The Role of Small Commercial Buildings in Achieving Energy Efficiency: Case Study Results

Khalil Santiago, Juliana Vazquez, Kristen Parrish

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Small commercial buildings, or buildings comprised of 50,000 square feet or less, are responsible for an increasing share of the United States' energy consumption and account for 90% of the total number of commercial buildings in the US. Americans use ∼30% of the world's energy, and in the US, small commercial buildings account for approximately 10% of the nation's energy consumption. As such, small commercial buildings became a focus of a $6 M investment by the US Department of Energy. One project included in the DOE's small building efforts developed a Small Commercial 2030 District Program and Toolkit. This toolkit helps small commercial buildings participate in Architecture 2030 Districts that have been proven successful at reducing energy and CO2 consumption, predominantly in large commercial buildings in urban areas. Part of this toolkit is a case study library that includes more than thirty small commercial building projects that achieved energy savings of up to 100%. The case study library includes small commercial building retrofits that address electricity, natural gas, and steam systems. This paper reports the end uses impacted from the retrofits and explores correlations with retrofit measures implemented, climate zone, end uses impacted, building type, and energy savings. In particular, we explore retrofit measures selected in different 2030 Districts and discuss why these trends may hold true. The paper concludes with a discussion of next steps in the research and possible implications of this project.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1470-1477
Number of pages8
JournalProcedia Engineering
StatePublished - 2016
EventInternational Conference on Sustainable Design, Engineering and Construction, ICSDEC 2016 - Tempe, United States
Duration: May 18 2016May 20 2016


  • Energy efficiency
  • Retrofits
  • Small Commercial Buildings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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