October 24, 2012 | Lotte Schlegel

People often ask me what is IMT and what do you do? It’s not just that market transformation is an unfamiliar concept (although to many it probably is)…but even after explaining that our focus is on building energy efficiency, people still have trouble wrapping their heads around what IMT does because building energy efficiency represents complexity.

It’s about technology and people who have to work together to achieve a result.

Building the building

Many people work together to build a building, and all those people need to work in smart ways to make sure that all of the pieces of a complex structure are put together and ready to operate effectively.

There are numerous best practices and case studies to address this issue-for example, Wisconsin is using a system to hold a licensed professional (architect, engineer, or design professional) accountable for the performance of the builder and contractor by certifying that the building was constructed in accordance to the plans.

Energy code compliance and tying the construction process of a building to its performance is an important focus of IMT’s work.

Operating the building

Once built, someone has to operate the big systems in the building properly and make sure that all is performing the way it should. Like having a set of rules to refer to while playing a game of Risk, building energy performance policies at the company or municipal level can help to address this issue.

For instance, in cities like New York, public disclosure of a building’s Energy Star benchmark score provides valuable information to owners and potential tenants of a building about how it measures up to comparable buildings.

Practices like building commissioning ensures that existing building systems are performing as designed – when they are not, small changes in settings and operations can improve the building’s overall energy performance. 

Occupying the building

The people who use energy in the building need to use it wisely – or in the absence of wise users, smart systems must pick up the slack.

The people who pay the bills aren’t always the same as those who use the energy, and aren’t the same as those who pay for improvements to the building as its systems fail. It’s complicated. IMT is looking at best practices for leasing and financing that will account for the value of energy efficiency and help to align the interests of building owners and occupants.

In short, IMT looks at the building lifecycle and we think about what pieces within this complex set of interactions can be most easily modified to optimize building design and construction through building operations and occupancy…not just in one building, but in as many buildings as possible.

IMT envisions a future in which all buildings use little energy…which means that IMT is about transformational change.

Program Area(s):

Policy , Real Estate

Meet the Author

Lotte Schlegel

Former Executive Director

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