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Michael Bendewald



  • Buildings
  • China

Mike is a former manager on RMI’s buildings practice. He worked primarily on business and finance solutions for implementing efficiency and solar in commercial real estate and district development. His work included writing “how-to” guides on retrofit analysis (Department of Energy Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides) and making the business case (RMI Deep Retrofit Value Guides), as well as introducing innovative finance mechanisms to international audiences (PACE financing for the China Ministry of Finance). He has managed project teams of 2–4 RMI engineers and analysts to deliver insights and build the business case for major companies and government entities to invest in multi-million dollar efficiency programs. Mike also drove the development of an RMI buildings initiative in China to implement near-zero carbon emissions districts.


Prior to RMI, Mike researched and published on the effectiveness of green building rating systems as well as on science, technology, and society (STS).


M.Sc., Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder
BA, Philosophy, Saint John’s University


Boulder, CO




“My colleagues take information about the world and create stories for impact in ways that continue to amaze me.”

Authored Works
Outlet Blog Post

Three Low-Carbon Lessons from China for U.S. Cities and Companies

Each year in China, 10 billion square feet of towering urban residential and commercial building space are added to an existing stock that’s already well over 200 billion square feet. Decarbonizing this massive amount of building space is an important undertaking for China, which stands by its 2016 ratification of…

Outlet Blog Post

A Necessary Low-Carbon Development Strategy for Chinese Buildings

China has the opportunity to improve the thermal comfort of building occupants without increasing energy use by designing new buildings (and retrofitting old ones) to have many of the passive features that RMI’s Innovation Center demonstrates. These features require very low levels of energy to fuel them, and deliver thermal comfort that is better than what most Chinese buildings are delivering now.


The missing link: Transforming deep retrofits into financial assets

Deep retrofits—those saving 50 percent or more energy and achieving superior sustainability performance—are valuable yet largely untapped financial assets. This paper describes how to calculate all the value propositions of deep retrofits, enabling such investments to take their proper role as a central driver of company performance. Many comparisons have…


Tapping Deep Retrofit Value

To assess a deep retrofit project, a professional must evaluate the outcomes of a deep energy retrofit on a given value element and then address how the outcomes create business value. But professionals need not evaluate and present each of the nine value elements. It may make most sense to…