Conference Agenda

E: Paper Session_T6: Energy, Evaluation and Material Production
Friday, 09/Apr/2021:
9:45am - 11:15am

Panel Moderator: Ming Hu


Impacts of Buildings’ Energy Data Adjustment on CBECS-Benchmarking Evaluations

Mahsa Farid Mohajer, Ajla Aksamija

UMASS Amherst, United States of America

To evaluate buildings’ energy performance, one predominant approach is by benchmarking their annual energy usage against the representative baseline peers. In this study, six buildings from various categories, all located at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, were used as case study buildings. The principal building activities included education, food service, health services (outpatient), lodging, office, and public assembly. To benchmark energy data of the case study buildings against CBECS baselines, first, monthly energy data (i.e., steam and electricity) of the case study buildings from 2016 to 2018 was collected. The raw energy data was then adjusted, using weather-normalization and/or three-year average, depending on the applicability of each method. The adjusted energy data was used to calculate case study buildings’ energy usage intensities (EUIs), which resulted in three potential EUIs for each case study building (i.e., weather-normalized, average, and/or adjusted EUIs). The case study buildings’ EUIs were then used for CBCES benchmarking evaluation. It was found that the raw energy data adjustment methods had a significant impact on benchmarking results. For instance, for the health services case study building, deviation of the weather-normalized EUI from the base EUI was -18%, while the average-EUI deviation was 11%, indicating a significant energy performance difference. Additionally, for the lodging and public assembly building typologies, the adjusted-EUI deviations were, respectively, 13% and -5%. Whereas, the average-EUI deviations were 54% and 8%. Moreover, separate energy intensity benchmarkings (i.e., electricity vs. gas intensities) determined that for the case study buildings with positive EUI-deviation, a specific type of energy (electricity vs. gas) results in a more significant increase in EUI. This is specifically helpful in prioritizing potential future retrofitting considerations, with the objective to identify the most strategic and effective energy-efficiency measures.

Push And Pull Of Policy: Qualified Allocation Plans And The Design Of Subsidized Dwellings

Christina Bollo

Univ. of Illinois, United States of America

This archival research project inventories the organizational performance of state-level housing agencies in dictating the dwelling-design decisions of affordable housing architects. The design regulations for Low Income Housing Tax Credit financed apartments are not uniform across the country; each state agency allocates the credits to projects through policies set in Qualified Allocation Plans (QAPs), which are crafted through local stakeholder and political input. This is the first quantitative research project investigating the design direction from QAPs for tax credit financed housing in the US. The data for this study are the 50 QAPs and 20 Design and Construction Standards published most recently. The method is a conceptual content analysis of the design directives, and an inventory of the guidance found in the policy instruments. Results show that more than half of the states provide direction at the scale of the dwelling including guidance on minimum, maximum, and target dwellings sizes and bathroom ratios. Slightly less than half the states include guidance at the room scale and unit layout, including minimum dimensions for bedrooms and living rooms; proportional direction on kitchen and dining room arrangements; and both quantitative and qualitative direction on furnishings. This inventory provides a foundation for future qualitative studies in this research area.

Kawneer's "Machines for Selling" Modernism in the Postwar United States

Tait Johnson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, United States of America

A “Machine for Selling” prototype was developed by Kawneer, a manufacturer of architectural storefronts, shortly after World War II. Not a machine in the traditional sense, this was instead a comprehensive store system designed to spur interest in renovation by merchants and appeal to shoppers in the postwar period. Significantly, Kawneer envisioned mass-renovation of storefronts using the prototype by designing entire blocks at a time. The downtown of Niles, Michigan, as Kawneer's hometown, in effect served as a test site.

Storefronts were covered in aluminum cladding and remodeled with storefront systems over many decades, showcasing the company's evolving product lines as they were deployed on independent, merchant-owned stores. By the late twentieth century, this resulted in a unified, brown, corrugated aesthetic stretching across blocks of the downtown district. This paper examines the history of Kawneer and shows how its use of a commercial district as a marketing landscape was a function of translating the company’s ideas into modernity and prosperity - two terms resonant with postwar capitalism and a rapidly expanding economy.

Kawneer organized a formal design department immediately after World War II as part of its overall corporate structure. The company, founded by architect Francis Plym in 1906 to initially manufacture storefront window systems, expanded to embrace aluminum and glass as principal design elements. Working closely with architects like Ketchum, Gina & Sharp, and advised by Mies Van Der Rohe and William Lescaze, Kawneer's ambitions broadened from storefronts to the renovation of entire districts. Niles' downtown served as a feedback loop for the company's ideas, wherein not only did the company try new products, but it also deployed marketing concepts locally before expanding nationally.

Niles became a marketing landscape for Kawneer in which terms such as "modern" and "prosperity" were used, which were also found in marketing messages by other manufacturers eager to focus a buyer's attention on a potential bright, shining future after the ravages of World War II. Drawing from the archives of Kawneer in comparison with other aluminum manufacturers such as Reynolds, this paper suggests the need for increased scrutiny on the impact of manufacturers like Kawneer on the development of modern architecture. Twentieth-century manufacturers deeply affected the built environment, not only by associating themselves with famous architects who could amplify their impact, but also through attempts to organize the commercial landscape itself as a marketing landscape.