Pilot program to use data to transform efficiency of Chicago buildings

Sept. 14, 2017

The Shedd Aquarium is among the buildings included in the pilot program.

Over the past few years, Chicago has established itself as a leader in energy-efficient buildings.

The city’s landmark energy benchmarking program, for which properties measure and report on their energy use, has already saved Chicago more than $17 million, while supporting high-paying jobs and healthier air. Relatedly, for the second year in a row, Chicago had the highest percentage of buildings with LEED certification (the most widely-used green building rating system in the world).

Industry pioneers have worked hard to make each building’s equipment as efficient as possible. The next opportunity is to work with those innovators to determine, how do we get the teams that use the equipment to make more energy-efficient decisions every day?

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), in partnership with local utility ComEd and the Accelerate Group, is building on Chicago’s leadership to find a solution by launching the Smart Building Operations Pilot. An innovative program that uses real-time energy data to incentivize energy-efficient choices, the pilot aims to inform the day-to-day decisions of equipment operators at 10 large Chicago buildings.

How the pilot works

Smart meters and sub-meters, are measuring building energy use in detail and real time. Unheard of even five years ago, these new capabilities enable building managers and engineers to control energy-use with unprecedented precision.

The Smart Building Operations Pilot will leverage these developments to help buildings use energy more efficiently. Leaders will find out whether the combination of information, interpretation and motivation results in large building operators consistently making smarter energy choices:
    1    Information: The building will collect and display energy-use data in real time (or near‐real time), providing direct feedback to a building operator on the energy impact of their actions.
    2    Interpretation: The building will calculate an energy-use baseline, against which performance will be tracked every half hour, daily, and monthly. To raise awareness, building operators will receive alerts when energy use exceeds or is expected to exceed the baseline.
    3    Motivation: The program will provide an achievable and meaningful incentive to improve. ComEd will provide up to $5,000 up-front to cover hard costs and $0.05 for each kilowatt hour saved compared to the building’s baseline.

The three-pronged approach will empower participants to know how their decisions are affecting energy use in real‐time and easily track those impacts, while providing financial rewards for hitting and exceeding targets.

Program takes off

The technology is in place (after getting a few kinks sorted out), and 10 Chicago buildings are beginning to receive their energy data in real time – with the baseline interpretations to help them understand it. These buildings include the historic Shedd Aquarium and 77 West Wacker, which previously worked with the EDF Climate Corps program to optimize energy use and save nearly $100,000.

Building operators are logging all activities that lead to energy savings. Eventually, these records will be reviewed to determine which behavioral energy conservation measures rise to the top as the most effective. From there, the data will be anonymized and used to create best practices for the next round of participants or even other buildings outside the program.

Improving building efficiency can help cut global CO2 emissions from buildings by 83 percent below business-as-usual by 2050, according to the World Resources Institute. Between the city’s benchmarking program and ComEd’s progressive energy efficiency programs, which have saved customers more than $2.5 billion, Chicago is already cutting harmful pollution and saving businesses money through efficiency. 


Topics: Architectural Firms, Associations / Organizations, Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, Great Commercial Buildings, Office Buildings, Sustainable Communities, Technology, Urban Planning and Design


Sponsored Links:


Related Content


Latest Content

Get the latest news & insights


NEWS

RESOURCES

TRENDING

FEATURES

RESEARCH CENTERS


Agricultural and Farm Buildings
Architectural Firms
Automation and Controls
Building Owners and Managers
Certifications
Construction Firms
Data Centers - Mission Critical Information Centers
Daylighting / Skylights / Natural Lighting
DC Power & DC Applications
Educational Buildings - Colleges and Universities
Educational Buildings - K through 12
Electricity - Electrical and Energy Solutions
Energy Audit / Energy Management
Energy Recovery & Heat Recovery Ventilation
Energy Saving Products
Engineering Firms
Exteriors
Flooring
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Government Buildings - Federal / State / Local
Great Commercial Buildings
Green Roofs / Garden Roofs
Healthcare - Hospitals & Medical Facilities
Healthy & Comfortable Buildings
Highrise Residential
Hospitality
HVAC - Heating & Cooling & Ventilation
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Industrial and Manufacturing Buildings
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)
Insulation
Interior Design
Interiors
Internet of Things
Landscaping Architecture - Design & Maintenance
Lighting - Energy Efficient Lighting
Maintenance
Metal Roofs and Walls
Military Buildings
Mixed Use Communities/Developments & Buildings
Moisture and Vapor Management
Multifamily / Multiunit Residential
Office Buildings
Paint - Low & No VOC
Passive House / Passivhaus
Plumbing
Radiant Heat - Electrical & Hydronic
Renovation / Restoration / Remodeling
Restaurants
Retail
Roofing
Senior Living
Solar Energy & Solar Power
Structured Insulated Panels (SIPS)
Student Housing
Sustainable Trends and Statistics
Tankless Water Heaters
Thermal Envelope - Building Envelope
USGBC
Ventilation
Wall Systems / Curtain Walls
Wastewater Management / Wastewater Treatment
Water and Moisture Management - Waterproofing
Water Heating Strategies - Energy Efficient Water Heating / Heaters and Boilers
Water Quality / Fresh & Clean & Healthy Water / Water Filtration
Water Saving Strategies and Devices
Windows - Glass and Glazing Strategies and Systems
Wind Power