Buildings Research

Increasing the Effectiveness of Investigation, Definition and Execution of Retrofit Projects to Increase Building Energy Efficiency

Clyde "Bob" Tatum (PI), Brian Gilligan (RA)

Purpose: Provide a Narrative tool for owners to screen, prioritize and execute optimal energy efficiency retrofit projects.

Buildings consume nearly half the primary energy and two thirds of the electricity in the US. While researchers and progressive practitioners are increasingly using integrated design to improve energy efficiency in new construction, it is the existing facility stock that will represent the vast majority of energy use for the foreseeable future. To have a significant impact, then, existing buildings must operate efficiently and maintain that efficient performance throughout their life cycle. Too often, however, owners are reluctant to undertake efficiency projects on their own without outside financial incentive or technical support leaving many opportunities untried.

Bob Tatum and Brian Gilligan are attempting to provide a compelling argument for building owners to undertake such work. Using the Narrative tool developed by John Haymaker at Stanford's Center for Integrated Facility Engineering, owners will be able to identify, prioritize and execute the most optimal retrofit projects available to them. This tool can be used to incorporate analysis of the multiple attributes involved in project selection and design as well as to extend the integrated design approach to existing building retrofits. The objective is to provide an interactive flowchart that will be useful to owners at any level of technical sophistication in establishing and maintaining an effective efficiency retrofit program and documenting design decisions made during individual projects. This will make energy efficiency more attractive in the eyes of a wider base of facility owners and operators increasing the number and scale of projects undertaken.

The focus of research is to understand current best practices used in the efficiency industry by government policy and research groups, private utilities, energy service companies, and building owners who are at the leading edge of such work. These practices will be distilled into a generalized process Narrative which can then easily be tailored to the specific needs of a given owner. This Narrative will suggest points at which applications of technology and concepts such as Building Information Modeling, active-benchmarking and decision analysis can be used to improve typical problem areas in the process.

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Final Report: Increasing the Effectiveness of Investigation, Definition and Execution of Retrofit Projects to Increase Building Energy Efficiency (272KB PDF)
Professor Bob Tatum

Project Abstract: Increasing the Effectiveness of Investigation, Definition and Execution of Retrofit Projects to Increase Building Energy Efficiency (0.1MB PDF)
Professor Bob Tatum, Brian Gilligan

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Table of Contents