Creating Resilience

A turnkey HVAC optimization solution reduces operating expenses and carbon emissions

August 21, 2023 3 Minute Read


Many Corporate Real Estate & Facilities (CRE&F) leaders are exploring HVAC modification strategies to reduce operating expenses and carbon emissions. As companies dig deeper into uncovering more cost-efficient and sustainable ways to operate their facilities, the savings opportunities and benefits of proactive HVAC equipment replacement becomes more evident.

With a growing number of corporations committing to carbon neutrality targets, occupiers are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of electrification of HVAC systems that currently rely on fossil fuels. However, many are unsure how to effectively implement and execute a replacement strategy.

Below are two examples of enterprises that successfully partnered with CBRE to implement CBRE’s HVAC Optimization Program to achieve cost savings, mitigate risk and drive progress towards sustainability commitments.

Financial Services Corporation

A Financial Services client anchored its partnership with CBRE on the goal of reducing its  environmental impact and energy consumption. Operating on a run-to-fail basis, the client knew they needed to implement a program that could service its HVAC systems and LED lighting and controls but did not know the exact pathway to achieving these goals. CBRE shared four key components to a successful strategy.

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Together, the bank and CBRE (along with CBRE’s Principal Projects Group, or PPG) initially implemented an HVAC and LED lighting strategy across 1,000 sites -- with more planned in the future. Across the entire portfolio, Repair & Maintenance (R&M) and energy savings are realized, while old equipment is recycled, and old refrigerant is responsibly disposed. The client experienced additional benefits of further advancing their journey to achieve sustainability commitments and reduced risks that might incur due to maintenance repairs.

Program Successes

  • Installation of LED lighting and controls in more than 855 administrative and retail locations producing an annual run-rate reduction of $7.6 million associated with reduced energy costs and additional operations and maintenance savings. 
  • Replacement of 590 HVAC units, with an investment of $26.8 million, and an annual R&M savings of $190K. 
  • Annually, investments in the program have reduced emissions by 921 metric tons and saved 1.3M kWh. 
  • Reduced annual utility costs by $167K

E-Commerce Firm

An e-commerce client engaged the CBRE PPG to help with HVAC asset tracking and capital planning across its portfolio. The partnership between the on-account Facilities Management (FM) team and PPG experts worked to develop an HVAC asset database spanning more than 100 locations with 8,400 total assets. From this database, a multi-year, prioritized replacement and optimization plan was implemented, which included new HVAC equipment, third-party advanced controls, and automated building monitoring and analytics.

The HVAC optimization program resulted in the following outcomes for our client: 
  • Achieved $2.8M in gross savings during the first year.
  • Reduced exposure to costly downtime and emergency replacements.
  • Mitigated cost exposure from the R-22 refrigerant ban. 
  • Realized substantial equipment and installation savings.
  • Increased operational efficiency and predictive awareness of potential failure modes through building automation monitoring and analytics platform.

Solutions CBRE Deployed

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