Carbon Lighthouse’s projects in Ellis Partners’ Pleasanton buildings delivered an unlevered IRR of 15% and combined lifetime savings of $281,500. Ellis invested a little over $100,000 to make the upgrades, or an investment of $1.66 per sq ft. Ellis will benefit from first year savings of $17,700, while creating a better performing asset for their tenants. Additionally, the project will reduce the carbon emissions of the assets by 708 tons per year, the equivalent of planting 16,400 trees.
“We have already seen a decline in energy use. We look forward to other projects in the future.”
Caroline Morris, Partner, SVP, Asset Management
The Nuts & Bolts: Our Process
Carbon Lighthouse engineers spent multiple days on site learning about the facilities from the facilities staff and deploying sensors and controls in mechanical rooms and on rooftops. The sensors, which look beyond the existing Building Management Systems (BMS) gathered 1.9 million data points which helped Carbon Lighthouse determine the scope of projects that would best fit the financial hurdle rates set forth by Ellis Partners.
Additionally, Ellis Partners had operational constraints, such as plans for the replacement of air handler units on both buildings in a few years’ time. This meant Carbon Lighthouse only pursued opportunities that would be cost-effective within that limited time frame and that would not require any major overhauls within the HVAC equipment. Within these constraints, Carbon Lighthouse engineers delivered cost-effective upgrades by tuning the equipment operation and eliminating excess simultaneous heating and cooling occurring between the boiler system and the cooling loops. Lighting was also upgraded as part of the project. Additional data was collected during and after implementation of all the upgrades to confirm energy savings were accruing as expected.
Today, Ellis Partners is enjoying a project that delivered an unlevered 15% IRR, a more profitable asset, and tenants who appreciate their landlord who invested in making their buildings better and more sustainable.