Risk calculations for energy conservation Technologies: the Likelihood of Realizing Design-Phase Expectations in New Construction

Lara Greden, Prasad Vaidya, Chris Baker, David Eijad, Tom McDougall | 2007


The risk that a technology will not be implemented or operated as designed is a significant barrier that impedes owners from adopting new energy-conserving building technologies. This results in a feedback loop that encourages decision makers to minimize risk by sticking with the status quo, regardless of the environmental impact. Different technology categories have different levels and types of risks associated with them. This study assigns levels of risk to technologies by tracing a set of envelope systems, lighting designs, lighting controls, HVAC systems, and HVAC controls in a data set of 38 buildings from the design phase through the initial implementation phase. The likelihood that a technology gets implemented and works as expected is assessed, and risk factors for the various technologies are calculated. Explanations for the levels of risk are supported by interviews with third-party reviewers who serve to assist design teams and owners through the construction phase