The energy profile of commercial buildings is changing, according to participants in a round table conducted by Consulting-Specifying Engineer.
Photovoltaics are becoming more common on warehouses and public schools, said to Paul Meyer, a Senior Vice President at WSP USA. Meyer indicated that both types of facilities tend to have extensive roof areas that have very little obstructing equipment.
Brian Lindstrom, the National Director of Commissioning for Burns & McDonnell of Kansas City, said that his firm is encountering a variety of fuel cell technologies – hydrogen, methanol, natural gas and others – as well as wind turbines, photovoltaic arrays, geothermal heat pumps and greywater systems.
Commercial buildings are growing in size more quickly than they are multiplying in number, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (EIA CBECS). The group said in May that in 2012 there were 5.6 million commercial buildings totaling more 87 billion square feet of space in the United States. That was 14 percent and 21 percent more than in 2003, respectively. That was the last previous year for which numbers are available.