The global importance of climate change has shifted the focus from energy and cost reductions to carbon reduction.

In a paper published by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), we shared specific case studies of deep carbon retrofits and summarized some key lessons learned. 

For over 30 years, commercial energy audits have been the cornerstone of energy reduction programs for existing buildings.  In the last several years, the shifted focus to reducing carbon has resulted in a new approach to exploring and implementing deep carbon retrofits.

As the lead author of the paper, Robert Greenwald, our President, had the pleasure of presenting some of the highlights at the virtual ACEEE conference in August 2020.

The paper’s highlights included:

  • A comparison of energy audits and deep carbon retrofit studies in the commercial sector
  • A sample scope of work for a deep carbon retrofit study
  • Objectives and benefits of a deep carbon retrofit to shift the mindset of practitioners and building owners
  • The practical challenges of implementing deep carbon retrofits
  • Considerations for fuel switching and electrification 
  • Lessons from deep carbon retrofits

Successful case studies resulting in carbon reductions of 50-90% are also shared, including:

  1. Kitsilano Community Centre and Arena Heat Recovery
  2. Pacific Environmental Sciences Centre Mechanical Upgrades and Stakeholder Engagement
  3. Langara College Building A Deep Retrofit

We want to thank Craig Edwards, Energy & Utilities Manager of City of Vancouver, Iram Green, Energy Team Lead of Prism Engineering, and Sam Thomas, Nelson Branch Manager of Prism Engineering for their contributions to this paper.