Deep energy retrofits: RFP guidelines

An architect’s guide to the energy retrofit market

The Deep Energy Retrofit Request for Proposal Guidelines was developed to help building owners get the most value out of a deep retrofit in the RFP process. The guide expands on the messages included in the 2013 Deep Energy Retrofits: An Emerging Opportunity published by AIA with Rocky Mountain Institute.

Purpose of this guide

This document provides language to incorporate with an existing RFP specifically requesting a deep retrofit. It can easily integrate within an organization’s existing RFP documents and processes. While an owner can generally request a “deep” retrofit or request that a team uses integrative design, the definition of what this actually means varies widely in industry. Therefore, it is crucial to use measurable targets and lay out process requirements to ensure a deep retrofit is actually provided. It will also make comparing each bidder’s submittal more uniform to help in the selection process.

Each section and table below focuses on a component of the deep analysis process. It is recommended that the RFP include these overarching goals along with the applicable requirements in the table. When evaluating responses, this information can be used to ensure bidders are demonstrating knowledge and experience with each process step, in addition to allocating reasonable time to properly complete the goal.

While this RFP guideline is focused on existing commercial buildings, the process is applicable for multiple ownership structures (public, investors, owner occupied) and building uses (offices, schools, and hospitals). Typical RFP submittal requirements such as detailed engineering design and drawings, such as layouts and distribution sizing, installation requirements and team selection are not addressed in the guideline. This guideline also does not address contractor qualifications (i.e. it’s not an RFQ).

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