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Challenges and Progress in Achieving deep savings in existing commercial buildings - R. Peter Wilcox, NBI

Created 11/28/2012 by Ben Fowler
Updated 11/29/2012 by Ben Fowler
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From AESP NW Chapters Nov 28 Meeting. R. Peter Wilcox from NBI delivered this presentation.


Please email connie@newbuildings.org if you would like to get notifications on outcomes of 2012 NBI New Orleans Deep Savings summit.

Peter talked about NBI's recent Deep Savings Summit  in New Orleans. 

Total Value Analysis - need to change our mindset to those of who's building we're trying to affect.

After studying some regional deep-savings/retrofit pilot projects in the NW (projects in Seattle, Portland, Boise) the big takeaway was this: It's not the energy benefits, but the non-energy benefits that are the bigger part of the equation.

What are all the things that come with it? Value added to the building (net income of building), increased productivity, increased tenant/employee satisfaction, better operational/cost predictability.

The problem with so-called "shallow savings" - The investment cycle is really long. Take capital investments such as lighting. Now that owner has picked up great savings, their return on investment is much lower for future, less low hanging fruit. So it is better to bundle or package savings so you build in the deep (long term) and shallow (short term) savings together. 

EX: PNC's "Green buildings" - Satisfaction with building went up and energy/operational costs became more consistent (read: predictable). Predictability is a highly desirable - non-energy - benefit. The Enterprise impact - $460K/employee more business. A clear non-energy benefit. Key learning - critical to speak language of customers who are less concerned with energy and more concerned about their businesses' bottom line. 

Ex: Sears warehouse adaptive reuse in bremerton, WA - They needed office space. Besides energy savings, the space became a community/cultural activity hub. Very high LEED score (platinum- 91). Perhaps the most sustainably built and operated building in the country. And at $105/sq foot a great value (typical project would have been $~300/sq ft). 

Think about a new bottom line. maybe a quintuple bottom line: kids, company, community, country, climate. 

Questions from audience:

Quantifying the non-energy benefits? appraisers aren't subjective, they're empirical. (Green print foundation?) There are states that are stepping out ahead in quantifying the non-energy stuff: Connecticut and MA. 

Utility costs for building owner are at the bottom of the financial chart. Another reason why we need to focus on non-energy benefits.

Is carbon trading an option? We're better off than we were a month ago (before election). California has it, and that is huge. WA is getting it. WCI is going that route. What's in conversation now: whatever it is that prices out the coal plants, there are lots of data hogging companies that are anxious to get their own power plants. We may just move the problem over to another segment of the market (data centers, "cloud" computing, etc.). 

Do we see businesses valuing more than the dollar anytime soon? They will, but not in a way that you see it from an evaluator's chair. Centers around legacy issues, "if i'm going to leave something behind, this is my chance to do it. I have to have the classic business case, but other factors creeping into the business person's conscience."
Posted By: Ben Fowler 11/29/12 on 09:42 AM (Pacific Time)

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Version 2.0 11/28/12 06:50:PM by Ben Fowler
Version 1.0 11/28/12 03:25:PM by Ben Fowler
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