Deep energy retrofits can help building owners cut costs, retain tenants and gain competitive advantage by turning business-as-usual upgrades into profit centers.
RMI is currently part of a design team on a deep energy retrofit of the Byron Rogers federal building owned by the General Services Administration (GSA). On track to be one of the most energy efficient buildings in the country, the project, which broke ground last Friday, will turn a historic 1960s structure into a high-performing green building in the heart of downtown Denver.
With innovative technologies like chilled beams, a hybrid heat pump system and LED lighting, the performance of the building is expected to cut energy use by 70 percent, pushing it closer to its Net Zero by 2030 target. In addition, the building will serve as a model for employing sustainable solutions employed on future GSA retrofits.
The Byron Rogers building, along with the award-winning Empire State Building, are two milestone projects under RMI's recently launched RetroFit Initiative.
"RMI has several high-impact pilot projects under our belt, but reducing energy use on a large-scale in commercial buildings requires widespread industry momentum," said Victor Olgyay, principal with RMI's buildings practice. "Everything we have learned through our integrated approach to deep retrofits, including applications of specific efficiency technologies, modeling tools and best practices, and the financial case, is available in the RetroFit Depot to ensure deep retrofit approaches can be widely replicated and amplified."
Specifically, the RetroFit Depot shares direct results and lessons learned from project collaboration on the implementation of deep retrofits for owners and service providers.
"With 80 billion square feet of commercial space in the country that needs to be retired or retrofitted over the next 20 to 30 years, there is an enormous market opportunity right in front of us," said Olgyay. "We aim to show that deep energy retrofits are cost-effective, and arm engineers and architects to maximize energy savings in their designs."
For more information on profitable solutions for deep commercial building retrofits, visit www.retrofitdepot.org
About Rocky Mountain Institute
Founded in 1982, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to drive the efficient and restorative use of resources. RMI's work supports a vision of a world thriving, verdant, and secure, for all, for ever. Its strategic focus is to map and drive the business-led transition from fossil fuels to efficiency and renewables. For more information, visit www.rmi.org.
Energy efficiency in the built environment is a key element of RMI's long-term fossil fuel reduction plan. The RetroFIT Initiative aims to encourage the retrofit of the U.S. commercial building stock to use, on average, at least 50 percent less energy by 2050 via the wide adoption of deep energy retrofits that save far more energy, even more profitably, than today's normal practices. For more information, visit www.retrofitdepot.org