DE Achieves Net Zero

Design Engineers Achieves Net-Zero Energy Use at Cedar Rapids Offices

Efficiency & Innovation Provide 100% of Annual Energy Use

Cedar Rapids, Iowa – April 13, 2018 – Design Engineers Mechanical and Electrical Consultants of Cedar Rapids and Madison is pleased to announce its Cedar Rapids offices have achieved Net Zero energy use through on-going efforts in efficiency and sustainable energy use.

Design Engineers’ offices are the second building to achieve this honor in Linn County, as Design Engineers worked with Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids to help Iowa’s only non-profit nature center achieve this goal one month earlier. Design Engineers has also worked with the UU Church of Iowa City to make their new church a Net Zero energy use building.

DE’s 6,500 square-foot, 360-module system runs without direct management, silently collecting sunlight and converting it to usable electricity every day. The 102.6 kW grid-tied electrical system supplies power back to Alliant Energy, offsetting Design Engineers’ usage and billing. This symbiotic approach allows DE limitless access to power any time they need it while contributing to the grid’s daytime capacity and reducing the peak demand on central power plants. Details of that system are available here:

Before adding the photovoltaic array, Design Engineers was already one of the top performing small office sites in country with an Energy Star rating of 98 out of 100. Efficiency, in both cost and performance, keeps DE working on the BEST solution, not the easiest. The installed system is just large enough to meet expected load and they are carefully managing the way to Net Zero. Not everything has gone as planned, details here:

3/21 Power Report

3/21 Power Report

The project is a live demonstration of the environmental impacts of good design and available off-the-shelf technologies. “By offsetting our usage entirely, DE is responsible for reducing emissions at the power plant by 212,652 pounds of carbon dioxide, 438 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 240 pounds of nitrogen oxides.” said Joe Chappell, Design Engineers’ in-house energy guru. “Add it up and that’s 142 tons of CO2 equivalent. Last year we prevented the combustion of 68 tons of coal.”

About Design Engineers
Design Engineers was established in Cedar Rapids in 1983 to design Mechanical and Electrical Engineering systems for the most challenging building projects. DE provides architects, developers, designers, and construction teams with the plans they need to create a building that runs efficiently and effectively.

Media Contact
Dwight Schumm
Managing Principal, Design Engineers