For facility managers, building owners, and contractors alike, adapting existing buildings to be more energy-efficient may seem like a daunting task. The Deep Energy Retrofit (DER) initiative, in particular, is expanding across North America as a holistic building analysis and construction process to conserve the energy consumed by commercial and residential buildings.
While the industry as a whole tackles this next wave construction innovation, the learning curve remains steep. Therefore, it is important that each individual takes on the task of learning about individual building inefficiencies and how they can be rectified.
When researching this topic, you may find a number of unfamiliar acronyms and buzzwords, so we broke them down for you. Here is your crash course on the basics of the DER vocabulary.
- CHP- Controlled Heat and Power
- CFM- Cubic Feet Per Minute- The standard measure for air flow in buildings. A critical tool in determining the sizing of mechanical in projects.
- C-PACE- Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy- Lending tool used to finance renewable energy improvements to commercial properties.
- CNA- Capital Needs Assessment
- DER- Deep Energy Retrofit
- DOE- Department of Energy
- EC- Embodied Carbon- the carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions associated with materials and construction processes throughout the whole lifecycle of a building or infrastructure. It includes any CO₂ created during the manufacturing of building materials.
- ECM- Energy Conservation Methods/Measures
- Energy Modeling -The virtual or computerized simulation of a building or complex that focuses on energy consumption, utility bills and life cycle costs of various energy related items such as air conditioning, lights and hot water. It is also used to evaluate the payback of green energy solutions like solar panels and photovoltaics, wind turbines and high efficiency appliances.
- ERV- Energy Recovery Ventilation
- ESCOs- Energy Service Companies- ESCO- Develop, design, build, and arrange financing for projects that save energy, reduce energy costs, and decrease operations and maintenance costs at their customers' facilities
- EUI- Energy Use Intensity- Essentially, EUI expresses a building’s energy use as a function of its size or other characteristics.
- GHG- Green House Gases
- HPAC- Heat Pump Air Conditioning
- IPNA- Integrated Physical Needs Assessment
- KBTU- Kilo-British thermal unit- The standard unit of measure for energy use in buildings and the standard and represented in total building EUI.
- LIHTC- Low-Income Housing Tax Credit- This program is “designed to increase the supply of quality, affordable rental housing by helping developers offset the costs of rental housing developments for individuals with low- to moderate-income.”
- MEP- Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing
- M&V- Measurement and Verification
- Net Zero- A status indicating that the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site.
- NZEB- Net Zero Energy Building
- PH- Passive House
- PV- Photo Voltaic (Example- Solar panels)
- WBR- Whole Building Retrofit
If you're looking for additional surrounding the initial steps of a DER project, read our blog here.