Deep Energy Retrofits: Passing Fad or New Reality
A “deep energy retrofit” represents a comprehensive re-engineering of an existing structure with the goal of reducing energy consumption by at least 50%. Virtually unknown just a few years ago, these projects are now a hot topic within the high-performance building movement and are the beneficiaries of millions of dollars of utility incentives. But at some level they’re crazy projects, often costing six figures, with paybacks longer than a mortgage. Now that we have a couple years’ experience with these projects, what’s their future seem to be? Are they a realistic solution to the energy and environmental challenges we face, or are they a passing fancy? Hear what a practitioner with several deep energy retrofits under his belt has to say on the topic.
Paul Eldrenkamp is owner of Byggmeister, Inc., a Boston-area design/build remodeling firm he founded in 1983. He is also principal of the DEAP Energy Group, a 3-person energy consulting firm that specializes in three areas of residential construction: Passive House, Zero-Net Energy, and Deep Energy Retrofits. Paul is a certified Passive House consultant, has served as chair of the residential working group of the Governor’s Zero Net Energy Buildings Task Force, and is vice-chair of NESEA’s Building Energy 12 Conference. He writes for the Journal of Light Construction and is a frequent speaker at regional and national trade conferences.