Searching for savings opportunities in commercial new construction programs

Published: 2013

Utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs for commercial new construction are designed to push building efficiency beyond what is required through compliance with building codes. Yet there are opportunities for increasing the efficiency of new commercial buildings through these programs that are often overlooked.

The accepted approach for achieving the highest level of energy savings attainable for new buildings is through an integrated, comprehensive, whole-building analysis early in the design phase. The results of this analysis influence the pre-construction decisions on the design of the building and the equipment to be used in the building. However, this energy savings analysis is based purely on prediction and we were interested in reconciling model results with actual building use data to identify opportunities for improvement.

We believe deeper savings are possible through better assumptions during model-based analysis, coupled with expanding the scope of the analysis to areas not currently regulated by building codes.

This research was funded by the Joyce Foundation.

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