Information for building owners and managers

When to consider a building energy upgrade?

The incremental cost of pursuing a building energy upgrade is significantly reduced if you were already planning to spend money on capital improvements, which buildings always require anyway.

SITUATION

OPPORTUNITY

HVAC, lighting or other major equipment replacement

Major equipment fails over time, and the need for replacement provides an ideal opportunity to address and other building systems and potentially the building envelope as part of an IBER. After reducing thermal and electrical loads, the marginal cost of replacing the major equipment with much smaller equipment (or no equipment at all) can be negative.

Market repositioning, modernisation or change of use

Repositioning an existing building requires significant capital expense, and the cost of an IBER is often small in comparison.  However significantly improved performance can form a key part of communications around the building's repositioning , broadening the potential market for buyers and tenants.

Roof, window or other major envelope replacement

Planned roof, window and other major envelope replacements provide opportunities for significant improvements in daylighting and efficiency at minor incremental cost. This can open the way for an IBER; by reducing energy loads the cost of replacing major equipment such as HVAC and lighting can go down significantly.

Upgrades to meet code

Changing building codes and other standards my require upgrades resulting in substantial disruption and cost, enough that the incremental investment and effort to radically improve the building efficiency becomes not only feasible but also profitable.

New acquisition or refinancing

A new acquisition, or refinancing an existing asset can support attractively financed building performance upgrades as part of the transaction, which may not have been possible at other times.

Fixing an “energy hog”

There are some buildings with such high energy-use or high energy-prices (perhaps after a major rate increase) that an IBER has compelling economics without leveraging any of the factors above.

Major occupancy change

A tenant moving a significant number of people into a building, or a major turnover in square meterage, presents a prime opportunity for an IBER, for three reasons. First, an IBER can generate interior layouts that improve energy and space efficiency, and can create more leasable space through downsizing mechanical equipment. Second, ownership can leverage tenant investment in the fit-out. Third, tenant disruption can be minimised as the IBER can be undertaken during the changeover period.

Energy management planning

As part of an ongoing energy management plan for a group of buildings, the owner may desire a set of replicable efficiency measures. These measures can be developed from an IBER of an representative building and applied to a larger set of similar buildings.