Tuesday, March 19, 2013

BOMA International Advocacy Update - Funding for Energy-Efficient Retrofits, NYC Building Energy Use and ASHRAE Building Performance Guide

DOE Funding for Energy-Efficient Retrofits

The Department of Energy (DOE) Better Buildings Program has announced a $12 million funding opportunity for smaller commercial buildings. DOE is seeking new technical, business and implementation solutions to deliver energy-efficiency in commercial buildings of 50,000 sq. ft. or smaller that will result in energy savings of at least 20 percent in existing buildings and meet or exceed the Architecture 2030 Challenge targets in new construction. Six to twelve awards will be given out with the maximum award of $2 million per recipient.

DOE also hosted a brief webinar to explain the application process. More information and the full Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) can be found online. The initial concept submission is due next Friday, March 22.

EPA Announces Cities with the Most ENERGY STAR® Buildings in the U.S.

Los Angeles once again has bragging rights as the U.S. city with the most ENERGY STAR certified buildings in 2012, a list it has topped for an impressive five years running. The city had 528 buildings achieving a 75 or greater through verified benchmarking in ENERY STAR’s Portfolio Manager last year. The number two slot goes to Washington, D.C. with 462 buildings; third on the list is Chicago with 353 buildings; and New York City ranked fourth. Further down the list at number seven is Houston, home to the Phoenix Tower, which has earned the ENERGY STAR certification 14 times—more than any other building in the U.S.

The number of ENERGY STAR certified buildings has increased by more than 24 percent compared to the previous year, with more than 8,200 buildings earning certification in 2012 alone. The full list of cities can be found online.

New York City Energy Use Data Reveals Surprising Results

As mandated by a 2009 benchmarking disclosure law, the first public release of energy and water usage data for all New York City buildings over 50,000 sq. ft. recently occurred. More than 1.8 billion sq. ft. of space was included in the report and the data shows that, in office and multi-family buildings, the most prolific utilities users consume three-to-five times more energy than the smallest users. Somewhat surprisingly the data also showed that most newer buildings use more energy than older ones. Analysts have suggested that this could result from different usage patterns, but also could be explained by the fact that newer designs use more glass on average than most of the city’s existing buildings. Two iconic existing structures included in the release reported increased energy efficiency as a result of recent extensive renovations to their insulation and mechanical systems: the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.

ASHRAE Publishes Existing Building Performance Measurement Guide

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recently published Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings: Best Practices Guide, which is intended to serve as a how-to guide for continuously evaluating and improving the performance of commercial buildings throughout their service life. The guide covers energy use, water use and elements of indoor environmental quality such as thermal comfort, indoor air quality, lighting/daylighting and acoustics. According to ASHRAE, the guide provides practical performance measurement guidance to meet market demands for keeping operating costs down without sacrificing the health, comfort and productivity of building occupants. The target audience for this guide includes building owners, facility managers, building operators, commissioning authorities, consultants and design professionals. For more information and to obtain a copy of the guide, visit the ASHRAE bookstore at www.ASHRAE.org.

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