Brummitt Energy Associates

The new 13,500-square-foot Alpine Library, which opened in May 2016, is the first Zero Net Energy designed building built by a local government entity. Through thoughtful design, the library’s projected energy consumption was cut nearly in half, while construction costs stayed within the project’s 10-million-dollar budget. The Alpine Library was a design-build (D-BE) project in which the architect and general contractor performed as a single entity.

The Brummitt team prepared concept-modeling studies to identify the feasibility of the project to attain Zero Net Energy. The results gave the County the confidence to include ZNE in its Request for Proposal (RFP). It also assisted the D-BE team to understand what its energy targets and strategies would need to be prior to design, as well as provide appropriate roof space for the PV and solar water heating systems. The SDG&E Savings By Design program funded Brummitt’s initial pre-RFP ZNE feasibility modeling study.

In the final ZNE design, the project utilizes a solar panel system spanning its long south roof, angled to take advantage of the sun’s rays. The solar panels are expected to produce about 108,500 kWh per year. The library’s windows also take the sun’s position into consideration, as many of them are located on the north-facing side, which allows more light with less heat gain and glare. Our Measurement and Verification Specialist will oversee the ZNE performance when all the systems are fully commissioned and the energy use data is reporting accurately. After one full year of gathering data, if the building uses less than energy than it produces by the photovoltaic system then the library will certified as a Zero Net Energy Building.

The Alpine Library is also pursuing the Living Building Challenge Net Zero Energy Building Certification by the International Living Future Institute.


Alpine Branch Library

July 15, 2016
    County of San Diego
  • SQ FT:
    Pursuing Platinum

    “There’s a difference between whole-building modeling and merely modeling for code-compliance. The whole building energy modeling that Brummitt produced for the library shows how all the building’s components work together. And that’s how you reach ZNE in the smartest way."

    --- Susan Freed, Project Manager
    Engineering News Record California--Best Green Project 2016