Retrofit : Volume 3 Issue 2 2014
94 • retrofit australia • volume 3 number 2 | 2014 | Auditing T he solution lies in the quality of the assessment, and the quality of the questions being asked on behalf of the asset manager, or owner. In other words, from undertaking and reviewing many energy audits over the years, we believe that asking deeper and better questions is yielding far more productive results for building owners than the traditional energy audit alone. It is also important to understand that sustainability auditing is not a proxy for energy auditing. Sustainability auditing explicitly brings into question the accuracy of all data and its analyses upon which retrofit or refurbishment recommendations are based. At present, there are three levels of energy audits (Levels 1, 2 and 3), and these vary significantly in accuracy (from +/- 40 per cent in Level 1 to +/- 10 per cent in Level 3), and, accordingly, in how much they cost a client to commission (ranging anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000). While it is common to find that all three different levels of audit types to the same building can be similar, in that they may well produce the same final ‘kilowatt- hour or megajoule figure’ for annual consumption, they can differ greatly in terms of how much energy was being used, by what, and when – the really useful stuff for project managers and building owners. Very rarely do we see anyone ask why energy was being consumed ‘by the building’. This is where we believe the accurate auditing of energy requires looking beyond energy. A good example from a project can be used to show what we mean here, and there are many others besides this one. A multi-residential apartment building had previously had two energy audits undertaken, with the main recommendation being to replace the building’s gas domestic hot water system with a gas microturbine. This was because the building’s annual energy use for hot water was almost 300 megawatt-hours (just over one million megajoules) – equivalent to 40 per cent of the total annual energy consumption of the building. We asked why this much hot water was being used in this building. Surprisingly, in neither audit was the question addressed. Both audits had simply understood there to be a Sustainability auditing and building upgrades: making sure you get the whole picture By StEphEN Choi AND DR RoRy EAmES Sustainability auditing is a term used when the depth and breadth of a traditional energy audit (for example AS/NZS 3598:20001) is considerably expanded. Many building owners and facilities managers will have experienced a lack of enthusiasm in the face of energy audit recommendations. As the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency rightly dwindles, and buildings, owners, and occupiers demand more (and know more) about the assets they own, operate and spend considerable time in, the need to have insightful assessments about retrofit and refurbishment options must significantly improve.
Volume 4 Issue 2 2015
Volume 3 Issue 1 2014