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Reducing Source Energy: In Commercial Buildings

Reducing Source Energy: In Commercial Buildings

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This book is designed to help those who share the view that, as building professionals, we share a noble mission: making energy decisions that serve both the interests of building stakeholders and the interests of society as a whole. We need to extract and use fossil fuels as wisely and as economically as possible. Wise economy requires that we make decisions based on all of the energy we use to condition and operate buildings—not just the energy consumed at the building’s site. In other words, we need to measure energy efficiency according to how much energy our buildings use, traced all the back to the sources of their energy supplies. By using source energy as the principal criterion for judging efficiency, all of our planning, design, operation and regulatory choices will benefit the public interest—as well as improving both the comfort and the value of our buildings—throughout their long, long lives. While source energy is a simple concept, it can sometimes be confusing in application. Each group of stakeholders needs specific suggestions for how best to apply source energy to building decisions. And any suggestions must be based on directly-relevant economic concerns and professional imperatives. That’s why each chapter in this book is written for a specific group: • Owners and developers • Architects • Engineers • Policy makers • Codes, standards and program managers • Utility regulators Finally, the book provides a user guide to a no-cost, public access, web-based calculation engine that allows anybody to accurately quantify a building project’s source energy, based on its site energy consumption and its ZIP code. Welcome to source energy—the most technically robust, economically rational and societally beneficial metric for measuring energy efficiency.