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From The Field: Persistence of Energy Savings


 

A New study released by The Urban Land Institute and their Greenprint Center for Building Performance indicates a 30% reduction in carbon footprint since 2009 for buildings participating in ULI’s program. This is a great message for persistence. The study is worth a read for ideas for EBCx (and New Cx) measures.

The largest investments were in install of high efficiency equipment and waste projects, with a close third by more efficient lighting. BMS upgrades and existing building commissioning (Re and Retro) were in the middle of the pack and were less than a sixth of the cost of equipment upgrades. I wonder if they’ll understand that the capital equipment outlays will save little energy on their own unless (1) the sequences are good (condensing boiler at 180°F anyone?), (2) they’re set up right (and verified through functional testing), and (3) they’re maintained (through ongoing commissioning, OCx).

Unfortunately, the study also describes investment in technologies that haven’t been proven (e.g. “AI”, circadian lighting, sensors + analytics). It fails to discuss that most of the new technologies require human oversight/interpretation/action in order to make the investment pay off.

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