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Title: Envision Charlotte Project Final Report

Abstract

The Envision Charlotte Project (EC Project), supported by partners at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Center for Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites and the City of Charlotte, has successfully demonstrated that existing buildings can benefit from operations improvements and low-cost efficiency upgrades, and that behavioral change campaigns can be effectively designed for measurability, longevity and impact. Support from this grant gave Envision Charlotte and its partners the resources and flexibility to demonstrate a variety of approaches to improve coordination with stakeholders in the implementation of programs to reduce the consumption of energy, water and waste. The project team also gained insights into the motivations and abilities that influence stakeholder engagement in sustainability initiatives at multiple levels. Importantly, as this report describes, strong partnerships between nonprofits, industry partners and research institutions can produce tangible impacts and replicable results in building efficiency. Further, building operators working alongside student researchers can form productive relationships that can advance building energy management goals. Key Findings of the EC Project This project focused on advancing solutions to energy efficiency in U.S. commercial buildings. The Building Re-Tuning™ Training (BRT) developed by the U.S. DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Labmore » (PNNL), designed to detect energy savings opportunities and implement improvements with resources and online tools, provided the starting point for the curriculum developed by stakeholders in the EC Project. Although the project partners encountered some issues with data consistency, the overall project outcomes fell short of the energy savings stated in the original proposal, and the total participating building targets were lower than anticipated, important findings, outcomes and lessons learned were achieved. EC Project grantees observed that the PNNL BRT, as currently written, was not compatible with the skills of average frontline mechanical personnel in the Charlotte region where the grant program was performed. Frontline staff are not, typically, energy managers, engineers or building commissioning agents, but they can play a key role in building performance. As detailed in this report, the grantees therefore focused on changes to the BRT that improved the level of training and competency of the frontline workers in this region. Among the technical observations related to improving the BRT that were observed in the EC Project: centralized facilities management often has an impact on building performance; operators can be overly reliant on service contracts; individual behaviors matter, and technology cannot be viewed as a crutch; current Building Automation Systems (BAS) are often too complex to support building efficiency optimization, but BAS coupled with appropriate training can support better outcomes; the “perfectly optimized” building is not a near-term possibility, but better education, especially of executives and managers, on the role of behavioral intervention is a promising direction the building science community can and should pursue; a lack of standards and protocols, and competition between proprietary software from service contracts, remain challenges for this industry. These technical observations, in turn, informed the EC Project’s overall findings, which were: Accomplishing building efficiency is a process of education for all involved in the building design, construction and operation supply chain. Building operators, as a professional class, have an opportunity for further training and education that will lead to better on-the-job performance. An updated Building Re-Tuning™ Training curriculum, based on the findings of this report, could be an avenue for these operators’ professional development.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Envision Charlotte, Charlotte, NC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Envision Charlotte, Charlotte, NC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Building Technologies Office (EE-5B)
Contributing Org.:
Envision Charlotte, City of Charlotte, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, C2ES, Atrium Health
OSTI Identifier:
1478477
Report Number(s):
DOE-EC-0007066
DOE Contract Number:  
EE0007066
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; Energy Efficiency; behavior; buildings; building operators; building re-tuning

Citation Formats

Wagner-Vinson, Christa, and Yates, Emily. Envision Charlotte Project Final Report. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.2172/1478477.
Wagner-Vinson, Christa, & Yates, Emily. Envision Charlotte Project Final Report. United States. doi:10.2172/1478477.
Wagner-Vinson, Christa, and Yates, Emily. Sun . "Envision Charlotte Project Final Report". United States. doi:10.2172/1478477. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1478477.
@article{osti_1478477,
title = {Envision Charlotte Project Final Report},
author = {Wagner-Vinson, Christa and Yates, Emily},
abstractNote = {The Envision Charlotte Project (EC Project), supported by partners at the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Center for Sustainably Integrated Buildings and Sites and the City of Charlotte, has successfully demonstrated that existing buildings can benefit from operations improvements and low-cost efficiency upgrades, and that behavioral change campaigns can be effectively designed for measurability, longevity and impact. Support from this grant gave Envision Charlotte and its partners the resources and flexibility to demonstrate a variety of approaches to improve coordination with stakeholders in the implementation of programs to reduce the consumption of energy, water and waste. The project team also gained insights into the motivations and abilities that influence stakeholder engagement in sustainability initiatives at multiple levels. Importantly, as this report describes, strong partnerships between nonprofits, industry partners and research institutions can produce tangible impacts and replicable results in building efficiency. Further, building operators working alongside student researchers can form productive relationships that can advance building energy management goals. Key Findings of the EC Project This project focused on advancing solutions to energy efficiency in U.S. commercial buildings. The Building Re-Tuning™ Training (BRT) developed by the U.S. DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL), designed to detect energy savings opportunities and implement improvements with resources and online tools, provided the starting point for the curriculum developed by stakeholders in the EC Project. Although the project partners encountered some issues with data consistency, the overall project outcomes fell short of the energy savings stated in the original proposal, and the total participating building targets were lower than anticipated, important findings, outcomes and lessons learned were achieved. EC Project grantees observed that the PNNL BRT, as currently written, was not compatible with the skills of average frontline mechanical personnel in the Charlotte region where the grant program was performed. Frontline staff are not, typically, energy managers, engineers or building commissioning agents, but they can play a key role in building performance. As detailed in this report, the grantees therefore focused on changes to the BRT that improved the level of training and competency of the frontline workers in this region. Among the technical observations related to improving the BRT that were observed in the EC Project: centralized facilities management often has an impact on building performance; operators can be overly reliant on service contracts; individual behaviors matter, and technology cannot be viewed as a crutch; current Building Automation Systems (BAS) are often too complex to support building efficiency optimization, but BAS coupled with appropriate training can support better outcomes; the “perfectly optimized” building is not a near-term possibility, but better education, especially of executives and managers, on the role of behavioral intervention is a promising direction the building science community can and should pursue; a lack of standards and protocols, and competition between proprietary software from service contracts, remain challenges for this industry. These technical observations, in turn, informed the EC Project’s overall findings, which were: Accomplishing building efficiency is a process of education for all involved in the building design, construction and operation supply chain. Building operators, as a professional class, have an opportunity for further training and education that will lead to better on-the-job performance. An updated Building Re-Tuning™ Training curriculum, based on the findings of this report, could be an avenue for these operators’ professional development.},
doi = {10.2172/1478477},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {10}
}