RMI Outlet, Rocky Mountain Institute’s blog, explores topics critical to RMI’s mission to transform global energy use to create a clean, prosperous, and secure low-carbon future.
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Vegas could make a killing collecting bets on potential building energy performance —some might say you have as good a chance picking next year’s Super Bowl winner. Yet, building energy modelers are tasked with the challenge of predicting building energy use before a building is even designed, or before they know how the building will be used and operated.
The words "government office building" may bring to mind visions of Franz Kafka's notorious clerks' office. Endless rows of literally gray partitions. Government workers packed into a maze of windowless tunnels. God forbid they should have a view of the outdoors, or be able to occasionally move from their cubes to a comfortable chair or table.
With commercial building retrofits starting to take center stage -- bolstered by federal support, spurred by public disclosure of performance benchmarks and popularized by hallmark projects -- demand for energy modeling services may soon be in the spotlight. And while LEED and an increase in whole-building performance analysis has driven demand for energy modeling services, there are several barriers that must be overcome to maximize energy efficiency and achieve aggressive performance goals.
Since the economic collapse, real estate owners have sought ways to cut costs, retain tenants, increase market performance and gain competitive advantage. A deep retrofit can achieve these objectives by turning business-as-usual upgrades into profit centers. Existing buildings are full of energy efficiency opportunities waiting to be realized. While some savings are obvious and easy to reach via one-off upgrades of windows, lighting and appliances, by using an integrated, whole-buildings design approach, profoundly larger energy savings can often be gained at little or no added capital cost.
Join us for the live chat at 11 AM MST--The high-level goal of RMI’s solar program is to accelerate the deployment of photovoltaic solar systems in the U.S.