Smart Energy Voices - Episode 103

Smart Energy Voices - Episode 103

The Evolution of Building Performance Standards

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In this episode of Smart Energy Voices, host Debra Chanil sat down with Marshall Duer-Balkind, Director of Policy Programs at the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), to talk about building performance standards (BPS) and their implications for the energy transition. He also gives an overview of IMT's mission and work, focusing on their efforts to improve the efficiency and performance of buildings through policy development and equitable decarbonization.

Duer-Balkind delves into the specifics of BPS policies and the need for long-term planning by building owners and tenants to meet their requirements, emphasizing that "doing nothing ain't free." He discusses how building performance standards intersect with other market trends such as climate change mitigation, financial considerations, and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) requirements, as well as the need for collaborative efforts among stakeholders to achieve sustainability goals.


You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in...

  • BPS policies, and their implications to owners and tenants (04:29)
  • How BPS policies intersect with other market trends (20:30)
  • The importance of long-term planning (27:46)


IMT’s Policy Work

Duer-Balkind expands on the growing interest and importance of building performance standards and policies in the context of climate change and economic goals. He breaks down the concept of BPS, the implications of these policies for building owners and commercial tenants, why building owners are encouraged to engage in long-term capital planning, and why tenants are advised to actively engage with property managers and seek out green leases that allow for cost and benefit-sharing between owners and tenants. Duer-Balkind stresses the importance of this collaboration between building owners and tenants to improve building performance and meet sustainability goals.

BPS and Its Relation to Other Market Trends

Delving into the intricate relationship between building performance policies (BPS) and broader market trends, Duer-Balkind highlights the pressing need for immediate action on climate change and the risks posed to real estate. He talks about keeping energy usage low in buildings, not only for cost-saving benefits but also for grid stability during emergencies. Duer-Balkind also discusses the growing influence of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations on financial markets and the implications of the recent SEC ruling on climate risk disclosure for publicly traded companies.

Long-Term Capital Planning

Duer-Balkind emphasizes the importance of long-term capital planning for building owners, and to look beyond immediate deadlines and consider the benefits of sustainable practice instead. This allows building owners to anticipate opportunities for energy efficiency upgrades before equipment failures occur, stay responsive to market trends and tenant demands, mitigate risks, and more.

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Marshall Duer-Balkind

Marshall Duer-Balkind is the Director of Policy Programs at IMT, where he works to develop and implement policies for driving high-performance buildings, grounded in community priorities and technical quality.

Marshall is an international expert in policies and technologies to improve the energy and carbon performance of buildings and communities, with over a dozen years of experience in the for-profit, government, and non-profit sectors. Prior to starting his current role with IMT in April 2023, he worked as a consultant at the deep green engineering firm Introba, where he managed cutting-edge decarbonization plans and policies for over 20 cities and 15 institutions across North America. He has also worked for the District of Columbia Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE), where he built and ran one of the first benchmarking and disclosure programs in the U.S., supported the groundbreaking Clean Energy DC plan, and evaluation, measurement, & verification of the DC Sustainable Energy Utility’s energy savings and other performance targets. Prior to that, he was one of IMT’s first “City Advisors” embedded in a local government.

Marshall is a key contributor to the first building performance standard programs in both the U.S. and Canada, as Co-Chair of Washington, D.C.’s Building Energy Performance Standards Task Force, and a member of the City of Vancouver’s Carbon Pollution Limits Technical Advisory Committee. Marshall holds a Master’s of Environmental Management degree from the Yale School of the Environment and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Computer Science from Oberlin College. He is proudly born and raised in Washington, D.C.

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