Facilities managers tasked with operating and managing several buildings on a campus or within a portfolio are often aiming for energy savings or carbon neutrality at a campus-wide level vs. a building-by-building level. While greening an entire campus can present unique challenges, it can also offer some incentives and opportunities that further escalate energy savings.
Check out some of the notable differences between greening an entire portfolio vs. a single building:
Energy Usage: Measurement, Tracking, & Benchmarking
The more buildings you have in your portfolio, the more data that is being captured. This energy-usage information can be used to measure and track usage, and establish facility performance benchmarks. When you can compare the energy use of similar buildings, you can pinpoint facilities that are performing worse than the others. Focusing on energy-efficiency improvements at those facilities first can present a faster ROI for energy conservation measures.
Testing New Technology
Greening an entire portfolio or campus provides facilities managers with a platform for testing energy conservation measures before they’re implemented across all facilities. For example, if window film is an energy conservation measure you want to explore, it can be installed in one or two buildings to verify energy savings before making a campus-wide investment. It also presents an opportunity to test new or emerging tools that aren’t widely used in the commercial and institutional buildings markets, such as remote energy auditing. By testing in just a few buildings, results can be analyzed to determine whether the tool could be used at a broader level in the future.
With a single building, transportation isn’t typically an issue. However, as building occupants move across a campus every day, clean vehicles, alternatives to vehicle travel, bike paths, and walking trails become more important (and something that the facilities department is often charged with managing).
Green Discounts & Funding
When you’re investing in green products, purchasing for a portfolio or campus can lead to volume savings. For organizations using green revolving funds, such as Harvard University or Western Michigan University, there are even more opportunities for savings. Through this innovative financing mechanism, universities and other organizations make energy-efficiency investments that generate tangible savings. When these cost savings are recaptured from projects that reduce energy use, they are re-invested into new energy-efficiency projects. These new projects accrue additional savings, which then go back into the green revolving fund or general budget.
What advantages have you seen when greening an entire campus or portfolio vs. a single building?