New York University and the National Resources Defense Council are partnering to improve commercial tenant energy use, the New York Observer reported.
The duo will monitor the energy consumption of about 1,000 volunteer commercial tenants from five major U.S. cities — including New York City — for 12 months, working with CBRE to identify participants.
By devising a rating system to compare energy use among the tenants, the partnership hopes to ultimately spur demand for more energy-efficient spaces.
“Our goal is to develop a national recognition program for commercial tenants that will motivate tenants to improve the efficiency of their spaces and create a competitive advantage for those that do,” Constantine Kontokosta, deputy director of NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress — and the project’s research leader — told the Observer. “Commercial tenants represent a critical stakeholder in the effort to reduce energy consumption in buildings, and this research will set the standard for data collection, analysis and benchmarking of tenant energy performance.”
While commercial building owners typically control energy consumption in a few parts of a property, tenants account for more than 50 percent of energy use. Thus far, according to the Observer, little effort has been made to increase energy efficiency in these types of spaces. In 2011, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “Battle of the Buildings” dubbed the Columbia University School of Social Work a winner and 230 Park Avenue a loser in energy efficiency. [NYO] — Julie Strickland