3-D Printing Technology Project Will Be Presented at METALCON

The international event for the metal construction industry showcases a 3-D printing technology project developed by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and industry partners at METALCON’s annual tradeshow and conference on Oct. 26 at the Baltimore Convention Center.
As part of its focus on technology this year, METALCON is featuring ORNL’s Additive Manufacturing Integrated Energy (AMIE) project.  AMIE demonstrates innovation through additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, addressing electricity supply and reliability challenges via an integrated approach to power generation, storage and consumption.   
AMIE connects a natural gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle with a building, both printed a polymer 3-D printer.  Power flows between the vehicle and building using a bi-directional wireless power transfer technology developed by ORNL.  The structure’s 3.2-kilowatt solar panel system, paired with the electric vehicle’s batteries, generates and stores renewable power.   It is a model for systems that link buildings, vehicles and the grid, offsetting power supply disruptions.
In addition, AMIE exemplifies additive manufacturing’s prototyping potential in design, manufacturing and construction technologies, which will enable products to go-to-market quickly and reduce the amount of waste generated by traditional construction methods.  
Dr. Roderick Jackson, the technical lead for AMIE and the building envelope systems research group leader at ORNL, is a guest speaker at METALCON.  Jackson, who has a background in construction, will present the “Future of Design and Technology Trends in Construction” followed by a guided tour of AMIE in the exhibit hall.  He will explain multiple uses of this technology combined into one project and discuss the potential of integrated design, build and energy efforts.
“The folks at METALCON and the Metal Construction Association (MCA) understand the concept and recognize the innovation AMIE presents and how this technology could apply to the metal construction industry,” said Jackson.

“The idea behind this prototype is to introduce disruptive innovations to the construction industry.  Although AMIE is constructed from polymer composites, we can explore how to apply this technology to the metal construction industry.” 
“We brought together expertise from multiple research teams, along with 20 industry partners including 100 individuals, and the U.S. Department of Energy,” said Jackson.  “We took the risk to demonstrate how it can be done.  We went from a sketch on a restaurant receipt after a dinner meeting to a final product demo in nine months.  We will discuss not only how it was done, but also what prototyping means for the future of the construction industry.”
“We want to know what innovations we can implement today to prepare the metal construction industry for the future,” said Jackson.  “Perhaps there is a challenge in the industry we can help overcome using additive manufacturing or integrated energy technologies.”

METALCON Show Director, Claire Kilcoyne, is excited to showcase AMIE in the exhibit hall.  “We have an opportunity to create an interactive learning experience for our attendees by connecting our educational program to the exhibit hall with this added attraction,” said Kilcoyne.  “This 3-D printing technology offers benefits to the metal construction industry.”

Eneref Institute Launches Natural Interior Daylight Initiative

Eneref Institute, an advocate for sustainable development, announces the launch of its Natural Interior Daylight (NID) initiative to encourage greater use of sunlight as a primary light source in homes and buildings.

Expert advisors to the Natural Interior Daylight initiative include three of the nation’s most influential lighting designers: Nancy Clanton, Jim Benya and Chip Israel.

The initiative launched a virtual campus featuring a repository of advocacy reports demonstrating successful applications of natural interior daylight in homes and buildings. Eneref advocacy reports draw on the expertise of advisors as well as testimonial interviews with end-user customers to provide a uniquely authentic, real-world perspective on a variety of technologies and solutions.

In addition, Eneref Institute published a report in LD+A, the journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society, outlining the current market obstacles to daylighting.

Increased human wellness and productivity benefits in spaces prioritizing daylight have been confirmed by three evidence-based Heschong Mahone studies—findings echoed in Eneref Institute advocacy reports.

“Daylighting should be considered in any high-performance building,” says Nancy Clanton, president of Clanton & Associates, a provider of sustainable lighting design.

The use of interior daylight such as energy-efficient windows and skylights—in place of or in conjunction with traditional electric lighting—can significantly reduce a building’s energy load. Lighting represents almost 20 percent of global electricity consumption.

“Whenever we work with clients, our team always encourages daylighting because it makes sense for both energy efficiency and the overall well-being of occupants,” explains Deborah Burnett, U.S. lighting designer and wellness SME principal of Benya Burnett Consultancy.

“We’re delighted to participate in Eneref Institute’s independent initiative because it will benefit our entire daylighting industry,” says John Lawton, electrical engineer and global product skylight manager for VELUX, the world’s largest manufacturer of residential skylights.

“Rooftop prismatic skylights offer facility owners an excellent, low-cost opportunity to enhance the quality of the interior lighting when coupled with proper installation and maintenance,” explains John Godwin, vice president of CentiMark, a commercial roofing and flooring contractor.

“Sustainability is just good design,” according to Chip Israel, an internationally recognized lighting designer and president of the Lighting Design Alliance.

The benefits of natural interior daylight outweigh the investment; as sustainable practices grow more common, its use in homes and buildings will continue to increase, according to Seth Warren Rose, founding director of Eneref Institute.

“You don’t need a degree in illuminating engineering to know that a room with a view—one with windows that lets in natural light—is what people want. Inherently, we just know,” explains Rose.

For more information about the daylighting market, see the Eneref Institute report “Seven Market Obstacles of Natural Interior Daylight.”