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New Guide Makes Case for Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings

Latest News > Industry News

A new publication from several leading industry organizations provides building owners and managers with guidance for the business case to achieve energy savings of as much as 30%, according to ASHRAE.

"Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers," provides the rationale for making economic decisions related to improving and sustaining energy efficiency in existing buildings, says an ASHRAE news release. Approximately 86% of U.S. annual building construction expenditures relate to renovation of existing buildings versus new construction.

According to the guide, key tips for building owners and managers need to know to make their buildings 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 study/audit (using ASHRAE's Procedures for Commercial Building Energy Audits as a basis) or have the facility retro-commissioned by a certified retro-commissioning firm. This activity may result in a modification to the original 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.

The book is a collaboration between ASHRA, the American Institute of Architects, the Building Owners and Managers Association, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the U.S. Services Administration and the U.S. Green Building Council.

The book is the first of three planned guides on energy efficiency. The second will be aimed at providing technical guidance in undertaking existing building renovation programs. The third will provide operation and maintenance guidance to help sustain the energy efficiency.

The guide is $69 ($59 for ASHRE members), available from ASHRAE (800 527-4723) or at