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Facility Managers Making Swift Progress on Energy Efficiency


By Greg Zimmerman Energy Efficiency
energy efficiency

The energy efficiency efforts of facility managers continue to pay off, according to a new report from the Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance. The Greenprint Performance Report shows that the organization’s members — nearly 8,000 properties with more than $760.7 billion in real estate assets — cut energy use by 3.3 percent from 2016 to 2017. This decrease resulted in nearly $19 million in savings.

They also reduced carbon emissions 3.4 percent in that time and more than 30 percent since 2009, the first year of the report. The members’ goal is a 50 percent reduction of carbon emissions by 2030, which is achievable at the current pace of reductions.

According to the report, the strategy most frequently employed to achieve energy savings was the installation of high-efficiency HVAC and controls systems.

As one example, a chiller replacement and thermal ice storage project at Rockefeller Center in New York City resulted in energy savings of 2.3 million kilowatt-hours, and demand declined by more than 45 percent mostly, due to the ability to shift loads due to ice storage system. The facility saved millions of dollars in demand charges, according to the report. The payback on the new HVAC systems is seven years.

Other successes from Greenpoint members included in the report include a 2.9 percent reduction in water consumption for savings of almost $900,000. Waste intensity was reduced 9.1 percent, and the waste diversion rate increased 3.4 percent.

This Quick Read was submitted by Greg Zimmerman, executive editor, Building Operating Management. Read his cover story on how buildings are tackling climate change.

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