Roadmap for Existing Buildings

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© The Epsten Group, Inc. 2014
About Us
• Established in 1991
• Multi-Disciplinary
• Small Disadvantaged Business; 8(m)
Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB)
Epsten Group Services:
Energy Audits
Building Envelope Services
Roofing & Waterproofing Consulting
LEED Consulting
Energy Modeling
Architecture & Interior Design
A Roadmap for Sustainable,
High Performance Existing
G A P PA A n n u a l M e e t i n g
May 24, 2014 Jekyll Island, Georgia
0.0 Why Build Green Buildings?
Sustainability has become an important
goal due to environmental (climate
change), strategic (instability in energyrich regions), and economic (rising
energy costs) reasons.
Buildings consume roughly 40% of the
energy consumed worldwide.
According to United Technologies, the
United States consumed $432 billion in
energy in 2011. That amount is roughly
equal to the $431.6 billion the federal
government spent on:
Education ($140.9 billion)
Veterans ($124.5 billion)
Transportation ($104.2 billion)
Community development ($32 billion)
Police ($30 billion)
0.1 Why Green Existing Buildings?
The Energy Information Administration
says 72% of the built square footage in
the United States is at least 20 years
The Institute for Building Efficiency says
that over half of the buildings that will be
in use in 2050 have already been built.
Intuitively, we all understand older
buildings are decidedly less sustainable
than buildings being built today:
Water closets, prior to EPAct 1992,
typically used 3.4 gallons of water per
flush. Federal standards now require a
maximum of 1.6 gallons of water per
flush, and some local governments
require a maximum of 1.28 gallons per
Age of U.S. Building Stock (gsf)
> 20 Yrs
< 20 Yrs
0.2 Just Build New Buildings?
In 2011, the National Historic Trust for
Preservation Released “The Greenest
Building”, which used Environmental
Life-Cycle Assessment to quantify the
benefits of renovating buildings.
Depending on the building type and
location, an existing building renovation
is as much as 46% better in terms of
environmental impacts than a new,
energy efficient building.
A renovated commercial office space in
Portland, OR has 13% less climate
impact than a new commercial office
space and the negative impacts of the
new space will take 42 years to
0.3 The Value of Optimization
Recognize that for many building
owners, it will be more enticing for them
to build a new building rather than
renovate/retrofit an older one. Politicians
don’t show up to cut ribbons for:
HVAC systems controls adjustments
Lighting retrofits
Chiller and cooling tower replacements
Plumbing fixture upgrades
Given the large number of older
buildings and their inherent
inefficiencies, there are tremendous
opportunities to cut energy and water
consumption and reduce waste through
existing building optimization. Dialogue
with decision-makers is key.
0.4 The Roadmap
The Roadmap for Sustainable, High
Performance Existing Buildings:
There is a step-by-step methodology for
producing sustainable, high performance
existing buildings. The phases of the
process are as follows:
Building Evaluation Phase
Physical Asset and Policy Optimization
Performance Measurement and Tracking
(Validation) Phase
The Continuous Improvement Cycle
1.0 Building Evaluation Phase
The Building Evaluation Phase helps
gather preliminary data about the
building and its performance and set
project goals. It should typically consist
Benchmarking energy and water
Energy audits
LEED-EBOM gap analysis
1.1.0 Benchmarking
Benchmarking takes actual utility data,
typically from a period of 1-2 years, and
compares it against a database of
buildings of similar size and use.
Allows building managers to understand
how their buildings compare to their
contemporaries by determining what
percentile the building places in.
“That which is measured is
improved.” An EPA study concluded
that facility managers that participate in
benchmarking reduce energy use an
average of 2.4% per year and reduce
energy costs by 7% per year.
Consider using the Energy Star Portfolio
Manager, which is a free online
benchmarking tool made available as a
joint effort of the US DOE and EPA.
1.2.0 Energy Audits
Benchmarking allows facility managers
to understand how their building’s
performance compares to other
contemporaries. However, in order to
improve performance, more detailed
information about existing building
assets, performance, and optimization
opportunities are required. The next step
is to perform an Energy Audit.
There are two types of Energy Audits
that are typical for a building project:
ASHRAE Level I Walkthrough
ASHRAE Level II Energy Survey &
There is also an ASHRAE Level III
Detailed Survey & Analysis, which
typically is only used on investmentgrade energy optimization projects
1.2.1 Level I Walkthrough
The ASHRAE Level I Walkthrough is a
simple visual survey of a facility by an
auditor along with a review of existing
utility data to determine a cursory set of
Energy Conservation Measures (ECM’s)
for a facility. Its elements include:
Perform a walkthrough of the facility.
