CSE Test Site Sees New Life as Cafe and Bakery

Building 592 is fitted with vacuum insulated panels (VIPs) in the summer of 2012.

Building 592 is fitted with vacuum insulated panels (VIPs) in the summer of 2012.

Field deployments are an essential part of the work we do here at Fraunhofer CSE, allowing our researchers to evaluate innovative client technologies under real-world conditions. The scope of these deployments varies depending on project needs; some, like our investigations into home energy management devices, only involve installing a technology and monitoring equipment in an existing apartment or home. Others are far ambitious, taking existing structures and subjecting them to extensive overhauls.

One such project site is Building 592, a former Navy veterinary clinic located in Brunswick, Maine. This 1,600 square foot slab-on-grade structure dates back to the 1950s, and was one of several buildings selected as a test site for project work carried out under the US Department of Energy’s Building America program.

Research at Building 592 focused on assessing the retrofit value of two technologies: high-performance windows, which minimize heat losses and gains within a building; and vacuum insulation panels (VIPs), a novel insulation material with very low thermal conductivity. Following an extensive analysis of the existing structure, our teams installed both technologies in the summer of 2012. Using sensors and other on-site measuring equipment, CSE researchers then continuously monitored overall energy consumption, humidity, and temperatures along the building envelope for several months.

Equipment like blower doors allows CSE's technical teams to identify air leaks that will ultimately lead to heat losses.

Equipment like blower doors allows CSE’s technical teams to identify air leaks that will ultimately lead to heat losses.

With CSE’s research complete, Building 592 is now undergoing yet another transformation: back in April, the decommissioned structure was purchased by the CEO of the non-profit organization Seeds of Independence. After some additional renovation, the building is currently slated to become a second outlet for the popular Brunswick-based Wild Oats Bakery and Cafe. The new tenants gain a substantial benefit; not only does the improved insulation increase comfort and energy savings, but this particular configuration of high-performance windows and exterior VIP insulation has been custom-designed by CSE’s Building Enclosures team to minimize thermal shorts and long-term durability problems.

About author
I'm Fraunhofer CSE's former Marketing Specialist, having worked at the Center from its founding in 2008 until 2013. In late 2013, I left the clean energy industry to pursue a career in enterprise software.
Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message

Cleantech Notes — Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress