significantly improve project eco-nomics," she says.
Lalit offers financial tips and
considerations for a retrofit
depending on your facility type:
Secure your capital stack for the
retrofit by leveraging energy efficiency and clean energy financing
tools like Commercial Property
Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE)
to finance the first cost to get
to net zero. C-PACE employs a
lien on the property and is paid
through the property taxes. It can
spread the upfront costs of energy
efficiency and renewable energy
over the equipment lifetime (up to
20 years). The lien can be transferred to the next owner at the
time of sale.
Investor-owned, tenant-occu-pied: If you're a building owner
leasing your space to tenants,
employ creative business models
to finance the costs, such as green
lease agreements (which typically
incorporate cost recovery mechanisms for capital expenditures at a
net benefit to tenants, among other
Net zero buildings also have
Start Small to See Changes
financial incentives. Lalit notes
that these buildings might have a:
n 3 to 7 percent higher occu-
n 3. 5 percent higher rental rates
n 13 percent higher sale value
Make no mistake: the role of
a facility manager is changing.
Previously, the role was to make
sure things weren't broken and to
respond to calls for discomfort by
changing temperature settings.
"The building operator goes from
more than just making sure it's running smoothly to make sure it's running efficiently and optimizing the
building," Carbonnier says. "This is
AT THE SANTA FE SPRINGS OFFICE OF THE CALIFORNIA LOTTERY,
skylights bring natural light to interior spaces to reduce the need for
The publication “Five Steps to Net Zero Energy”
( bit.ly/2OSUzkc) by National Grid and the New
Buildings Institute outlines what can be accomplished for anyone looking to get his or her building
to zero net energy. To begin toward net zero energy,
do these things.
1Assess the building. Begin by analyzing energy performance and benchmarking, and finding out
how much energy is typical for a building of your
type and use. A tool or rating system (e.g. ASHRAE
or ENERGY STAR) will help provide context to the
information. From there, determine what you are
doing well and areas to improve.
2Set goals for performance. With the assessment information, you can determine what goals to
set and how to reach them.
3Scope the project. The publication encourages looking at other projects and buildings similar to
your own to get ideas. One place to start is the New
Buildings Institute “Getting to Zero Database”
( newbuildings.org/resource/getting-to-zero-database). This will help choose measures that align
with your building assessment and goals.
4Implement the retrofit. This can be disruptive, so consider timing and realities of the building,
ownership, tenants and markets when implementing.
5Operate the building. A successful zero net energy building needs to be operated as such,
which begins with design. Include users, operators
and contractors in to work with designers on how
the building and its spaces are used. And continue to
include operation and design going forward.
Get Your Facility to Net Zero