Meet with the owner and O&M staff.
Perform a space function analysis.
Perform a rough estimate to
approximate the breakdown of energy
use for major end-use categories.
Identify potential low-cost or no-cost
changes to the facility or to O&M
A Level I Walkthrough is a prerequisite
for EBOM certification (EAp2).
1.2.2 Level II Energy Survey
The ASHRAE Level II Energy Survey &
Analysis is a more in-depth analysis of
the facility. It is typically conducted for
facilities with higher performance and
consumption/cost savings targets. Its
elements include:
A review of the mechanical and electrical
system design, condition, and operations
and maintenance practices.
A review of existing operations and
maintenance problems.
Measurement of actual operating
parameters and comparison to design
A breakdown of the total annual energy
use into end-use components. This
element may be completed by producing
an energy model of the existing facility.
1.2.3 Level II Energy Survey (cont’)
The ASHRAE Level II Energy Survey &
Analysis elements include (continued):
A list of all possible modifications to
equipment and operations that would
save energy (energy conservation
measures or ECM’s), including a rough
estimate of first cost and energy and
cost savings, to be narrowed into a list of
practical modifications and prioritized in
a meeting with the owner and O&M staff.
Calculate the energy index for each
practical measure and calculate a more
detailed estimate of the potential savings
in energy cost. This element may be
completed by producing an energy
model incorporating ECM’s and
comparing results to the simulation of
the existing facility.
1.2.4 Level II Energy Survey (cont’)
The ASHRAE Level II Energy Survey &
Analysis elements include (continued):
A more detailed estimate of the first cost
for each practical measure.
An estimate of any potential impacts on
building operations, maintenance costs,
and non-energy operating costs.
An estimate of the combined energy
savings from implementing all ECM’s
compared to the potential savings
calculated in the Level I Walkthrough.
Preparation of a financial evaluation of
the estimated total potential investment
for each ECM and evaluate with the
owner to discuss implementation or
further analysis.
A Level II Audit is an elective credit for
EBOM certification (EAc2.1).
1.3.0 LEED-EBOM Gap Analysis
As a part of the existing building
optimization effort, owners may consider
seeking LEED-EBOM (Existing Buildings
Operations and Maintenance)
certification for their facility.
More existing building square footage is
currently registered for LEED than new
building square footage.
The Rating System can act as a tool for
focusing and organizing sustainable
optimization efforts.
A LEED Gap Analysis is a low-cost
method for determining the feasibility of
pursuing LEED certification.
Consists of a scorecard and simple narratives
of each LEED credit outlining the proposed
approach for each credit and what the rough
anticipated magnitude of cost and effort would
be to earn the credit.
2.0 Asset/Policy Phase
The Building Evaluation Phase helps
determine the plan for optimizing the
facility. Then, the next step is to focus on
and implement the recommended
physical asset and policy upgrades
recommended in the Evaluation Phase.
It may consist of any of the following
Operational Policy and Program
Retro-Commissioning of Existing
Upgrade and/or Replacement of Existing
Envelope Retrofits
2.1.0 Policy Upgrades
When deciding what sustainability
policies and programs to adopt for your
project, consider what your organization
and the facility occupants most value.
Solicit the input of the following
The Owner
The Operations and Maintenance Staff
Your Other Employees
Your Tenants
Potential Tenants You Are Trying to
Even if you choose not to pursue EBOM
certification, consider applicable credits
from the Rating System and the EBOM
Policy Model for developing new
operational policies and programs.
2.1.1 EBOM Policy Model
The LEED-EBOM Policy Model sets the
basic requirements for writing an
operational policy that will be acceptable
for achieving prerequisites and credits in
the LEED-EBOM Rating System. It is a
good model to use when developing
policies even for projects not pursuing
LEED certification. The Model has the
following elements:
Performance Metrics
Procedures and Strategies
Responsible Party
Time Period
2.1.2 O&M Staff Culture
Developing new sustainability policies
and programs should be just the first
step in creating a Culture of
Continuous Improvement amongst
facility ownership, the O&M staff,
employees, and tenants. Policies should
be routinely monitored to ensure
performance targets are being met and
updated routinely to be responsive to
new requirements for the facility or new
technologies that may be available.
