Last year, New York City required its commercial buildings to disclose their energy consumption. The benchmarking plan saw many surprises including finding newer LEED buildings ranked behind much older buildings when it came to energy efficiency.
Take for instance the New York Times building, which is seeing more impressive gains in efficiency. Constructed in 2007, the building includes a dimmable lighting system, an automated roller shade system for windows, and an underfloor air distribution system. Plus it gets about 40 percent of its energy from natural gas.
After comparing the NY Times building with a standard building efficiency code, researchers found that the NY Times Building "reduced annual electricity by 24 percent, cut heating energy use by more than 50 percent, and reduced peak electric demand by 25 percent."
The findings showed that standard efficiency measures can have a substantial impact on the energy performance of a building. "As New York City's recent energy benchmarking report showed, even much older buildings with proper retrofits can outperform new buildings with a prominent environmental rating.
Read more about the study at Green Tech Media.