Pilot energy and water benchmarking tool for office buildings in South Africa

Submitted by: Margaret McKenzie, Tuesday, September 25, 2012

<p>The GBCSA are piloting an energy and water benchmarking tool for existing office buildings in South Africa (Image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_11568862_office-building-surrounded-by-alot-of-trees-under-blue-sky.html'>frozensage / 123RF Stock Photo</a>).</p>

The GBCSA are piloting an energy and water benchmarking tool for existing office buildings in South Africa (Image credit: frozensage / 123RF Stock Photo).

A pilot energy and water benchmarking tool for offices in South Africa has been released by The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).  The pilot tool allows owners and managers of office buildings to benchmark the performance of their buildings in relation to other offices in South Africa. Through an understanding of how well a building is performing relative to the norm it is possible for owners and managers to get a picture of the level of opportunity that exists for energy and water saving in their own buildings. 

Data requirements of tool

The spread-sheet based tool allows users to choose between a simple rating method or a more detailed building zone method.   The simple method requires users to enter total electricity and water consumption for the previous twelve months.   Additional information required is the Gross Lettable Area of the building, weekly occupancy hours, number of people occupying the building and number of computers in use.  The more detailed building zone method has been designed to accommodate buildings which include non-office zones, spaces allocated to external users and areas that have different occupancy hours from the rest of the building.  For this method users define a number of distinct zones and provide information per zone.  

Tool benchmark results

Once the required information has been entered into the tool an energy and a water benchmark are calculated and displayed visually. The tool used a 10-point scale to locate the relative performance of buildings.  Building consumption information is normalised to take into account differences in regional climates and occupancy levels.  

Sample of energy benchmark results from pilot GBCSA Energy and Water Benchmarking Tool (Image Source:  Pilot GBCSA Energy and Water Benchmarking Tool)

Sample of water benchmark results from pilot GBCSA Energy and Water Benchmarking Tool (Image Source:  Pilot GBCSA Energy and Water Benchmarking Tool)

 

Survey of 350 Offices

The tool development process involved surveying almost 350 offices in South Africa. The energy and water performance data gathered through this survey was analysed and used as the basis for calculating a relative performance rating for office buildings in the tool. 

Tool availability

The pilot tool is available for free from the GBCSA Website.  GBCSA is asking building owners and managers to test the pilot tool and provide feedback on its performance.   Feedback will be incorporated into the first version of the tool which will be finalised at a later stage.   

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Margaret McKenzie