Balancing the big picture with the details can be tricky. However, finding this balance can be very powerful when addressing a building’s energy needs and energy costs.
One way of achieving good balance is to take an integrated approach that looks at the synergistic aspects of various energy-reduction programs to achieve an optimal balance.
Often times energy projects are looked at individually rather than taking a moment to see how they relate to each other and to the building as a whole. Infrastructure projects, such as replacing an chiller are easy projects to know when to add to a capital plan. However, a building owner can get more for their money if they take the time to see how this one proposed project relates to others. For example, a chiller works hard to perform its function based on the current conditions of the building.
What if you were able to reduce the amount of energy load on the building and change these conditions? Perhaps there are building envelope projects scheduled a little later in the capital plan. What if these projects were looked at from an energy savings and cost stand point in conjunction with the chiller replacement? Could you then reduce the size of the replacement chiller and save more money than the other improvement cost? Looking at this new information might create more favorable payback and energy savings options for the proposed projects.
It’s such an exciting concept that it was the topic of our most recent Sustainability Sessions web conference. Guest speakers Jean Savitsky, Practice Lead—Energy and Sustainability Projects, LEED AP and Dana Schneider, Northeast Market Lead—Energy and Sustainability Projects, LEED AP shared details about this approach and how we have been able to find optimal solutions for several clients, including the Empire State Building.
Article by Carey Guerin, appearing courtesy 3BL Media.