Building Infrastructure As A Revenue Source


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Most building owners and operators are very familiar with performance contracting. A contractor evaluates a building, develops a list of energy conservation measures (ECMs), quantifies the savings, and then guarantees the savings will pay for the ECMs within a predefined timeframe. There typically is little or no risk on the part of the building owner. Many successful performance contracts have been executed and will continue to be.

Smart strategies like performance contracting continue to be conceived, tested, and proven in the built environment. As the continuum of ideas and ways to think about energy efficiency evolves, I’d like to mention another compelling method of making buildings more energy efficient, comfortable, healthy, and safe. It’s a financial vehicle leveraging building infrastructure (HVAC, lighting, plumbing, and electrical systems) so that owners can generate revenue from it while also reducing their capital and operating budgets.

This paradigm of energy efficiency is similar to the idea of a landowner signing a gas lease and receiving revenue from those resources (extracted by the expert at extracting gas). In this case, a contractor would lease and operate the building infrastructure for a period of years or decades and sell realized energy efficiency to utilities and independent power producers.

While positioning infrastructure as a resource in this way, the building owner also benefits from reduced capital and operating budgets because the contractor, per the lease, assumes responsibility for maintenance, repairs, and upgrades as part of its mission to generate energy efficiency.

This logic allows us to start thinking of infrastructure as an untapped, predictable, and readily available resource that a building owner can tap to achieve an exceptionally efficient building with increases in capital instead of expenditure.

Ellis Guiles

Posted In: Building Performance, Commercial Buildings

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