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The mission of the Zero+ Campus Design Project is to develop campus solutions that can eliminate or have a net-positive effect on emissions, pollutants, and energy and water resource use in order to reduce long-term costs and also to align campus operations with the content of related teaching and research. The project includes the development of the zero+ curriculum, an online "expert" resource, and design tools referred to as the "Z+ Toolkit" to foster net-zero energy, balanced building and site water flows and zero-emission campus design, planning and performance. This presentation reviews and demonstrates the approach, architecture and application of the Z+ Toolkit, in terms of what is completed and what is future development
The goal of developing the “Zero+ Toolkit” is to provide a means to easily conduct performance analysis for energy and water in the early phase of design, to determine the performance potential of strategic sets or “bundles” of strategies, and to quickly measure the related performance metrics. The desired outcome of the toolkit is to empower the designer (student, CPPM staff, and design teams) by providing user-friendly tools in the earliest stages of design. The Zero+ Toolkit includes three tool resources that are under development.
1. The Z+ Shoebox Model Maker is a Google SketchUp™ plug-in intended for early stages of project planning and design when basic building parameters and characteristics are known, yet design has not yet begun. The plugin is intended to be used in conjunction with IES <virtual> (IES VE) software including the IES Plug-in for Sketchup. Later versions may be developed to work with the Department of Energy's EnergyPlus. The Zero+ Shoebox Model Maker allows the user to quickly create a"shoebox" model of the proposed building and to quickly model and evaluate a variety of strategies, glazing area ratios, and building configurations.
2. The "Zero+ Calculator” is an Excel spreadsheet calculator developed for use by students, staff researchers, facilities managers and designers. The Z+ Calculator can be used to assess early design planning for new and existing building alterations on the University of Minnesota Campus. The tool can easily be adapted to any campus or group of buildings where current energy and water usage data are available. It is intended for early stages of project planning and design; however, it is also useful for a variety of cost-benefit and feasibility evaluations relating to future or hypothetical upgrades. The tool is designed so that is can be used as a stand alone tool or in concert with the Zero+ Shoebox Model Maker and IES VE software.
3. The "Zero+ Campus Modeler Prototype” demonstrates an innovative concept for an integrated SketchUp/Excel/IES VE analysis tool that can model and compare the performance of a simple “baseline model” to “bundles of strategies” for multiple design proposals for a single building, multiple buildings or on a campus-wide scale.
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