Examining ways to increase the potential of energy efficient buildings

September 12, 2012

Energy efficient buildings have often been identified as the key component to lowering carbon emission levels in the U.S., as inefficient commercial properties have been targeted as one of the biggest consumers of power in the country.

Organizations around the country are looking for ways to reduce energy consumption levels in commercial real estate, and the U.S. Department of Energy even designated an innovation Hub in Philadelphia to lead the commercial real estate sector in the right direction.

The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) is working with a number of private and government organizations to help transform the way that the commercial real estate sector looks at retrofits. This effort is using the building stock of Philadelphia to act as a national model for the successful implementation of retrofit projects.

Another effort is being led by a former head of sustainability for a real estate firm.

According to the Green Business blog, Riggs Kubiak is the founder and CEO of a startup company that is devoted to connecting the owners of buildings with architects, contractors, suppliers, tenants and those interested in investing in commercial real estate.

His idea is to provide a more transparent look into the sector, allowing businesses and tenants to play more of a role in the process of making a more efficient building.

"Our platform can be a way to catalyze demand for efficient, high-performance buildings," Riggs told the news outlet. "Transparency can have a monumental, game-changing effect."

Others in the industry have noted the potential for this approach to help all parties participate more in the process.

"Honest Buildings has identified two large problems for millions of real estate professionals: finding accurate information about buildings and generating targeted new business opportunities," said Dhiraj Malkani, Partner at RockPort Capital. "Their solution is an innovative platform that empowers individuals to connect with one another and with the buildings and projects they have worked on."

The collaborative approach relies on the streamlining of complex processes, many of which are antiquated and rely on the time-consuming process of distributing requests for proposals and receiving bids for the related reports.

"By connecting owners, professionals, governments and occupants, we are catalyzing the conversations that lead to innovation and new business," said Kubiak.