Increasing the energy efficiency and reducing the energy consumption of existing buildings can have four times the environmental impact as compared to the installation of renewable energy, according to ASHRAE.

With existing building renovation accounting for most of the money spent in U.S. building construction today, actual building performance needs to be determined to make the most of those dollars spent. Setting those metrics and increasing existing buildings’ energy efficiency is described in a seminar at the ASHRAE 2016 Annual Conference.

The conference takes place June 25-29 at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Hotel and America’s Center Convention Complex. To register or for complete information, visit

In 2015, ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society published ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 100, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings, which goes beyond energy efficiency minimums in that it requires energy management and operation and maintenance plans.

“By requiring energy audits and providing for life cycle cost analysis of potential energy efficiency measures, the standard gives building owners the tools and opportunity for even higher performance,” said Gordon Holness, who helped write the standard.

Holness is a speaker at a seminar at the conference, Standard 100-2015 Overview and the Potential of Its High-Performance Existing Building Metrics, which takes place June 29.

The standard sets specific energy targets based on building type, occupancy, and climate zone with target tables established based on the top 25% performers within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Commercial Building Energy Consumption (CBECS) data base. On an aggregate basis the standard is expected to reduce building energy use by approximately 30%.

“The standard recognizes that U.S. annual investments in renovation of existing buildings account for around 86% of all money spent in building construction today,” he said.

The seminar is one of 108 sessions in the technical program, which is organized into eight tracks that will cover topics such as current trends and technologies in the industry; professional development and residential systems; new design strategies for achieving net zero buildings; high energy efficiency and methods of design, including recent advances in alternative energy systems and equipment. The program features more than 400 speakers.

“The technical sessions offer an excellent opportunity to learn the results of cutting edge research and the latest standards that affect the built environment,” said Thomas Kuehn, conference program chair. “Topics include nearly every technology used in HVACR including alternative refrigerants, fire and smoke control, smart control systems and sources, and efficient utilization of renewable energy. In addition, these sessions are an opportunity to learn the personal and business skills necessary to become and remain a leader in our industry.”

For a full list of sessions and speakers, visit the technical program at