Conservation Specialists

A performance-based approach utilizes predictive tools throughout design that are validated with post-occupancy measurement and verification. We advocate this approach to validate return on investment (ROI) and uphold the project’s intent. 

We dive deep into the data to establish benchmarks and complete “data truing” verification exercises to extract information that is actionable.  We identify what can be controlled by design and operations against governances and industry standards to produce recommendations reflective of the sum of the whole.




How the space is programmed and the systems that support it have a significant impact on the building’s energy performance.



Accounting for occupied spaces that are governed by code requirements, and specialty functions. 

Specialty Function

Specialty Function

Special considerations such as energy-intense material handling equipment, labs and high-tech spaces, are critical to calculating potential energy savings without sacrificing health, safety, or equipment warranties.


Measuring Nuetrality

Measuring Nuetrality

When measuring carbon neutrality, energy usage intensity (EUI) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions offer insight into the energy profile and cleanliness of the power source. 

Calculating EUI

Calculating EUI

EUI is calculated as the total energy consumed by the building in one year (measured in kBtu or GJ) by the total gross floor area of the building. 

Carbon Generators

Carbon Generators

GHG is the byproduct of burning fossil fuels to generate energy measured in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) gases.


Identifying those factors and baselining them offers opportunities for improving tomorrow, today.

The Human Element

The Human Element

The ability to innovate is intrinsic to human nature.

It is how the mass production and distribution of energy have been harnessed and transmitted through the utility grid. It is also how the built environment has evolved over time and healthier, more productive technologies have been introduced. However, just as human nature has brought forth these scientific wonders, human behaviors can also adversely affect the positive potential of such inventions. 

The human element is not as predictable but can be informed and modified through intentional interventions and thought leadership. Localizing such efforts to reflect the science (building operations, energy source profile) and culture (language, point-of-use cues, etc.) are important to reaching conservation goals.

Rold of the Model

Role of the Model 

An energy model is a simulation tool that incorporates all energy-related systems of a building. 

Such as enclosure, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning (HVAC), lighting, domestic hot water (DHW), process/plug loads and controls, allowing engineers and designers to analyze the energy use with all components and systems combined to push new strategies, but with lower risk. 

We utilize IES<VE> as a dynamic energy modeling software to help predict operational energy and carbon performance, as well as analyze indoor environmental quality (IEQ) strategies such as daylighting, glare, thermal comfort, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). 

The Natural Elements

The Natural Elements 

The geographical location of each facility is impacted by its local climate. 

Expressed in terms of ambient temperatures (weather) and solar accessibility, the natural climate is a factor in calculating the energy required to power the building, natural resources (coal, hydro) available to power the grid, the fuel mix of the energy source, and the availability of renewable resources (wind, solar, bio) as part of the building’s energy profile.

Points of Engagement



Energy Code Compliance
Energy Modeling
LEED Certification
Daylighting/Glare Studies
Energy Life Cycle Cost Analysis
Renewable Energy Evaluation
Utility Incentives/Grants



Contractor Onboarding
Controls Sequencing Diagram
RFI Review & Response (Energy System Related)
Maintenance & Operation Manuals
Occupant Guide
Owner Training



Energy Audits
Energy Analytics
Energy Star Certification
LEED Re-Certification
Carbon Footprint Analysis
Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Assessments
Benchmark Reports
Measurement & Verification

Resources and Commitment





Energy Analytics

– Developed regional-level benchmarks for each of ASHRAE’s six climate zones to define a baseline for comparison to individual store performance
– Stores with an annual EUI performance within the top quartile were flagged and recommended for further analysis

Lighting/HVAC Analysis

– Reviewed existing HVAC operation via the energy management system (EMS)

– Developed an energy model to accurately predict annual cost savings (energy and demand) associated with the LED retrofits and to better understand the interactive effects imposed on the HVAC system
– Analyzed the post-retrofit load profile of the building to determine whether retrofits are required for the existing HVAC system based on the equipment type and capacity, and developed retrofit solutions to ensure proper HVAC functionality.


Energy Modeling

Developed energy models for (4) full-line stores in California to comply with Title 24’s performance compliance path. The models were also used to pursue utility incentives and conduct post-occupancy measurement and verification (M&V).

Energy Analytics & Audits

As part of a 3-firm conservation team, Hargis was retained to conduct an energy analysis and audit of existing commercial facilities ranging from 50,000 to 150,000 sf. The team developed a framework to present a cohesive report. The value of our involvement was realized in the presentation of conservation options to a diverse group of invested stakeholders: finance, store planning, maintenance, and operations. The majority of the proposed ECMs provided under a 3-year simple payback and over $240 million in potential energy cost savings per year across the 6 stores.

NDA Fortune 100 eCommerce

We evaluated and provided recommendations for the Building Enclosure Commissioning (BECx) process for the retail fulfillment template set. Within the template architectural set, all the drawings containing building enclosure information were analyzed, including 2D thermal bridging analysis, review of industry best practices, and a review of manufacturers’ literature on the building envelope products present in the template design.


Walmart’s 2015 Energy Goal Initiative was to reduce enterprise energy use intensity (EUI) by 20% by 2020. We evaluated options under three different phases. Our performance has earned us design work outside of, but integrating, the conservation work.

Phase 1: Provided energy cost savings, implementation costs, and payback analysis for parking lot fixtures and high-efficiency condensing furnace retrofits to the rooftop gas-pack units for all major US climate zones.

Phase 2: Collaborated with the resource conservation management (RCM) team to identify operational and behavioral energy conservation measures through data-driven analytics.

Phase 3: 
Identified capital-intensive upgrades that can be implemented in a prescriptive turnkey package.


Hargis reviewed all historical existing building optimization program (EBOP) development and scope documents to understand the content of past scope implementation and completeness. Energy data was reviewed for a sample set of past EBOP projects to determine any energy savings impacts and/or savings deterioration as a function of scope or execution. The team wrote inspection guidelines/protocols and developed a target list of past EBOP stores for site inspections. This included approximately 40 to 50 sites grouped into 3 geographic locations.

Everett Public Schools, 2022 Levy Planning

The district took into account the impending Clean Buildings Performance Standard by initiating early benchmarking and data truing efforts as it approached its planning efforts. We worked with stakeholders and industry peers to benchmark 35 structures, refine the data for 10-12 qualifying facilities, and develop discrete scopes of work for 6 projects. These projects were included in the successfully passed 2022 capital levy.

Seattle School District, BEX IV Measurement & Verification

Hargis conducted a measurement and verification study to evaluate the performance of eight schools included in BEX IV. We developed a framework to define “efficient operations” and standardize the benchmarks that would determine each school’s performance.  We evaluated the operating systems, envelope, schedule of operations, and utility bills. Lessons learned and recommendations were developed from the M&V efforts to better inform the BEX V capital planning and design approach.