Paul Torcellini, Ph.D.
NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
15013 Denver West Parkway
Golden, CO 80401
United States
(303) 384-7528
Region: I
Honorarium: None

Paul Torcellini has 30 years of experience examining how energy is used in buildings including delivery mechanisms, design, system integration, and operations. His focus is on creating buildings that have minimal environmental impact because of their operations including very low energy buildings and zero energy buildings.

Paul received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Massachusetts. He received a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering specializing in heat transfer and modeling of buildings and a Ph.D. in building controls from Purdue University (W. Lafayette, Indiana).

Paul is a 25-year ASHRAE member and has received two ASHRAE Technology Awards for his energy-efficient buildings work and has been a key contributor to the Advanced Energy Design Guide Series, published by ASHRAE as a collaborative effort of AIA, ASHRAE, IES, and USGBC. He has led the technical analysis of several of the guides and has chaired two of the guides including the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 Schools: Achieving Zero Energy (January 2018) and the recently released Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings: Achieving Zero Energy (June 2019). He has been a speaker on two ASHRAE Webcasts including one focused on Zero Energy Buildings. He is active in TC2.8 (Building Environmental Impacts and Sustainability) and has been involved in several Society level efforts including MTGs, position documents, and Project Monitoring Subcommittees.

Paul and his family live in a zero energy home in northeastern Connecticut and run a sustainable farm focused on soil restoration growing a variety of farm products. (See High Performing Buildings, Spring 2018 for more information on the house.)

Creating a World of Zero Energy Buildings
With the advancement of energy efficiency and the rapid decrease in cost of solar electric systems, the concept of creating a building that produces as much energy as it consumes is becoming a reality. This presentation will look the definition of a zero energy buildings, communities, and cities, how to achieve this goal including the process for achieving success, and some of the technologies that can be used. The lecture will dive into the decision making process that was used for actual zero energy building including data and lessons learned from these early adopters.
The Advanced Energy Design Guide for Zero Energy Buildings
Modelled after the successful 30% and 50% Advanced Energy Design Guides, this new series of guides focuses on the processes and strategies to achieve zero energy buildings at typical construction budgets. The series, published by ASHRAE, was a collaborative effort of AIA, ASHRAE, IES, USGBC, and DOE. The first book in the series was published in January 2018 and focuses on K-12 schools and includes several case studies of schools that meet the zero energy requirements. In process, is the 50% office guide. The lecture will focus on setting energy goals and the technologies that can help achieve these goals and will walk through the Guide. A sneak preview of what is coming in offices will also be presented.
Performance Based Procurement for Outstanding Energy Performance
Owners often want buildings to have outstanding energy performance and design teams can help them achieve the success. This presentation looks at the process of making decisions and how one organization motivated decision makers to create a zero energy building without increasing the cost of design and construction. This look at procurement from an owner perspective yields lots of insights for building owners, operators as well as designers and contractors as the interest mounts to substantially reduce the building’s energy impact.
On-site Renewable Energy: What to know and what are the myths?
On-site renewable energy generation is becoming more popular with the increase in interest in creating zero energy buildings. This presentation will discuss different types of renewable resources and their application to buildings and include topics such as renewable energy certificates, integrating renewable energy with the grid, incentive programs, and the issues associated with renewable energy. The decreasing cost of renewable resources will be discussed as well as the challenges and opportunities of installing renewables. The presentation will also discuss using energy efficiency and renewable energy to provide a more resilient built environment.
Living at Zero: A Look at Personal Decisions to achieving a Zero Energy Home
What decisions does a zero energy researcher make when building his own house for himself and his family? This look at the decision decisions made for creating a zero energy house as well as implications to life-style will be discussed. The lecture will also examine the actual cost and energy data in making decisions on what technologies to use and what strategies made practical sense. As a bonus, the discussion will look at material selections, food choices, and using the land to help restore the environment.