ATLANTA — Guidance on increasing energy efficiency in existing buildings through measuring and tracking efficiency and implementing an efficiency plan is featured in a new book,Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: Technical Implementation, from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the American Institute of Architects, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the U.S. Green Building Council.

According to the organizations, the book provides clear and easily understood technical guidance for energy upgrades, retrofits, and renovations by which building engineers and managers can achieve at least a 30 percent improvement in energy performance relative to a range of benchmark energy utilization indexes. It features practical means and methods for planning, executing, and monitoring an effective program, based on available techniques and technologies.

“Energy efficiency improvement in buildings is one of the greatest means to increase resource efficiency, improve environmental stewardship, and save operating funds,” said George Jackins, who chaired the committee overseeing the book. “More importantly, energy efficient improvement should happen because it makes good business sense. Good planning and ongoing commitment is essential to maximizing investments in energy efficiency.”

Improving energy in an existing building is an iterative process, but first you have to know where you are starting from, according to Jackins. The book recommends some tips on how to begin the energy savings process:

1. Calculate energy use and cost;

2. Set energy performance goals;

3. Measure and analyze current energy use;

4. Select and implement energy efficiency measures;

5. Measure and report improvements; and

6. Continue to track performance and reassess goals.

The cost of Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings – Technical Implementation is $75 ($64, ASHRAE members). To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Contact Center at 800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), fax 404-321-5478, or visit

Publication date: 01/02/2012