Posts tagged with "BOMA":

Chicago releases first year of data under energy benchmarking ordinance

Chicago's biggest buildings cut their energy use 13 to 23 percent since a new city program to publicize consumption data went into effect, according to a city report released Tuesday. That translates into an average savings of up to $200,000 per building per year, the report said. You can read the full report on the City of Chicago's website. In 2013 City Council passed a Building Energy Use Benchmarking ordinance requiring non-industrial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to report their energy usage. That's less than one percent of Chicago’s buildings—about 3,500 in all—but an energy-hungry cohort that the city said accounts for 22 percent of all energy use by buildings. The move was praised by sustainability advocates but criticized by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Chicago, which doesn't want such data made public. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has called the program an important of the city's wider sustainability initiative. Buildings account for 71 percent of the city's greenhouse gas emissions, according to 2010 data. In 2014, 348 buildings spanning 260 million square feet reported data to the city. “Building size or age appears to have little effect on energy intensity,” reads the report, “but building space use is a primary driver of energy intensity,” or energy use per square foot. Office space made up 60 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions. As the program moves forward, more buildings fall under its reporting requirements. Commercial and municipal buildings larger than 50,000 square feet and residential buildings larger than 250,000 square feet must report their data by June 1. Buildings that joined the program last year need only benchmark and report in 2015. Every third year they need to have the city verify that data. Deadlines for additional buildings covered by the ordinance will phase in through 2016.

Chicago’s big building owners embrace the smart grid

The members of Chicago's Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) control nearly 80 percent of downtown Chicago's rentable building area. That makes them critical to local energy efficiency initiatives that aim to reduce the nearly 40 percent of U.S. energy that is consumed by buildings. At a trade show Wednesday entitled "Building Chicago: Greening the Heartland," BOMA officials reported on progress from their smart grid initiative first announced in 2012. The plan, now wrapping up its test phase, would share energy data among BOMA members for the purpose of cutting energy use in many large buildings. BOMA initially fought—and still opposes—the city's energy benchmarking and disclosure ordinance that requires non-industrial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet to report their energy usage publicly. A BOMA spokeswoman said after the event that the group only opposes mandatory public disclosure of energy data, not its collection. Using smart meters from Chicago-based Automated Logic, BOMA has completed pilot testing on several downtown buildings. The “smart grid” refers to a responsive system for distributing and using electricity (and eventually other resources like gas and water) wherein utilities and consumers automatically share data that can be used to reduce the overall demand for power. Meters designed for BOMA measure energy data second-by-second and can be reviewed in real time, said Mike Munson of smart grid technology firm Metropolitan Energy, as opposed to typical meters from ComEd that usually measure at 30 minute intervals and whose reports can only be viewed monthly. For the owners and managers of buildings over one million square feet, utility bills can top $800,000 per year—often among the owner's highest expenses along with labor costs and property taxes. Still, said BOMA's T.J. Brookover, they are accepted as a fixed cost. "Very few times are we dissecting those bills, looking at them, and understanding how we're using energy,” said Brookover. BOMA is trying to encourage more of its members to sign up for the program, but officials admitted it “has been slow” to bring skeptical building owners and managers on board. Under the terms of the plan, they said, individual buildings only see their own data, but only BOMA sees all of it. "The city hopes to shame owners into investing in energy efficiency,” Brookover said of Chicago's benchmarking ordinance. On the contrary, he said, BOMA's plan emphasizes cost savings. Whether you pursue energy efficiency because you hope to slash hefty bills or limit the rising tide of climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions, said BOMA Executive Vice President Michael Cornicelli, smart grid technology has a role to play. "We can all get what we want from a well-designed smart grid infrastructure and strategy,” he said.

Trade Show Wandering

After having rolled through the AIA Convention in Miami and Dwell on Design in Los Angeles, we just can't get enough of the weirdness of American trade shows. Finally we've found a show that tops them all: The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Conference in Long Beach. The convention, which runs through tomorrow, is a delight for those looking to find those unsexy items that really make buildings run and last, like security systems, anti-mold measures, insurance, parking systems, janitorial services, outdoor lighting, and so on. And the exhibitors have outdone themselves with creative ways to get people to look at things that at first blush might not be too enticing. Start with the prospect of ipods, iphones, ipads, and flip video cameras, and move into interactive fare like a candy booth, a poker table, monogrammed golf balls, several golf putting greens, fresh-baked cookies, a wii station, a dart board, a wheel of fortune, and a good old fashioned raffle, to name just a few.