility to support the changing demographics of today’s workforce, high performance buildings can deliver like never before.