The bar should be continually raised as
performance targets are met with a view
toward better meeting the established
sustainability goals. New sustainability
goals may also be developed, over time,
through continuing dialogue with building
2.1.3 O&M Staff Culture
One critical element in developing a
Culture of Continuous Improvement is
changing the way O&M staff is evaluated
by facility management.
Many facilities currently place the
highest priority on answering hot and
cold calls, creating a culture where O&M
staff may “scab on” quick fixes to
problems. Instead:
Use the policy performance tracking
established in policies as major criteria in
O&M staff evaluations.
Reward continuous improvement and
make sure O&M staff has the proper
budgets for continuing facility upgrades.
Emphasize programs like Energy Star
certification, LEED-EBOM, Better
Buildings Challenge, etc., to help
generate awareness and excitement for
sustainability programs among staff and
tenants alike.
2.2.0 Retro-Commissioning
Retro-Commissioning (RCx) is the
systematic process of optimizing existing
building systems for improved energy
performance and occupant comfort. Its
elements include:
Creation of a Current Facility
Requirements (CFR) document with
current owner requirements for systems.
Testing and optimization of existing
HVAC systems, primarily at the controls
level. RCx is somewhat like a tune-up for
your building’s mechanical systems.
RCx is similar to, but far more hands-on
than, a Level II Energy Audit.
RCx may be utilized as a strategy to
achieve optional points in the LEEDEBOM Rating System (EAc2.1).
2.2.1 Envelope RCx
As a part of the Retro-Commissioning
effort, it may be wise to consider
assessing and optimizing the building
envelope, as well, in order to achieve
desired energy performance and
occupant comfort.
Envelope Testing may include any of the
Infrared Thermography (Water Leakage,
Air Leakage, Completeness of Thermal
AAMA 501 Calibrated Water Nozzle
Testing (Water Leakage)
Blower Door Testing (Air Leakage)
Hazardous Materials Sampling (For
Lead and Asbestos)
2.2.2 RCx Considerations
Not every facility is a good candidate for
RCx and not every RCx effort is the
same, based on the needs and priorities
of the owner and occupants. Some key
things to consider are:
How do the Current Facility
Requirements (CFR) relate to the
existing building assets?
Does the facility’s age merit undertaking
a RCx effort?
Does the facility’s HVAC system have
pneumatic or DDC controls?
What is the priority of the RCx effort? Is
it energy/cost savings, occupant comfort,
or a mix of both?
Does the owner’s budget lend itself to
the RCx effort?
2.3.0 System Upgrades
Based on the results of the Energy Audit
and/or RCx effort, the owner may elect
to implement upgrades and/or
replacements to the existing building
mechanical and electrical systems.
These typically fall into one of three
Simple Lighting and Controls Upgrades
Mechanical System Upgrades
Renewable Energy System Retrofits
The design and implementation of each
of these should be informed by and build
off of each of the previous categories.
2.3.1 Lighting and Controls
Lighting and controls upgrades are often
the least expensive to implement and
often have the fastest payback. They are
known as “the low hanging fruit” of
existing building energy optimization.
They include (from low to high first cost):
Occupancy Sensors (30% Reduction In
Connected Load, Typical)
Lighting Retrofits (2-3 Year Payback
Period, Typical, T12 to T8 Fluorescent)
Daylight Harvesting Controls (Dimming
or Stepped Dimming)
Demand Control of HVAC Systems (CO2
Sensors, Occupancy Sensors, etc.)
Other Additional HVAC Controls
Upgrades (Addition of DDC Controls
With Night Setback or Economizer
2.3.2 Mechanical Systems
Based on the type and condition of
existing systems and/or the performance
criteria necessary for the facility, it may
be warranted to upgrade and/or replace
the existing systems.
Whatever mechanical system upgrade is
selected, be sure that the load
calculations for the system take into
account any simple lighting and controls
strategies and envelope retrofits being
implemented on the facility. This will help
prevent oversizing of systems and save
energy and energy cost.
2.3.3 Renewables
Addition of renewables to existing
facilities is still rare due to the high first
cost and long payback period. However,
several trends weigh in their favor:
Steady increases in energy demand and
Steady decreases in the cost of
renewable technologies.
The best candidates for renewable
energy system retrofits will reduce their
energy footprint so that each kW of
renewable energy capacity added will
offset a greater percentage of the
facility’s overall energy use.
Check for a state-bystate listing of incentives available for
renewable energy systems.
