The need to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings was highlighted at the ASHRAE 2009 Annual Conference held in Louisville. At the meeting, ASHRAE launched the prototype of its Building Energy Quotient building energy labeling program and introduced a year-long focus on existing buildings.
“In these economic times, dollars for new construction have dwindled,” said Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president. “Given that more people are renovating than building new, now is the perfect time to focus on reducing energy consumption in existing buildings to save money and reduce carbon emissions.
“The vast majority of buildings that will exist in the year 2030 exist today,” Holness said. “If we are to have a material impact on overall energy use, it is through renovation of existing building stock. While existing buildings present greater challenges, they offer us a greater opportunity to impact our overall national energy demand, reduce our dependence upon imported oil and gas and minimize our carbon footprint.”
The Society launched its Building Energy Quotient program, known as Building EQ, which will include both asset and operational ratings for all building types, except residential. ASHRAE is working with major real estate developers to implement the label prototype this fall with a widespread launch of the full program in 2010.