New power play: Deep energy retrofits emerge as promising market

An architect’s guide to the energy retrofit market


Over the past five years the energy efficiency of the U.S. building stock has gained more and more attention. A growing body of research discussing the substantial economic and environmental benefits of energy efficiency has led policymakers, investors, building owners, environmental groups, and design and construction professionals to seek ways to scale up the energy efficiency retrofit market.

The American Institute of Architects and Rocky Mountain Institute believe that as the energy efficiency retrofit market develops, architects can position themselves to seize a robust business opportunity by offering deep energy retrofits — retrofits that aim to deliver greater savings by taking a whole-building approach to energy efficiency — as a new line of service. The purpose of this AIA and RMI co-publication is to introduce architects to the concept of deep energy retrofits and inform them of the significant business opportunity they represent. It also aims to educate them on the deep energy retrofit process and the architect’s role in it, and familiarize them with the financial tools and incentives needed to participate in this promising sector. This is not meant to serve as a technical design guide. There is little discussion of specific energy efficiency measures or technical design solutions; however, throughout the guide, the reader will find links to resources that can deliver more detailed discussion of different aspects of high-performance design. After reading the guide, the authors hope that architects will be motivated to align their business strategies to compete in this fast developing sector of the design and construction industry.

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