Read the full story in Sustainable Industries.
Every successful resource efficiency retrofit involves an ongoing integration of three normally distinct and separate functions: operations, technology and finance. In spite of all of the tangible benefits that can be attributed to the greening of existing buildings, finance and operations typically operate within silos and the collaboration of technology, operations and finance has been woefully lacking.
Improving the performance of our existing buildings (approx. 98% of our building stock) is critical to addressing climate change. However, greening existing buildings still face a number of barriers to reach large scale implementation. We believe that an integrated approach with strong collaboration between technology, operations and finance is essential to the success of any retrofit, especially deep retrofits.
The understanding and application of key aspects of this three sided relationship and its information exchange form the three segments of what is called in this article the ‘retrofit triangle.’ In a retrofit triangle program, they need to be integrated, eventually becoming a flywheel driving a building-wide data flow that improves the overall asset management and bottom line creation. This framework streamlines retrofits and creates value. When operations, technology and finance work together seamlessly, it removes barriers to capital flow toward efficiency upgrades. For each stage of the retrofit process, the retrofit triangle framework drives building-wide information flow, improves overall asset management, addresses operational risk, and allows for better management, measurement, and forecasting of building performance.
Technology typically falls into one of three groups: tools used to model, measure and manage building operations. This is a combination of hardware, controls, software and visualization tools to track and report performance as well as analytical tools to identify trends, producing intelligence sufficient for financial manager’s decisions.
The following sections outline a step-by-step process of a typical retrofit process and how technology, operations and finance teams can collaborate to ensure the project’s success.