Retrofit of Landmark San Francisco Flood Building Completed by Carbon Lighthouse

Carbon Lighthouse, a leading energy solutions provider, today announced that it has completed a retrofit on the Flood Building, a historic downtown San Francisco office and retail building. Cumulatively, the retrofits will save the tenants of the Flood Building over one million dollars in lifetime energy costs while eliminating 870 tons of CO2 per year over the twelve to fifteen year lifespan of the project.

The Flood Building is a downtown San Francisco landmark with over 350 commercial and retail tenants. Built in 1904 – and a survivor of the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes – the Flood Building stands at 300,000 square feet and twelve floors. Tenants include the flagship stores for Gap, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. Along with Wilson Meany, the Flood Building’s property managing agent, a partnership was entered into with Carbon Lighthouse in late 2012 to unlock additional energy saving opportunities. The building had already undergone extensive energy efficiency upgrades that made it more efficient than over 75% of similar commercial buildings. In the project’s first year, the building’s tenants will receive a fifteen percent reduction in utility costs, which translates to lifetime savings of about $4 per square foot.

“In addition to saving our tenants money on their utility bills, this project makes a significant dent in our building’s carbon footprint,” said building owner, Jim Flood. “Carbon Lighthouse’s work aligned with our mission to preserve the integrity of this historic space while modernizing our operations as much as possible. Even better, the project was smooth and stealthy, and posed no disruption to the day to day business of our tenants.”

The key to Carbon Lighthouse’s ability to unlock energy savings is a propriety thermodynamics engine (MOE) that taps big data to locate hidden but substantial energy savings. MOE taps into twelve years of weather satellite data and highly granular building characteristic data to accurately predict and model energy savings for ten years in the future. As a result, Carbon Lighthouse has helped close to 100 clients, including the Flood Building, achieve energy savings that are impossible to find by auditors relying on simple utility data and site inspections.

Carbon Lighthouse executed three types of building improvements, each without any disruption to, or notice by, tenants:

  • Installed a computerized central management system that gives property management increased visibility and remote control over building operations
  • Improved the building’s HVAC system by optimizing the balance between the speed of the building’s condenser water pumps and the temperature of water flowing through them
  • Completed a number of lighting improvements, replacing and updating lighting in several areas of the building

“The Flood Building has demonstrated environmental leadership by profitably reducing its energy use and enabling tenant energy savings as well,” said Carbon Lighthouse CEO Brenden Millstein. “We were excited to take on the challenge of helping Flood optimize their resources by digging into the data and delivering economically valuable projects.”


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