Building owners and managers of existing buildings need to understand the economic benefits of improving systems and operations. To help, a new publication, Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers
, is available to provide guidance for the business case to achieve energy savings as much as 30 percent.
The guide provides the rationale for making economic decisions related to improving and sustaining energy efficiency in existing buildings. “Our goal is to enable business owners to break down the ‘mystery’ of energy conservation opportunities into business-based scenarios that are both practical and cost-justifiable,” says George Jackins, who chaired the committee of leading industry organizations that oversaw the book. “To achieve true sustainability in the building industry, we must help owners learn that investing in energy efficiency translates into a high rate of return with a low associated risk. Owners and managers typically view buildings in terms of short-term economics. We must make the transition from best value vs. lowest first cost of buildings.”
Specifically, the guide, which is a collaboration between ASHRAE, AIA, BOMA, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the U.S. General Services Administration, and the USGBC, provides straight-forward applications that could produce energy savings from 10 to 15 percent to a more aggressive approach that could save up to 30 percent or more.
The five tips that building owners and managers need to know to make their building more energy efficient include:
- Know your current energy utilization index (EUI) (kBTU/SF-year).
- Establish a target EUI and an initial budget estimate for achieving this goal.
- Conduct an internal energy audit or have the facility retro-commissioned by a certified retro-commissioning firm. This activity may result in a modification to the estimated budget amount.
- Identify energy efficiency measures with attractive rates of return on energy retrofit or renovation investments.
- Implement the recommended energy conservation measures that will get the facility to the desired goal with the stipulated budget.
- Commission the energy conservation measures by a certified commissioning firm. This process should include training of facility personnel on properly operating and maintaining equipment and systems.
Two additional books on energy efficiency will follow this guide; one will be aimed at providing technical guidance in undertaking existing building renovation programs, and one will provide operation and maintenance guidance to help sustain the energy efficiency.
For more information on the Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers
, visit www.ashrae.org/energyguide