A free energy and water benchmarking workshop for Evanston building owners and managers is scheduled for December 6.
Sponsored by the City of Evanston, U.S. Green Building Council Illinois Chapter (USGBC-IL), and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), the free half-day workshop will be held from 8:30 to 11 a.m. in the Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave. Professionals from energy efficiency, architecture, engineering, and consulting firms will provide one-on-one assistance to those who own or manage commercial and multi-family residential buildings in the city. G/BA engineers David Eldridge, Joel Freeman, and Josh Remaley are among the area professionals who have volunteered to work with attendees during the event.
The Evanston City Council has proposed passage of an ordinance that would require owners to track, report, and disclose buildings’ annual energy and water performance. Parameters are still under debate, but one proposed threshold would target privately owned buildings of 20,000 square feet or more. Other U.S. cities, including Chicago, have implemented benchmarking policies and ordinances, which are key components of an effective strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing buildings.
“Benchmarking of building energy consumption is important for its potential energy-reduction benefits,” says Freeman. “The process of tracking energy usage and comparing the results to similar buildings helps building owners gauge facility performance. Results can help affirm efficiency leadership and prioritize building improvements.”
The workshop is designed to educate owners about the proposed ordinance and its potential applicability to their buildings. Much of the event will be devoted to helping attendees set up accounts in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, a free online benchmarking tool administered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Participants should bring a fully charged laptop with Wi-Fi capability.
Those interested in attending must pre-register for the workshop.