RMI Releases Deep Retrofit Value Practice Guide

Download: How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value: A Guide for Owner-Occupants

Highly energy-efficient buildings offer more than just a low utility bill. They also often promise gains in employee productivity, better retention, improved occupant health, lower maintenance costs, increased occupancy, and higher lease-up and sales rates, among others.

Yet real estate professionals often ignore many of these additional values—they tend to focus on energy cost savings alone to justify investment in new green buildings or deep energy retrofits of existing buildings. Meanwhile, building occupants like you and me often suffer in poorly lit, stuffy, and generally inadequate offices, supermarkets, stores, classrooms, and numerous other spaces where we collectively spend the majority of our time outside the home. But no longer.

RMI has released a new guide to provide practical guidance to enable company leaders and real estate professionals to incorporate all the benefits of deep energy savings in their decision making. The first version of this guide, How to Calculate and Present Deep Retrofit Value: A Guide for Owner-Occupants, presents RMI’s Deep Retrofit Value Model and details how owner-occupants (responsible for roughly half of U.S commercial buildings) can calculate property-specific deep retrofit value.

“This is impressive work. Comprehensive, clear, and practical,” says Don Reed, Managing Director, Sustainable Business Solutions, PwC. “This definitely moves the ball down the field.”

The model breaks deep retrofit value down into nine value elements, provides the terminology and accounting to make sure values are not missed or double counted, and offers the flexibility to enable calculation of only those elements most relevant to a particular retrofit decision. Perhaps most importantly, the model comprehensively integrates risk analysis and mitigation into the retrofit decision-making process.

Each value element includes practical guidance on how you can calculate and present evidence in support of your retrofit capital decision. A final section offers an example report showing how to synthesize and defend such an analysis.

The report is the latest installment of resources RMI provides for driving the greater adoption of deep retrofits, and accelerating overall retrofit activity. Moving forward, RMI seeks partners who will use this report to refine their retrofit decision making, test enhanced retrofit strategies, and drive energy efficiency even deeper on new projects. In addition, RMI is currently working with CoreNet Global—the world’s leading association for corporate real estate professionals, service providers, and economic developers—to identify more examples and best practices for getting to deeper levels of energy savings.