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Moore School Selected for DOE Partnership

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COLUMBIA, SC – The Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to partner with its national laboratories in its Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Partnership program. The Moore School applied for this prestigious program to help ensure it attains its ambitious goal of achieving net-zero energy consumption in its new building, now in the design phase and scheduled for occupancy in May 2013.

Through this program, the DOE seeks to significantly improve the energy efficiency of new and existing commercial buildings to reduce national energy demand. Its ultimate goal is to have net-zero energy commercial buildings of all types up and running in the U.S. by 2025. Net-zero energy buildings generate as much energy as they consume through efficiency technologies and on-site power generation.

The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will lend the Moore School its expertise in advanced energy technologies and building systems, improved design tools and operating practices, high-quality indoor environments, and mechanisms for more effective policy, finance, and other innovative market transformation activities to help ensure that the school’s new building is among the most energy efficient buildings in the United States.

The DOE’s Commercial Building Partnership program is operated by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), one of three national labs participating in the initiative this year. According NREL representatives, they selected the Moore School’s new building project because of the school’s interest in and ability to build case studies on energy efficiency and building technology and to document the business case for net-zero energy commercial buildings. "The Moore School will leverage the expertise of faculty and students who will conduct rigorous business case analysis beginning with the design phase of this building, through occupancy and well beyond," said Hildy Teegen, dean of the Darla Moore school of Business. "This building will truly manifest our initiative of Sustainable Enterprise and Development."

The importance of this project cannot be over estimated. The building will not only enhance learning, research, and collaboration with other organizations, achieving Net-Zero will be a remarkable accomplishment, particularly in South Carolina’s hot and humid climate, raising the bar for innovation and energy efficiency in higher education facilities throughout the state and the nation. "It is our intention is to serve as a demonstration of what is possible, a three-dimensional business case for sustainability that invites others to become sustainable enterprises, as well," said Teegen.

The Moore School’s new $90 million facility will be located in the heart of Innovista, the university’s research district in downtown Columbia. At approximately 250,000 square feet, this new building will be the only large scale net-zero energy building in the southeastern United States.

While the State of South Carolina requires all new government-funded commercial construction and renovations to achieve a green building rating of Silver in the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™, the Moore School has committed to achieving a minimum of LEED Platinum, but will pursue a rating of Net-Zero.

The methods and technologies developed during the construction of the Moore School building will guide construction of all new university facilities, ensuring that they go well beyond the State’s requirement of achieving LEED-Silver certification. The University of South Carolina’s Columbia campus currently has one LEED-Silver certified building and one LEED-Gold certified building with others pending certification. The University of South Carolina has been committed to sustainability since 1998 when it joined with two other state universities to form the Sustainable Universities Initiative, pledging to incorporate sustainability into operations and academics.

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