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Make U.S. Buildings Superefficient

What’s Needed

By 2050, U.S. buildings must be 50% more efficient than they are today. To make existing buildings radically more energy efficient, we need building owners to see the value in deep energy retrofits and to perform them across the commercial building stock—supported by a finance community eager to invest.

2025 Goal

By 2025, our program will shift the way building owners and the financial industry view the building efficiency opportunity. We’ll make one billion square feet of commercial building space 35 percent more efficient, influence the deep energy retrofit (>50 percent efficiency improvement) of billions more, and grow the buildings efficiency market from less than $10 billion per year to more than $25 billion.

Our Program

Our building efficiency program will target four of the largest, most influential segments of the buildings market—major corporations, the General Services Administration, the Department of Defense, and activist cities—for deep and portfolio-wide retrofits. It will also stimulate private capital investment in deep energy retrofits by getting owners and investors to consider more than energy cost savings alone in their decision making.

Commitments to Impact

Over the next 1–2 years, we’re going to:

Get leading owners and investors to recognize and act on the full set of values and risks of energy efficiency

  • Write and distribute two practice guides (for owner-occupiers and investors) for incorporating value and risk into efficiency decision making, complete four demonstrations of the methodology, and ensure at least five other major real estate owners request to do the same
  • Train at least 10 top corporations how to incorporate deep retrofit value (DRV) into real estate investment decision making and make DRV a required component of two established real estate finance certification programs

Expand the market for deep and portfolio-wide retrofits

  • Stimulate at least five new deep retrofit projects and establish a pipeline to meeting our five-year goal of 20 owners/developers and 10 suppliers doing portfolio energy and deep retrofit projects.
  • Get 500 building owners to use RMI’s Building Energy Modeling for Owners and Managers materials to inform their RFPs, and get 20 firms to incorporate uncertainty analysis into retrofit modeling projects enabling otherwise inaccessible financing
  • Work with the city of Chicago to pioneer citywide deep retrofits, increasing the average retrofit savings from 20 to 40 percent in half of the 32 existing projects and increasing buildings in the program from 32 to 50.
  • Work with the General Services Administration (GSA) to scale the success of participating ESCOs to deliver over 50 percent savings on average, while helping the GSA and federal agencies start testing new methods and technologies to improve building efficiency, worker health, and productivity
  • Make RMI’s planned super-green office building a replicable model by sharing information about the deep green processes and generating at least 10 inquiries from owners interested in replicating the process
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