From hurricanes and floods to wildfires and heatwaves, climate events are driving legislation across many states recently. No state is without risk and, according to this map of top disaster risk by state, regulators are paying attention. and utilities are investing millions in advanced integrated metering infrastructure, advanced distribution management systems, distributed energy resource management systems, and demand side management.

Resilience-Motivated Utility Grid Modernization
Image credit:  https://www.dsireinsight.com

Changing Infrastructure

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) collects climate risk data that can affect your future skill set. Many states are increasing their investments in distributed energy resources (DERs) to reduce dependence on single fuel sources and support resilience and reliability, especially during and after disaster occurrences.

What this means for commissioning providers is that diverse and integrated behind-the-meter systems — including microgrids, combined heat and power systems, renewable sources, and energy storage equipment — will likely become increasingly visible in the design, construction and operation of facilities in the commercial/institutional market.

Strategies for Mitigating Effects of Climate Change

A recent article in FacilitiesNet magazine on sustainable and resilient strategies for facilities of the future provides a list of methods to mitigate the effects of climate change on buildings, which “presents an opportunity to fundamentally change how we build and operate buildings. How buildings mitigate and adapt to these faster-than-normal changes will be the key to which organizations survive and which don’t.”

At the same time that commissioning of retrofitted systems in existing buildings will increase the efficiencies of existing equipment, they will not necessarily meet new codes and regulations as they are implemented.

Backstory: The Cost of Climate Change

Image credit: NOAA

Smart buildings are meant to be human-centric, especially due to the pandemic but changes in the energy-driven economy, sparked by data acquisition and analysis of rising events and costs, are moving the building industry toward a transition from energy efficiency compliance to full-lifecycle net-zero ambition — including all the quality assurance which that implies.