Mandatory Energy Audits in San Francisco Could Increase Use of Energy-Efficient Glass
April 16, 2012

by Sahely Mukerji, smukerji@glass.com

Owners of San Francisco's commercial buildings will have to send an annual energy benchmark summary, per the city's Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance. Adopted in 2011, the ordinance is being phased-in over three years for existing nonresidential buildings 10,000 square feet and larger.

"This is going to help owners of existing facilities in San Francisco become more educated about their own costs for energy and opportunities to reduce expenditures associated with it," says Stewart P. Jeske, president of JEI Structural Glazing Systems Engineering of Kansas City. "This will drive retrofit and renovation efforts to reduce those costs and by that help the glass and glazing industry in the San Francisco region. As owners become educated about options to reduce those energy costs, there will be a natural investment toward upgrading to energy efficient glazing systems."

Each whole nonresidential building larger than 10,000 square feet must be benchmarked using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager (ESPM). An annual energy benchmark summary includes: contact information and gross square footage; energy use intensity (how much energy the building used per square foot for the year); 1-100 performance rating provided by the ESPM, where applicable; greenhouse gas emissions from energy usage and; assessor's parcel number (APN or block/lot).

"We're hoping that the new ordinance motivates building owners to take advantage of the advances in fire-rated glass that we and other manufacturers have made," says Jeff Griffiths, director of business development at Safti First in San Francisco. "California, especially San Francisco in particular, has always been a leader when it comes to environmental stewardship and the preservation of natural resources. Unfortunately, many design and building professionals believe that the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification label doesn't necessarily assure long-term energy efficiency for newly constructed buildings, and may be too costly for renovation projects. Periodic audits of a building's energy performance based on actual daily use seem to be a far more practical means of guiding and monitoring energy efficiency."

Click here for more information on San Francisco's annual energy benchmark summary.

This story is an original story by USGlass magazine/USGNN™. Subscribe to USGlass magazine.
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