Savings potential for new buildings increases when energy analysis is used early in the design process. In The value of energy analysis from design day one, featured in The New England Real Estate Journal, we show how our real-time energy modeling approach can increase energy savings for new buildings by 15%.
Energy Modeling, like sketching, should be used throughout the design process to inform and shape the design. Just like a sketch can allow you to explore some detail without knowing all the other details, an energy model can let you see the impacts of different design choices. This allows promising ideas with strong potential energy savings to be incorporated early, but just as importantly, it allows ideas that have less savings potential to be considered, and abandoned early, letting the team focus on the ideas that will have the greatest cumulative savings, an attractive return on investment, or whatever other goal they are pursuing for the project. The true value of this approach is—when used early during design—we are able to find the optimal combination of strategies in real-time, during design meetings.
Building energy use is the primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions for colleges and universities. Benchmarking and monitoring allows institutions to identify which buildings have the greatest savings opportunities, and what technologies and changes are appropriate for those buildings. In our work with colleges and universities, we’ve identified campus wide savings potential between 18% and 56% of their current cost and carbon impacts. We have help our clients achieve these savings with proven cost effective technologies and maintain this savings over time. We have also helped our clients understand their energy use and performance and avoid costly and unnecessary audits and studies by simply tracking and comparing energy and emissions use.
We’re seeing a growing trend in cities throughout the nation: mandating energy benchmarking as a way to achieve aggressive energy and carbon emissions reduction. We applaud the use of energy benchmarking as a way to prioritize buildings that have the most potential for improvement – in fact, we’ve been benchmarking buildings since 2004. In our experience, however, we have seen returns superior to those published in a report recently issued by the New York City Mayor's Office of Sustainability.