The problem with building energy efficiency

Society has identified the need to make buildings more sustainable, and governments around the world have set goals such as Vancouver’s “20 by 2020” goal to reduce energy consumption in buildings.   Achieving these goals will require action by all building owners, of buildings of all sizes, to improve building performance.     Energy audits, the traditional engineering oriented method for finding energy waste currently audits about 1 percent of our existing building stock annually, at a cost of about 4-30 cents per square foot.   It would require 100 years to do an initial audit on the entire stock at this rate.   This is clearly not feasible. We need a new approach to this problem.

Energy efficiency is a business problem. Building owners and other building stakeholders are responsible for driving change in buildings. At the end of the day it is people taking action that saves the energy.

In the US, there are 4.8 million commercial buildings, but only 108,000 larger than 100,000 sqft total floor area. These large buildings get plenty of attention, but the majority of the building stock remains uneconomic for current engineered energy management approaches.

Watch this blog for ideas on how we can work together to reduce energy consumption in our building stock.