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Future-Proofing Building Assets


March 5, 2024

Future-proofing buildings is simple – just make sure they meet anticipated market, regulatory, and financial performance needs for the remaining useful life of the building asset. Ok, so maybe not so simple when the worldwide energy transition, local regulatory requirements, and shifting market expectations are moving building energy-use and emissions-reductions to the forefront of an already long list of to-do’s and worries for building owners and managers.

The good news – much of the future is already here.

Benchmarking and reporting energy-use and emissions data

  • There has been a significant increase in recent years in available technologies for energy management systems and the real-time (or close) building performance management that can be achieved with updated and integrated building automation and controls systems. These systems not only can help meet regulatory requirements to report energy-use or emissions, they go much further in providing tools for actively managing and maintaining the high-performance of your upgraded building.

Strategizing, funding, and implementing building decarbonization upgrades

  • Initial benchmark reporting of energy use data will help inform plans for upgrades to reduce energy use and/or emissions. There are many companies out there that can help with various parts of the solution you need, including the following:

Regulatory: energy-use & emissions benchmarking, compliance strategies 

Strategy: goal setting, budgeting, program planning

Financial: cost-benefit and pro-forma analysis, funding options 

Implementation: program management, procurement, scheduling, contract management, design, construction, and commissioning

The future version of your building can be one where it is market-leading with better rents, ‘stickier’ tenants, has lower energy and O&M costs, and enjoys minimized exposure to fuel cost volatility and regulatory fines.

Where to start?

Finding a Team

Do you have a mechanical service company that possibly also can do energy audits and then the planning and implementation of upgrades? Talk to them. Depending on the regulatory requirements for energy-use reductions and your company’s goals for meeting or exceeding those requirements, they very well may be able to do enough to meet those goals.

For those of you in Colorado, there is a good list of providers for the Energize Denver program that could help with projects locally, and many of these companies also work regionally, and few even nationally.

Finding Funding

There is a LOT of funding out there. The big challenge right now is that there are so many programs at the city, state & federal level, as well as from regional utility providers and others that it can be hard to even know where to start. And it can be hard to find the funding that matches your particular building or operation or ownership type.

Is your building a non-profit or providing some much-needed attainable housing? Or are you on a board that is trying to help your non-profit upgrade their facilities to be ready to continue providing valuable services for a few more decades? There are some significant additional funding and other resources available for these types of facilities.

Colorado, for example, has a variety of resources:

Denver provides support for Equity Priority Buildings to minimize some of the up-front costs of benchmarking & verifying energy-use data, and of doing energy audits.

Energy Outreach Colorado has a program to help with the actual design and construction of upgrades, through its Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program.

And there are a variety of equipment rebates & tax incentives at the city, state, and federal level, in addition to rebates from Xcel and other energy providers.

How can I help?

Oakville Building Advisors was started in 2022 with the goal of leveraging 30 years of construction management and real estate experience to be trusted advisors for commercial building owners who seek to strategically transform their assets to meet the demands of a changing market.

Reach out to Kye to see if I can help you with the next step in your plan to future-proof your buildings.