While some are testing the waters of integrated project delivery, a group within the U.S. Dept. of Energy is tilling greener pastures by devising a new design-build project-delivery model for fast-tracked, net-zero-energy buildings, public and private. DOE calls the process progressive, performance-based design-build (DB). Haselden Construction, DOE’s DB contractor for the first application of the model—the $80-million Research Support Facility of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo.—calls it design-build “on steroids.” The 222,000-sq-ft RSF is the largest known net-zero-energy building in North America, says the DB team.
The new model “will transform the way we look” at producing high-performance buildings in the commercial buildings sector, says Jeffrey M. Baker, director of laboratory operations in the Golden field office of DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.