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Making a Case for Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings: New Industry Publication

November 2009 - Energy Efficiency

A new publication from leading industry organizations provides guidance for building owners and managers of existing buildings to achieve energy savings of as much as 30 percent in their facilities.

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.

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

The guide provides straightforward applications that could produce energy savings from 10 to 15 percent to a more aggressive approach that could save 30 percent or more.

Here are six important tips to make buildings energy efficient, from the publication:
- 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 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 cost of Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers is $69 ($59, ASHRAE members). To order, visit


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