Gaming for Energy Resiliency

Prem Sundharam, DLR Group
Penny Cole, DLR Group

Verified net-zero energy (ZNE) buildings are growing. However, the vast majority of them are buildings smaller than 25,000 square feet. What is the right scale for this trend? We'll elevate the conversation of achieving ZNE and energy cost savings to a campus level. This session will begin by introducing the ZNE universe and related challenging nomenclature. Then the panel will discuss the journey of a unique public high school district catering to collegiate students, focusing on their campuses' energy visions as well as a pioneering carbon neutrality planning effort for a community college district to meet California State Agency greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction goals. The rest of the session will focus on ACTION. To engage the audience and help visualize campus level planning challenges and opportunities, this half of the session will have hands-on exercises through which attendees will apply energy concepts through multiple perspectives of ZNE, campus sustainability, and programmatic goals. A tool kit for practical, economical, resilient and innovative solutions will be explored. Through a set of steps, audience will be asked to think about strategies to bring this campus to ZNE via five lenses: Reduce, Produce, Store, Share & Procure.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the challenges and limitations of achieving net-zero energy at a building scale;
  • Educate stakeholders on how to scale net-zero energy concepts to the campus level by using LEED v4 BD+C Min Energy Performance Preq;
  • Implement the key steps involved in planning for a net-zero campus by meeting LEED v4 BD+C Optimize Energy Performance and Renewable Energy Production requirements; and
  • Apply effective strategies in having energy and water efficiency net zero campus by using LEED v4 BD+C Min Energy Performance Preq and Indoor Water Use Reduction.


A recognized thought leader on sustainability and high-performance building design, Prem leads firm wide performance-based design initiatives to develop long-term strategies for an environmentally responsible design practice. He has served on the board of USGBC Arizona Chapter and was recognized as an emerging leader by the Design Futures Council in 2014. He is a Certified Energy Manager, a certified Building Energy Modeling Professional and led courses on net-zero energy design and simulation.

As a Building Performance Analyst, Penny has over 15 years' experience in the design, construction and analysis of high-performance buildings. Using building performance simulation as a creative design tool, her passion is the design of superior low energy, high performance spaces through thoughtful design and analysis of the indoor environment including thermal and visual comfort that provide thoughtful solutions to drive down energy and water and improve user comfort and enjoyment.


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