Commercial Real Estate Industry Cuts Energy Consumption Again
The Urban Land Institute’s Greenprint Center for Building Performance released a new report this week showing that the commercial real estate industry is making significant progress in reducing energy consumption.
This center, which is part of ULI’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, is a global alliance of real estate owners, investors, and financial institutions committed to improving environmental performance across the global property industry.
Volume 9 of the Greenprint Performance Report tracked, benchmarked, and analyzed the performance of 7,950 properties owned or managed by Greenprint. Between 2016 and 2017, the members demonstrated a 3.3% reduction in energy consumption as well as a 3.4% reduction in carbon emissions and a 2.9% reduction in water use, according to the report.
The properties included in the report’s analyses account for nearly 2 billion square feet of building area, and are spread across 28 countries. The value of estate assets under management by Greenprint members exceeds $760 billion — nearly 4% of the value of high-quality commercial properties globally, the center says.
Greenprint members reduced energy consumption in a number of ways. The new report found that the most popular practices were installing high-efficiency HVAC equipment and controls as well as high-efficiency lighting.
High-efficiency lighting in buildings in the Greenprint portfolio was the most effective practice for reducing energy consumption, the report says. Doing so created 351,553 megawatt-hours in expected annual savings and achieved payback in less than one year’s time.
One top trend in the industry the report points to utilities increasingly looking for ways to help real estate firms lower their energy usage. Utility incentives can help make battery storage and peak-shedding programs such as demand response financially feasible for companies, according to the new report.
Last year’s report showed that energy consumed by members’ properties had dropped by 13.9% since 2009. It also found that between 2015 and 2016, members demonstrated a 3.4% reduction in energy consumption.
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