For the past two years, the Better Buildings Energy Data Accelerator has been supporting pairs of local governments and their local utility companies to help building owners gain access to their building energy data.
Local building codes regulate new construction and repair, alteration, addition, and change of use in existing buildings. The latter, change of occupancy classification or use, is a common trigger for requiring an existing building to comply with the current building code requirements.
The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) is the national model energy code adopted by many states and municipal governments in the United States. It establishes the minimum design and construction “requirements for energy efficiency that new buildings – as well as additions and renovations to existing buildings – must meet wherever the code has been adopted into law.
The integrative design and delivery process includes establishing a new and different governance structure to guide a retrofit construction project, and a collaborative team that works together to make decisions for the design of the buildings.
Implementing a deep energy retrofit, to achieve a 40 to 50% building level efficiency improvement, on a small to medium sized building is not financially viable as a single project. Therefore, creating an energy asset management plan that manages “deep energy retrofit triggers” over time is very important to consider.
The Navy Yard Electric Utility (TNYEU) is very interested in making energy efficiency retrofits easier for TNY’s building owners and tenants to implement, and thus support its energy reduction goal.
The Asset Score Tool (AST) is a quick and easy way to determine the overall energy efficiency of your building's physical characteristics and corresponding energy consumption independent of occupant behavior.
The often high initial cost of energy efficiency improvements remains a challenge for many customers, despite their many advantages. Financing projects conventionally can be difficult for both commercial and residential property owners, due to a number of factors including substandard underwriting practices by lenders, inappropriate payback calculations, and uncertainty about how to quantify cost-savings.
Performance-based (also known as outcome-based) codes set standards based upon buildings’ actual energy use, rather than on compliance with stipulated technology or design features. For example, a performance-based code would require meeting specified energy use intensity, while a standard, prescriptive code would stipulate a minimum wall insulation level among other specific measures.
The energy use in commercial buildings is not constant. It changes with the seasons, from year to year, as tenants come and go, and with changes to building components. Building science researchers know that the energy performance of commercial buildings declines over time – different parts of the system start to age and building occupants invariably alter the “optimal” settings.