2.4.0 Envelope Retrofits
Although they can be costly and
disruptive to building operations,
envelope retrofits can often yield
significant improvements to building
energy performance.
Consider coordinating envelope retrofits
with work necessary to remediate any
areas of the envelope that may need
correction as discovered in RCx.
Example: Routine roof replacement
Example: If a window or curtain wall is
leaking badly, consider complete
replacement with a more modern system
in lieu of a smaller repair scope.
Make sure the load calculations in the design
of any mechanical system retrofits
incorporate the impacts of envelope retrofits.
3.0 Performance Phase
Once new sustainability policies are put
in place and physical building assets are
upgraded, it is critical to track their
performance to make sure sustainability
goals are being reached. Some key
elements in performance measurement
and tracking are:
Proper Water Metering
Proper Energy Metering
For sustainability policies not involving energy
or water consumption, the best verification
asset for a facility is a motivated, engaged,
and empowered O&M staff.
3.1.0 Water Metering
Remember, “That which is measured
is improved.” For metering water
Make sure that whole-building water
meters are easily accessible and
checked on a routine basis. Also, meter
any gray or reclaimed water.
When submetering systems, consider
which subsystems use the most water:
Irrigation Systems
Indoor Plumbing Fixtures and Fittings
Cooling Towers
Domestic Hot Water Systems
Other Process Water Systems
Also, remember to calibrate water
meters on a routine basis.
Whole-building metering and
submetering may earn EBOM credits
3.2.0 Energy Metering
Remember, “That which is measured
is improved.” For metering energy
consumption, two elements are helpful:
A Building Automation System (BAS).
Submetering of mechanical and
electrical equipment. When submetering
systems, consider which subsystems
use the most energy:
HVAC Systems
Domestic Hot Water Systems
Process Energy Systems (Including Plug
Renewable Energy Systems
Installation of a BAS system may earn
EBOM credits (EAc3.1). Installation of
energy submetering may earn EBOM
credits (EAc3.2).
4.0 Continuous Improvement
All of the previous steps and strategies
represent one pass through in what
we might call “The Continuous
Improvement Cycle.” Creating a
Culture of Continuous Improvement
means never settling for status quo in
the performance of a facility. In order
to continue to further optimize the
building, these additional elements
may be considered as a part of the
Continuous Improvement Cycle:
Monitoring-Based Commissioning and
On-Going Commissioning
On-Going Systems and Envelope
LEED-EBOM Recertification
4.1.0 Monitoring-Based Cx
The State of California Energy
Commission defines Monitoring-Based
Commissioning (MBCx) as a program
approach that combines permanent
building-energy-system monitoring
with standard RCx practices to provide
substantial, persistent energy savings.
MBCx utilizes permanent monitoring
systems, such as BAS and energy
metering to:
Increase the effectiveness of
RCx efforts by providing a means
to verify energy savings are
being achieved.
Identify previously unrecognized
and unquantifiable savings
opportunities not apparent from
monthly utility readings.
4.1.1 Monitoring-Based Cx (cont’)
The State of California Energy
Commission did a study on over 40
buildings on university campuses that
concluded average energy savings of
10% from adopting Monitoring-Based
Commissioning with an average
payback of 2.4 years. (Note that
energy costs are higher in California
and, therefore, payback periods will be
longer in the Southeast.)
4.1.2 On-Going Cx
MBCx can dovetail into a long-term,
On-Going Commissioning (OGCx)
program for a facility. An OGCx
program for a facility entails
contracting a Cx Agent to routinely
engage in RCx activities of a facility on
a regular time cycle.
As a part of OGCx, the facility’s
systems manual, O&M plan, and
Current Facilities Requirements (CFR)
should be continually updated to
reflect improvements and
modifications made over time.
OGCx is a new credit that will be a part of
the LEED v4 Rating System (EAc3). The
cycle stipulated in the new version of the
Rating System calls for quarterly analysis
in the first year of OGCx with subsequent
cycles of not more than 2 years thereafter.
4.2.0 Systems/Envelope
Building managers should always
keep one eye toward maintaining
awareness of new building
technologies and products that enter
the market and existing products that
continue to decrease in cost and
improve in quality:
Renewable energy systems
Process equipment
Systems controls
Upgrading rather than simply repairing
building envelope components.
Also keep apprised of incentives
and subsidies for sustainable
building upgrades.
Case Study: GT MS&E
The Georgia Tech Molecular Science
and Engineering Building is a 284,000
square foot laboratory comprised of two
The project was constructed in phases
with Phase One completed in 2005.
