New York Times: Showing the Benefits of ‘Green’ Retrofits

June 3, 2010

Tuesday’s New York Times discussed the economics of green retrofits, and the Deutsche Bank/Living Cities Building Energy Efficiency Data Report — The practice of retrofitting buildings with simple, environmentally friendly technology like more-efficient boilers and better-quality windows has been around for years, but there is little research on how much energy these changes actually save — and by extension, how much money they can save landlords and lenders. In an effort to supply that information, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the German bank, is financing the creation of a public database of several hundred retrofitted buildings in New York City and a companion report to determine the savings from such moves. “Retrofitting buildings is considered the low-hanging fruit in carbon reduction, but despite its simplicity, it is still not mainstream,” said Gary Hattem, president of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation. “The largest obstacle to making these practices go mainstream is data that will convince building owners to retrofit their properties and at the same time increase underwriters’ willingness to finance the projects.” Read the full article. Retrofits were the topic of the GreenHomeNYC Patty Noonan Memorial Energy Policy Forum in May, The Proof Is In On Retrofits, and for a further exploration of the topic of buildings and data, check out board member Bomee Jung‘s thoughts in a guest blog posting at the Sallin Foundation, Transparency and Innovation: Open Data for Green Buildings.