Owners can spend a lot on sustainability measures that don’t yield much benefit, or they can spend very little and improve properties a lot. If the second option sounds more appealing, here are three key ways to make sure you’re getting the best results at the lowest cost:
• Focus on process improvements. Buying and installing new equipment is expensive; making your existing systems work better is affordable. Use integrated design teams, energy modeling and commissioning, among other strategies, to ensure that energy efficiency is optimized.
• Measure your progress. Measurement and verification (M&V) will provide your organization with the data needed to make informed decisions about future improvements. It also enables reporting, and in Australia and many other countries, transparency is important to aligning operations with increasingly stringent disclosure regulations.
• Create a plan for continuous improvement. A continuous process improvement (CPI) plan sets a course for reaching peak performance over time. Capital expenditures are easier to justify in the third or fourth year of an energy program, after you’ve already realized the cost savings from early-stage process improvements.
Following a program of cost-effective strategies and verification of the results gives investment properties a competitive advantage and differentiator, and helps turn corporate real estate portfolios into primary drivers of organizational sustainability initiatives.