Package deals for deep savings: Scaling deep retrofits in commercial buildings with integrated systems packages

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Conference Paper


Achieving deep energy efficiency at scale in existing buildings is essential to realizing zero energy goals in the building sector. Integrating energy-efficient technologies has proven to provide deeper savings than component-based retrofits, but these systems-based approaches typically require significant engineering expertise to design, install and operate.  Furthermore, such retrofits are often too disruptive to building occupants and activities when they are not aligned with the real estate life cycle. This has limited their wider adoption beyond industry leaders.

In this paper we present a scalable approach to deploying integrated systems in existing commercial buildings by opportunistically incorporating them within real estate business life-cycle events. The approach has two key elements: a) integrated systems packages (ISPs) that are pre-engineered to minimize expertise and effort required for implementation; and b) a design approach that seamlessly incorporates them into routine real-estate life cycle events -- tenant fit-out, equipment replacement, and renovation. Each ISP is also pre-validated with respect to functionality and energy performance to reduce real and perceived risk.

First, we discuss considerations for incorporating deep energy savings measures in routine real estate life-cycle events, based on a literature review and extensive stakeholder interviews. Next, we describe ISPs developed for three real estate life-cycle events: tenant fit-out, rooftop unit replacement and whole-building renovation. We then present preliminary results from the laboratory testing and validation of the tenant fit-out ISP, showing significant lighting and HVAC cooling load savings. Finally, we discuss potential deployment channels for the ISPs.

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