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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

National Renewable Energy Laboratory Building to Consume "Zero Electrons"

This is the National Renewable Energy Laboratory Building, in a rendering. Doesn't it look like they are all running outside? From what, one wonders ...

According to Wall Street Journal, this unit of the U.S. Department of Energy, is midway through construction of the $64 million project.

The architects and engineers have spent thousands of hours calculating the energy use of every aspect of the building, from the elevator to the exit signs.

They have tweaked the design again and again with the aim of getting the 218,000 square foot building to perform a “net zero.” This means the building will consume so little energy that it won’t need to draw a single electron from the grid.

Did we see anything about cost per square foot?

Based on the building stats, the bill reads, simply, like this:

$64,000,000 / 218,000 sf. = $294 /sf.

For a four story building? Around the "water cooler" at Construction Advisory Group, heads are shaking. These numbers border on insane!

The more critical number would be 20% unemployment in the construction industry. It is difficult, at best, to reconcile construction costs rising like there are no limits.

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