As part of its High-Performance HVAC program, the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with Hayden + Tanner to conduct this qualitative study to expand its knowledge of HVAC system decision makers and influencers in commercial and government buildings. The study had two research objectives: 1) Learn how to overcome the influences of first cost, rigid return-on-investment requirements used by commercial building owners, and value engineering to inform program intervention design; and 2) Identify key decision makers for public sector/government buildings and their processes to inform program engagement and marketing strategies.
Key findings were derived through literature and webinar review, and in-depth interviews with 19 building owners in the private and public sectors between December 2021 and January 2022. Findings from the interviews revealed building owners’ perceptions of the challenges, benefits, and possible applications of very high efficiency DOAS. NEEA’s High-Performance HVAC team is using these and other study findings to determine program interventions that will increase awareness and demand for very high efficiency Dedicated Outside Air Systems (DOAS) for commercial buildings.