At a Glance
Commercial Energy Efficiency
Travis Blomberg furthered the DROP program for measuring water use and identifying water-saving opportunities.
“Water, water, everywhere, but not a drop gets measured.” Or so it would seem. Transwestern, a commercial real estate firm with properties located throughout the United States, developed a water-rating program for commercial office buildings called DROP. Transwestern hired Travis Blomberg to validate the DROP program’s existing methodology, identify enhancements and develop a future strategy to reduce water use across Transwestern’s portfolio. Moreover, it is hoped that the DROP program will become the industry standard to measure and benchmark building water performance.
During his fellowship, Blomberg recognized the need for a corporate water reduction goal was well as a dataset of commercial office building water consumption, and he discovered errors in water-use documentation. In order to solve these problems, Blomberg reached out to senior management, began collaboration other real estate firms and updated the protocols for building engineers to measure water use. In his final report, he developed recommendations for current considerations of DROP’s statistical methodology as well as future concerns. Blomberg was particularly interested in the use of automated sensor meters to reduce measurement error, provide a leak detection service, display real-time data, analyze water performance and add critical insight for water conservation.
The DROP program hopes to transform water management in the same way ENERGY STAR improved energy management. For the second consecutive year, Transwestern will issue a DROP score to all participating buildings. If the DROP program incorporates Blomberg’s recommendations, Transwestern could see an estimated annual water savings of 309 million gallons and financial savings of more than $618,000. With the DROP program at the forefront of innovation, Transwestern hopes that the industry might adopt a different opinion about water: “Water, water, everywhere, and with DROP, it stays treasured.”