A lot of attention is being paid to improving the energy efficiency of gas-guzzling vehicles, the motors that power industrial equipment, and the HVAC systems that keep homes and offices comfortable. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) is seen as a crucial step in reducing society’s carbon footprint and making a cleaner world.
However, there is another major component of the world economy that you might not think of right away when examining strategies to reduce energy consumption: the very buildings we live and work in. Yet by some estimates, this sector accounts for nearly 30% of annual global GHG emissions.
Improving the energy efficiency of commercial buildings presents unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges lies in the inefficient systems and equipment found in older structures that will continue to be occupied for decades to come. These structures make up the vast majority of the commercial real estate inventory around the world.
Improving the energy usage profiles of older buildings is a worthwhile objective. However, part of the challenge in achieving this goal is that, until fairly recently, buyers and sellers of commercial properties haven’t given much thought to energy consumption. The members of the committee on environmental assessment, risk management, and corrective action (E50) hope their new guide for building energy performance and improvement evaluation in the assessment of property condition (E3224) will change this dynamic. The standard guides energy performance evaluation when buildings change hands, an ideal time to make upgrades, and hinges on the completion of something called a “BEPIE.”
Read about the story of this important new standard in the March/April 2020 issue of Standardization News.