Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Gregory Maxwell


At no point in our history has humanity been able to make as large of an impact on our environment as we can now. Before the industrial revolution, the average atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) level was at 250 ppm and has risen to 379 ppm in 2005. Eleven of the last 12 years have been the warmest on record. There are too many studies out there that all same the same thing. We can not ignore this and we have to start doing something.

Buildings consume more than 39% of the primary energy production and account for 39% of the United States carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Since they consume such a large percentage of our energy use, even small improvements can amount to significant impact. Reducing building energy by 30% (which is very attainable) would eliminate 670 million metric tons of CO2 emissions. This would equate to an 11% decrease in the total US CO2 emissions.

There are many existing technologies available that will reduce building energy consumption. Many require little or no up front cost and most will cost less over a 20 year life span. This report analyzes the energy consumption and economic viability of five existing heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) technologies widely used: Single Zone Roof Top Air-conditioning Unit (RTU), Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP), Variable Air Volume (VAV) RTU, Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV), and Natural Daylighting.

Each system will be modeled in two different building types. The first being a standard 100 ft by 100 ft office building with a flat roof. The second building type will be two long narrow buildings with the orientation and glazing optimized to maximize daylighting.

All system models will be modeled using TRACE 700 building load and energy analysis software.


Copyright Owner

Adam John Gudenkauf



Date Available


File Format


File Size

41 pages