Commercial Retrofitting in NYC

Paper co-authors Sinreich, Leifer & North.

In 2010, with the direction of the Building Performance Stakeholder Consortium, BP Lab and the Steven L. Newman Real Estate Institute (NREI) undertook research on effective means to improve energy efficiency and building performance in New York City’s commercial properties. The findings were published in The Evolving Landscape: Energy Efficiency Retrofitting for NYC Commercial Buildings (PDF).

The authors, Ellen Sinreich of Green Edge LLC, Daniella Leifer, BP Lab Manager of Training and Compliance, Michael Bobker, BP Lab Director, and Ryan North, a BP Lab intern, examined the potential for making a significant, positive impact on the commercial built environment in light of the financial slow-down that began in autumn 2008. They also looked at the potential impact of stimulus funding in this area.

Repositioning real estate assets as green and sustainable is a viable strategy for creating value, the authors argue. For commercial property owners and managers seeking to capture that value, the paper outlines the steps in a strategic energy plan, retrofit tools and technologies, benchmarking and energy audits, and advanced technology strategies. Financing models, such as incentive programs, tax credits, lending, and third-party finance, are discussed in detail in the paper.

Many of the strategies outlined in the paper are addressed in the Building Performance Toolkit, a joint project of BP Lab and NREI.