Existing Building Stock Presents Retrofit Opportunity
Today, energy efficient standards for new commercial
building construction are being integrated on the systems level into High Performance Buildings (HPBs) to
create spaces that optimize energy efficiency and create high-occupant-productivity. I don’t know about you readers out there, but
I’d have to agree with NEMA’s Director of HPBs; when I hear people talking about
“net-zero” buildings and “BIM” (Building Information Modeling),
I get goose bumps. HPBs are
truly lighting the way to a brighter, greener, energy-independent tomorrow.
However, we can’t let the brightness of the future dim our perspective
on the past. About 2.5 million buildings
or 60 percent of the U.S.
commercial building stock were built before 1980. While some of these buildings have no doubt
undergone renovations, the overwhelming majority are still using lighting that
meets pre-1980 standards and is very inefficient by today’s standards. If the U.S. is going to achieve energy
independence, we need to make sure we have all our bases covered.
For commercial buildings, there are very cost-effective
retrofits available for the existing electrical and mechanical systems and
upgrades for the building envelops that can significantly reduce energy use and
energy costs. Those looking to get the
most “bang for their buck” should focus on lighting, HVAC, hot water, and
building envelop systems. Many utility companies incentivize retrofitting
these building systems and the federal Commercial Building Tax Deduction
program does, too.
For more information on potential energy savings available
through lighting upgrades, visit www.nemasavesenergy.com.
07-19-2010 8:20 AM