HOW TO BUILD THE CASE FOR
EFFICIENT UPGRADES FROM THE START
TURN ENERGY EFFICIENCY
INTO A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Today, one in three companies cite a competitive
advantage as a primary driver for their energy
management programs.1 Tomorrow, you will need
to start thinking beyond retrofits and upgrades to
achieve that advantage, as building codes become
increasingly stringent and energy-reduction
targets become increasingly prevalent.
A critical point to achieving competitive
advantage energy efficiency is when you are
looking to expand your company’s footprint with
new construction. Decisions you make at the
beginning of the design stage will partially dictate
the size of your operating budget for the next 20
to 30 years, or the lifetime of the building.
Consider that the budget to construct a
building is just 10 percent of what your
organization will spend to operate it.2
With that in mind, here are three facts to help
you build the case to get the capital, so you
have the budget to opt for the most efficient
• The U.S. Department of Energy reports
that 42 percent of the energy consumed by
nonresidential buildings in the United States is
lost through the building envelope.
• The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
finds the largest portion of end-use energy
usage in commercial buildings is due to space
heating, cooling and ventilation equipment. 3
• The quality and efficiency of the building
envelope is the most important factor in
controlling heating and cooling equipment
energy usage, according to the International
With these insights, your goal is about
effectively achieving efficiency.
One way to do so is to ensure that your building,
once erected, will actually deliver the R-values
and U-factors the building solutions provider
promises. Look to engage providers that test their
offerings with a Guarded Hot Box, so you know
your building will perform as expected.
A hot-box apparatus is a state-of-the-art
computerized data acquisition system collecting
information from multiple sensors used to
measure the surface and air temperature,
humidity, airflow and the total energy consumed
by a building assembly during the test period.
An assembly test specimen representing all the
components of the desired building envelope
construction is placed in the apparatus.
Chambers are installed on both sides of the
test specimen. The temperature is dropped to a
specified level on one side of the specimen and
the energy needed to achieve and maintain a
specified different temperature on the opposite
side is measured. A single test can take several
days to complete. These results measure the
actual heat flow through the assembly,
expressed as the actual U-factor performance
of the assembly.
When complete, data from the Guarded Hot Box
test will reveal the actual thermal performance
of the building envelope and can help ensure
compliance to energy codes, or it can be used to
more accurately size HVAC equipment.
Once you’ve built the case for energy efficiency,
you want to ensure the building delivers to set
your organization up for years of savings. Track,
document and report these savings to your
organization’s leadership, and reap the rewards
of delivering true strategic value.
Visit Connect WithButler.com to start
making energy efficiency one of your
© 2016 BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc. All rights reserved.
Butler Manufacturing™ is a division of BlueScope Buildings North America, Inc.
1Informed and In Charge: Deloitte reSources 2014 study. Deloitte, 2014. http:// www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/energy-resources/us-er-resources%202014-study.pdf
2Facility Maintenance Decisions. New Technologies Require Life-Cycle-Cost Analysis. http://www.facilitiesnet.com/maintenanceoperations/article/New-Technologies-Require-Life-Cycle-Cost-Analysis-Facility-Management-Maintenance-Operations-Feature--12546.
Published July 2011. Accessed June 19, 2015.
3Building envelope. Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. http://www.c2es.org/technology/factsheet/BuildingEnvelope. Accessed June 19, 2015.
4Technology Roadmap: Energy efficient building envelopes. International Energy Agency, 2013. https://www.iea.org/publications/freepublications/publication/TechnologyRoadmapEnergyEfficientBuildingEnvelopes.pdf