There is nothing small about the impact that small commercial buildings have on energy use in the United States. In fact, the 4.6 million small buildings across the nation consume 44% of the overall energy use in buildings, presenting an enormous opportunity to cut costs, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this potential, small building owners and operators face unique challenges that have historically impeded the adoption of widespread energy efficiency solutions. A new report developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) examines these barriers and suggests a path forward to support cost-effective energy savings for the small buildings and small portfolios sector, which typically has limited resources to pursue energy efficiency solutions.
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Small buildings have been left behind in the energy efficiency marketplace because financial and technical resources have flowed to larger commercial buildings (PGL 2013). DOE’s Building Technologies Office (BTO) works with the commercial building industry to accelerate the uptake of energy efficiency technologies and techniques in existing and new commercial buildings (DOE 2013). BTO recognizes the SBSP sector’s potential for significant energy savings and the need for investments in resources that are tailored to this sector’s unique needs. The industry research and recommendations described in this report identify potential approaches and strategic priorities that BTO could explore over the next 3–5 years that will support the implementation of high-potential energy efficiency opportunities for this important sector.
This fact sheet summarizes recommendations for designing new office buildings that result in 50% less energy use than conventional designs meeting minimum code requirements. The recommendations are drawn from the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings, an ASHRAE publication that provides comprehensive recommendations for designing low-energy-use office buildings with gross floor areas up to 100,000 ft2.
Designed as a stand-alone document, this fact sheet provides key principles and a set of prescriptive design recommendations appropriate for smaller
office buildings with insufficient budgets to fully implement best practices for integrated design and optimized performance. The recommendations have undergone a thorough analysis and review process through ASHRAE, and have been deemed an easily replicable combination of measures to achieve 50% savings in the greatest number of office buildings.
This fact sheet summarizes recommendations for designing elementary, middle, and high school buildings that will result in 50% less energy use than conventional new schools built to minimum code requirements. The recommendations are drawn from the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings, an ASHRAE publication that provides comprehensive recommendations for designing low-energy-use school buildings.
Designed as a stand-alone document, this fact sheet provides key principles and a set of prescriptive design recommendations appropriate for smaller schools with insufficient budgets to fully implement best practices for integrated design and optimized performance. The recommendations have undergone a thorough analysis and review process through ASHRAE, and have been deemed an easily replicable combination of measures to achieve 50% savings in K-12 schools.
A report with case studies on 15 Zero Energy schools in the U.S., prepared to help Baltimore City Schools in its building planning.
7x7x7: Design Energy Water is an innovative program by the Division of the State Architect that encouraged California school districts to develop long-range master plans that reduce energy and water consumption on campuses and improve the quality of educational spaces. The State Architect engages seven architectural firms to develop seven conceptual case studies that reduce school energy and water consumption and result in better learning environments on seven different types of campuses (six K-12 schools and a community college). The seven campuses are representative of typical building types from different eras constructed across California’s varied climate zones. The purpose and primary goal of this program is to enable all existing K-14 facilities to be zero energy by 2030.
"Investments in our school buildings are a “triple win” for communities. This guide builds the case for a range of strategic school building improvements that can help communities address the greatest challenges facing our school facilities in cross-cutting fashion. We define opportunities and strategies that all communities can leverage to build a case for real change in their schools."
This multimedia toolkit is designed to guide energy efficiency program administrators through the process of planning, implementing and measuring a large-scale, deep retrofit energy efficiency program for small-to-medium businesses (SMB). We provide downloadable tools and forms you can adapt for use in your own program.
This guidebook is a reference to help other program sponsors and implementers develop and deliver a full-scale and comprehensive small-to-medium-sized business (SMB) energy efficiency program that can achieve similar results. The online SMART Scale Toolkit accompanies this guidebook.
A demonstration of the SMART Scale model in the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District (SMUD) on over 700 projects indicates that an average whole building electricity savings of 20% from the baseline is possible while remaining cost-effective, with a cost of $0.0346 per lifetime kWh and an estimated total resource cost of 3.1. Previous generations of DI programs were capturing only 10% to 12% of whole building electricity savings through approaches dominated by lighting measures.
This guide primarily applies to facility managers and energy managers of large existing office buildings larger than 100,000 square feet, but also includes considerations for small and medium office buildings. By presenting general project planning guidance as well as financial payback metrics for the most common energy efficiency measures, this guide provides a practical roadmap for effectively planning and implementing performance improvements for existing buildings.