Dee Spiro is Director of Sustainability at Bergmeyer Associates Inc. in Boston. She led the Eustis Street Fire House’s final certification for obtaining LEED Silver certification in 2013. Bergmeyer released a report on energy usage in the 3 years since occupancy this week.
When Bergmeyer Associates, Inc., as architect for the rehabilitation of the historic Eustis Street Fire House, completed the LEED Silver certified project in 2011 we knew that the building was a singular project and that Historic Boston Incorporated (HBI) was a rare type of client. What we didn’t know then, however, was that HBI and the Fire House would also provide us with our first post occupancy evaluation (POE) opportunity.
In 2014, Bergmeyer launched a POE pilot program and was looking for clients who would let us to track their energy and water use data in order to help us to evaluate the effectiveness of projects’ design elements and sustainable strategies. With two full years of operational data, the Fire House was an ideal candidate. We used the WegoWise software platform to analyze data for the entire building and for each tenant individually.
We found that the actual Baseline Year building energy use was only 3% higher than the LEED energy model prediction and 5% less than that of similar buildings in the New England census region. Overall building energy use increased by approximately 10% during Year 2. While gas use held fairly steady between the Baseline Year and Year 2, increasing by only 4%, electricity use was up 14%.
The tenant-to-owner analysis found that the tenant used more than twice as much gas as HBI during the Baseline Year and more than three times as much during Year 2. Electricity use between the two offices was very similar, with HBI using approximately 1,500 kWh more than the tenant during the Baseline Year. During Year 2, both HBI and tenant electricity use increased, resulting in a difference of only 71 kWh between the two offices.