Highly Efficient Buildings: Making Sustainable Decisions Economically Viable
Q4 / Fall 2013
“We are seeing a lot of activity in building energy efficiency,” says Dan Probst, chairman of Energy and Sustainability Services for Jones Lang LaSalle. “We still see a lot of the low-cost, no-cost opportunities involving energy improvements we can make as building managers.”
However, Probst also points to the two other major categories of building energy improvements: retro-commissioning and building system upgrades. Retro-commissioning involves recalibrating building systems to operate at maximum efficiency, while building systems upgrades — deep retrofits — involve some level of investment in new equipment.
“We even perform energy modeling to get a deeper understanding of how the building is operating,” says Leo O’Loughlin, senior vice president of Energy and Sustainability Services, Jones Lang LaSalle.
“Deep retrofit value means doing a major energy and sustainability retrofit to generate 50 percent or more energy savings,” explains Scott Muldavin, the executive director of the Green Building Finance Consortium.“The industry has been stuck, where the average retrofit is based on a 3.5-year payback on energy cost savings alone.”
Smart buildings mean lower utility bills — but that's not all. More than 85 percent of facility spend is on employees, so the full value of a building lies in leveraging real estate to drive employee productivity, and in transforming energy use for a more connected, efficient future.
“Green buildings have typically been thought of as a lower energy building, but the true value is far more,” says consultant Roy Torbert of the Buildings Practice, Rocky Mountain Institute. “What we are talking about is ‘how can we make employees in the building more productive so they can go on to other things and be more creative?’”
2023's Leading Metro Locations: Hotspots of Economic Growth
The Logistics Analysis That Drives Industrial Site Selection
2023 Top States for Doing Business Meet the Needs of Site Selectors
Technology’s Influence on Workforce Development
Workforce Q4 2023
AI 101 for Site Selection
First Person: Realizing the Inflation Reduction Act’s Full Potential
2023 Top States Commentary: Top-Ranked States Have What It Takes to Win Mega Projects