Graduation Year

Spring 2011

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

J. Emil Morhardt

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2011 Bukola Jimoh


Buildings are a significant energy consumer and are responsible for an increasingly large percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, currently between 30 and 40 percent. Energy efficiency presents unique opportunities for building owners to reduce their environmental footprint and add value through cost savings, tax deductions, and increased market value. An analysis of 183 samples of efficiency measures in seven technology categories found that 74% of efficiency investments had a positive net present value. Building automation system and chiller plant improvements had the highest mean energy and carbon dioxide savings per square foot. Additionally, building automation systems had, on average the highest return on investment, approximately $800 above the cost of implementation per one thousand square feet. Only building envelope modifications had a negative mean return on investment. Building automation system upgrades avoided an average of 350 pounds of CO2e for every dollar spent, reducing a building’s total carbon footprint by as much as 28%. The results suggest that a significant opportunity for cost, energy, and emission savings is available across all technology categories.