Measuring Performance

It’s one thing to renovate a building to make it highly energy efficient. It’s another to measure the performance of the building and its occupants over time to see if your goals have been met. We have begun a series of measurement pages on our wesite that measure our water use, waste output and energy efficiency. We have enough data to look our water and waste numbers for a year and see trends. We began measuring our energy 4 months ago.

Here’s an example of a chart measuring our water usage from July 2012 to July 2013. Notice the bump in October in 2012. This was due to a toilet that ran all weekend.

Monthly water usage july 2013

We compare our water usage per person per month to the industry standard for office buildings, and here’s how the comparison looks for the same time frame.

Water comparison july 2013

Our numbers are a fraction of the typical office building due largely to our efficient bathroom and kitchen fixtures, our conservation measures, and the use of rainwater for watering our outdoor plants.

Our waste numbers are similarly small compared with the industry standard per person per month, as in the chart below.

Waste comparison july 2013

In looking at the numbers for July of 2013, however, we found that our waste output had doubled from the previous month. We’re thinking that a couple of refrigerator clean-outs may have bumped the numbers, so a reminder e-mail was sent to the community to remind them to take their stuff home.

Monthly waste july 2013

We have just recently started measuring our energy numbers (in kilowat hours), separating the HVAC numbers from the ‘other’ category (lighting, computers, refrigerator, etc). Here’s how these charts look.

Kwh hvac


Kwh lighting

It’s helpful to measure costs, especially in energy. We measure our HVAC-related and ‘other’ costs per month per person. The HVAC costs per person per month chart is below.

Energy costs per person hvac

We’ll continue to update the measurement pages each month, so please take a look and see how we’re doing.

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