As we all know, the commercial real estate industry conducts deals in the billions and millions as a “norm.” The opportunities to save billions of dollars are appealing to any industry across the board. According to IMT.org, (Institute for Market Transformation), the United States spends more than $400 billion dollars on energy for American buildings. The majority of these buildings were constructed prior to modern energy codes existing, consuming more energies.
When fixing old drafty buildings, the United States has grown to become a $20 billion dollar industry. While the U.S. redoubles its reducing greenhouse gases commitment, the experience of fixing such buildings may be replicated nationwide. Buildings account for 39 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, exceeding transportation and industrial uses, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.
“Most of the focus has been on new construction, but now people are really taking a look at existing buildings,” said Cliff Majersik, executive director of the Institute for Market Transformation, a Washington nonprofit that promotes more efficient buildings to Bloomberg. “If you really want to move the needle on climate change, you can’t ignore the 99 percent of buildings that are already there.”
According to Majersik, a decade of progressively stricter laws aimed at reducing energy use and consumer desire to lower costs have already bred a $20 billion-a-year industry in the U.S. Initially, regulators chased after gas guzzling cars and smokestack industries in efforts to improve the air quality. It wasn’t until the past decade that office buildings and apartments gained little scrutiny by regulators. Today, policy makers are focused on property owners to replace inefficient windows, fans, lighting and other components.
Terrill Laughton, vice president and general manager of demand response for Johnson Controls, said in an interview that a “favorable legislative environment” should accelerate growth in his business. “There’s only so many new buildings that get built,” Laughton said. “States aren’t going to achieve their environmental goals without getting to older buildings and facilities. Broadly speaking, most of our work is in older buildings and facilities. There’s a lot of low-hanging fruit.”
Thanks to the Investors Confidence Project, Energy Performance Protocols that define a standardized road map of best practices for originating energy retrofits are offered following the ICP Project Lifecycle. They leverage existing and commonly accepted standards such as ASTM-BEPA, ASHRAE Guideline 14, and EVO-IPMVP in conjunction with ICP specified elements, procedures, and documentation based on the various stages of a project life-cycle to create standardized projects with reliable returns.