Case Study: Mixed-Use Building Retrofit and BPS Compliance

View of Boston and Cambridge.

Our first fictional use case concerns a Boston building owner who manages a four-story commercial building, consisting of apartments, offices, a bank, and a grocery store. This building owner is interested in retrofitting her building, particularly in HVAC and boiler technology upgrades. She would like to evaluate the reduction in energy use and emissions that would result from these upgrades, along with any potential environmental and public health cost savings. Additionally, as Boston’s new Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) comes into force in 2025, she wants to see if the decrease in emissions from this retrofit will bring her into compliance with the performance standards for the 2025-2029 performance period. 

With these goals in mind, she uploads a spreadsheet of her building’s actual energy data for 2020 and predicted energy data for 2024 to the Co-Benefits of the Built Environment (CoBE) tool, as she estimates the retrofit will be completed by 2024. 

Based on the CoBE tool’s analysis of her projected emissions, she determines that these performance upgrades will decrease her building’s energy footprint by 20,316 MMBtu and its emissions footprint by 1,316 metric tons CO2e and 1 metric ton of air pollutants. Its climate impacts will be reduced by $61,252, and its public health impacts by $228,340. Additionally, she sees that her projected emissions for 2024 would fall below the annual emissions intensity cap for the 2025-2029 period, bringing her into compliance with BERDO.

You can upload the data used in this case study to the CoBE tool and assess the results yourself. Download the data here.