The final phase of construction was
completed in 2012.
The building is used for research and
includes heavy wet labs that are in
operation 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
GT MS&E: Before Optimization
Before optimization activities were
undertaken at the Georgia Tech MS&E
Building, several issues became points
of concern during construction of one of
the final phases of the West Tower:
The facility was having difficulty
maintaining the 6.0” w.c. average static
pressure setpoint. All 4 fans were
typically in operation at all times on both
The facility was having difficulty meeting
task exhaust airflows.
Nuisance alarms were common on fume
hoods due to the low airflow velocity.
Noise was an ongoing issue in the
GT MS&E: Evaluation
In evaluating these issues, the following
root causes of the issues were identified:
The task exhaust airflow requirements
were too high.
The minimum cfm requirements for
ventilation hoods did not take into
account sash height, leading to the
nuisance alarms.
Energy recovery filters were fouled
causing additional exhaust system
GT MS&E: Fume Hood Evaluation
In specifically evaluating the project’s
fume hoods in order to address the
nuisance alarms, more root cause
issues were identified:
The NFPA fume hood requirements in
place at the time did not take into
account the differences between
constant volume and VAV hoods.
Conducted ASHRAE 110 testing to
validate performance.
GT MS&E: Optimization
The following optimization tasks were
Energy Recovery System Filters Were
System shut-down required
Fume Hoods Re-Balanced
Lowered minimum cfm on restricted
bypass hoods based on satisfactory
results of ASHRAE 110 test.
General Exhaust and Task Exhaust ReBalanced
Ensured labs would be maintained
at 6 ACH in all cases
Set task exhaust down to 45 cfm
Reset Static Pressure Setpoint
Fume hoods open (worst case
GT MS&E: Results
The following results were achieved from
the MS&E optimization efforts:
Static pressure was lowered by 50% in
each tower.
Energy cost savings of $30,000/year
were realized in each tower ($60,000/yr,
total) from exhaust system energy
Additional energy cost was saved in
make-up air, cooling, and heating
The noise problems in the facility were
GT MS&E: Take Aways
The following lessons were learned from
the MS&E optimization effort:
The importance of routine monitoring
and changing of the energy recovery
system filters became clear.
Task exhaust domino effect.
GT Fume Hood Approach
Georgia Tech’s approach to fume hoods
moving forward emphasizes the
importance of fume hood sash closures:
High performance hoods.
Face velocity control: 100 fpm or 60
VAV or constant volume fume hoods?
New NFPA requirements refer to ANSI
Z9.5, which allows between 150 and 375
ACH inside the fume hood (roughly half
the volume of the previous NFPA 45
The MS&E optimization effort also helps
illustrate the importance of Measurement
and Verification and the evolving
approach of the industry to M&V:
Ongoing Commissioning (OGCx) is
becoming an important tool for
maintaining and improving performance.
LEED is also evolving to place greater
emphasis on M&V:
Evolution beyond the IPMVP
Measurement and Verification
Practical approaches to ongoing
performance evaluation
Right thing to do.
Important for energy intensive
facilities (laboratories, libraries,
Key takeaways:
Proper renovation, operation, and
maintenance of existing buildings are
critical to the goal of building a more
sustainable planet. 72% of our
existing building stock, by square
footage, is over 20 years old and over
half of the buildings that will be in
service in 2050 have already been
A step-by-step process should be
diligently followed to optimize existing
buildings, starting with their
evaluation, leading into the upgrade of
existing policies and physical assets,
and concluding with the tracking of
performance metrics to make sure
new policies and physical assets are
helping the facility meet its
sustainability goals.
Summary (continued)
Key takeaways (continued):
Remember, “That which is
measured is improved.” Having
policies and tools for tracking
performance and metering
consumption are critical to the goal of
optimizing existing buildings.
Also remember, it’s critical to create a
Culture of Continuing Improvement
amongst your organization and your
facility’s end users.
Part of creating a Culture of
Continuing Improvement is setting a
continuous cycle for facility
optimization that should include
elements like an On-Going
Commissioning (OGCx) Plan.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have for today’s
course presenters
Thank You For Your Time
About Us
• Established in 1991
• Multi-Disciplinary
• Small Disadvantaged Business; 8(m)
Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB)
Epsten Group Services:
Energy Audits
Building Envelope Services
Roofing & Waterproofing Consulting
LEED Consulting
Energy Modeling
Architecture & Interior Design

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