Data dive: Chicago tracks energy efficiency

Submitted by digital on Fri, 01/15/2016 - 14:47
{"version":"0.3.0","atoms":[],"cards":[],"markups":[["a",["href","http:\/\/\/content\/dam\/city\/progs\/env\/EnergyBenchmark\/2015_Chicago_Benchmarking_Report_Web_16DEC2015.pdf","target","_new"]],["a",["href","http:\/\/\/city\/en\/progs\/env\/building-energy-benchmarking---transparency.html\/","target","_new"]],["em"],["a",["href","http:\/\/\/home","target","_new"]],["strong"],["a",["href","http:\/\/\/","target","_new"]]],"sections":[[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Two years ago, the city of Chicago adopted a policy\u00a0to raise awareness of energy performance through information and transparency, with the goal of unlocking energy and cost savings opportunities for businesses and residents."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"In December, the city and its partners unveiled the\u00a0"],[0,[0],1,"2015 Chicago Energy Benchmarking Report"],[0,[],0,", which includes sector-specific analysis from the second year of energy tracking, verification, and reporting. More than 1,800 buildings submitted energy data to the city last year, a five-fold increase from 2014. Details of this effort can be "],[0,[1],1,"found at this link"],[0,[],0,". "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The effort was led by Amy Jewel, LEED AP O+M, senior city advisor for Chicago\u2019s City Energy Project, and Karen Weigert, chief sustainability officer in the mayor\u2019s office. They worked closely with a number of partners, including AIA Chicago and the Committee on the Environment (COTE) local chapter, as well as the Green Building Council, National Resources Defense Council, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, and ASHRAE."]]],[1,"blockquote",[[0,[],0,"\u201cThe City of Chicago is synonymous with leading architecture, from the world\u2019s first modern skyscrapers to the forefront of modern design. Through information, transparency, and action on building energy efficiency, Chicago is adapting this legacy to the economic and environmental needs of the 21st century.\u201d"],[0,[2],1," - "],[0,[],0,"Mayor Rahm Emanuel"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"With expanded coverage and partnership, Chicago Energy Benchmarking data offer insight into the energy performance of properties in the city. More than 1,800 properties tracked and reported energy information in 2015; with a median ENERGY STAR score of 58, reporting properties performed above national median levels. The data also highlighted opportunities to save $100 million to $184 million per year through improved energy efficiency. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"I asked Jose Rodriguez, associate principal at "],[0,[3],1,"Willoughby Engineering"],[0,[],0,", Assoc. AIA, and a 2015 energy benchmarking volunteer, to characterize the AIA\u2019s role and the overall effort."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[4],1,"KG"],[0,[],0,": Why is this benchmarking project important?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[4],1,"JR"],[0,[],0,": The AIA is committed to maintain the highest standard of architectural practice, and through the 2030 Commitment, the institute advocates for a better understanding of how energy is used in the projects we are engaged in. The decisions made during the design process outlast the involvement of the design team and are in great part responsible for the operational performance of a facility in its lifetime. Understanding how design decisions impact the predicted energy use of a project provides an invaluable resource to deliver high quality projects. Part of that understanding is energy modeling; 2030 commitment data show that a great number of projects are delivered without testing their energy performance, and when they do, it is often in the hands of external consultants and disconnected from architectural design process. "]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"Once those projects are delivered, built and operational, unchecked performance of a building may have costly consequences to the facility users, owners, operators, and of course the environment, and the design team that created the project may not even be aware how the building acts during its lifetime. Enter city building energy benchmarking. With information from programs such as the Chicago Energy Benchmarking Ordinance, that information gap\u2014from energy prediction to actual energy use\u2014is filled and provides a long needed feedback to all those involved in a building design and building use lifecycle."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"The design community can then use this information to reassess the design and decisions made for future buildings, while simultaneously, the aggregation of data and analysis of benchmarking results provide an opportunity to learn from buildings that are performing above their peers and use that information to improve the quality of future buildings, provide data to encourage building owners of underperforming buildings to take action, and, with the help of design professionals, improve their performance."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[4],1,"KG"],[0,[],0,": Why was it important for AIA\/COTE to support it?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[4],1,"JR"],[0,[],0,": Benchmarking programs provide feedback to retool our design process based on real life building performance information and allow integrating positive outcomes into the professional community knowledge that is then translated into the design process. Also, maintaining high level relationships with not only the city officials but also with end users and owners of properties positions."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[4],1,"KG"],[0,[],0,": What\u2019s next on this front for the City and the AIA?"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[4],1,"JR"],[0,[],0,": As the Chicago Energy Benchmarking continues to roll out in 2016, it is important to maintain the wide participation of buildings required to benchmark, and maintain a high quality of the data provided by those benchmarking to ensure the information gathered is relevant and useful. With this information in hand, the city and its benchmarking partners\u2014including AIA\u2014 would have to develop programs to educate and inform the building community on what can be done to maintain a good performing building and to bring up the level of those underperformers. The more people are aware of the information and its importance, the more relevant the results will be in the market for new building design, building retrofits and real estate transactions. And the AIA has positioned itself to be in the center of that conversation."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[],0,"One of the most striking things about the collaboration seems to have been that it has lacked the traditional \u201carchitects-resisting-regulations\u201d tension; there seems to be a spirit of productive communication and shared intention that not only could benefit the community and its environmental performance indicators, but also highlights the relevancy of architecture in such considerations."]]],[1,"p",[[0,[4],1,"About the Author"]]],[1,"p",[[0,[2],0,"Kira Gould, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP, is director of communications for "],[0,[5],1,"William McDonough + Partners"],[0,[],1,", and works from the firm\u2019s San Francisco studio"]]]]}
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Read about the city of Chicago’s landmark energy benchmarking program, and how it is increasing knowledge about the energy performance of buildings.
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