Date of Graduation

Spring 5-16-2014

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Maggie Winslow


The McKinsey Global Initiative identified existing building retrofits as an integral component to achieve a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the United Sates by 2050 (Fluhrer, Maurer, & Deshmukh 2010). However, this will require energy efficiency retrofits for existing buildings to be deployed more frequently and achieve higher energy savings on average. Deep Energy Retrofits using the Integrative Design Process can result in 30-60%+ energy savings in office buildings. Because Deep Energy Retrofits require higher upfront capital costs, in an economy still recovering from the economic downturn, financial decision makers may not be inclined to invest more capital solely on the basis of higher energy savings. In this paper, Deep Energy Retrofit case studies, research papers, and retrofit guides were examined to answer the question: are deep energy retrofits financially viable, and if so, under what conditions. Utility cost savings, avoided capital costs, as well as additional benefits, like increased reputation, environmental health and enhanced comfort of the building are ways in which Deep Energy Retrofits can be cost-effective; and in some cases profitable for the financial decision maker or building owner. Deep Energy Retrofits using the integrative Design Process present a low-cost and effective strategy to reduce GHG emissions and help aid the US in climate stabilization efforts.