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Establish Building Locations for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

October 7, 2013 - 10:53am

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Step 2

After estimating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by building type, building location is an important consideration in evaluating the relevance of energy-saving strategies due to variations in heating and cooling needs, and the GHG reduction potential due to variability of emissions factors across regions of the grid.

If site-level energy use estimates are available for each of the program's key building types, the program can identify building locations with the greatest emission reduction potential by using the benchmarking approach. Locations with the worst energy performance relative to the benchmark are likely the best candidates to evaluate first for their emissions reduction potential. For more information, see Benchmarking Building Types for Energy Intensity at the Site Level.

Figure 2 – An image of a pie chart titled 'Program B Site Locations for Office.' It shows a slice labeled 'Site B' at 45%, a slice labeled 'Site C' at 22%, a slice labeled 'Site D' at 22%, and a slice labeled 'Site A' at 11%.
Figure 1. Establish Locations for GHG Mitigation Analysis

Many programs, however, will not have this level of detail on building energy use by building type and location. These programs should identify sites with the largest amount of floor space for the key building types and focus initial emission reduction assessments on those buildings. All sites should be assessed at some point, but focusing on those that are likely to have greater potential for reduction first may help the agency reach its reduction goals in a more cost effective way.

To illustrate, Agency ABC looks at floor space for office buildings across four sites. See Figure 1.

The example below in Table 1 shows the first step towards assessing which sites to focus on using a pure square footage calculation.

Table 1. Program B Example
Site Name Building Type Floor Area (KSF) Percent of Total Program SF by Building Type (%)
Site A (Duluth) Offices 1,100 11%
Site B (Seattle) Offices 4,500 45%
Site C (Chicago) Offices 2,200 22%
Site D (Miami) Offices 2,200 22%
Figure 2 – An image of a pie chart titled 'Program B Site Locations for Office.' It shows a slice labeled 'Site B' at 45%, a slice labeled 'Site C' at 22%, a slice labeled 'Site D' at 22%, and a slice labeled 'Site A' at 11%.
Figure 2. Program B Example Priority Sites

The largest sites should be combined until 80% of the program's floor space for a building type is reached. In this example, Site B, Site C, and Site D should be evaluated further for potential reductions because combined, the office space square footage makes up 80% of Program B's office space.

Next Step

As part of analyzing data to evaluate a GHG emissions profile for buildings, the next step is to rank sites by overall score based on building type and location.

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