ASHRAE is working to change our knowledge of the fuel efficiency of our buildings with the introduction of its building energy labeling program, for which a prototype was released at ASHRAE’s 2009 Annual Conference in Louisville, KY. ASHRAE is working with major real estate developers to implement the label prototype this fall, with a widespread launch of the full program in 2010.
The prototype label that was unveiled was for the ASHRAE Headquarters in Atlanta. The Building Energy Quotient program (to be known as Building EQ) will include asset and operational ratings for all non-residential building types.
“As the United States looks to reduce its energy use, information is the critical first step in making the necessary choices and changes,” says Bill Harrison, ASHRAE president. “With labeling mandatory in Europe and disclosure of a building’s energy performance becoming required by several states, now is the time to introduce a label that can serve as a model for mandatory programs. ASHRAE’s introduction of its prototype labeling program couldn’t be better timed.”
ASHRAE’s prototype labeling program is different from existing labeling programs because it focuses solely on energy use. Under this program, new buildings will be eligible to receive an asset rating, which will provide an assessment of the building based on the components specified in the building design and would be based on the results of a building energy model. After one year of data on the actual energy use has been compiled, the building will also be eligible for an operation rating, which will provide information on the actual energy use and will be based on both the structure of the building and how it is operated. Existing buildings will be eligible for both asset and operational ratings.
The presence of information on a building’s energy use could prove to be extremely beneficial to the market, which is beginning to place a premium on energy-efficient properties.
“When potential building tenants and owners have information on the properties they are interested in, they can understand the full cost of their investment and place a value on the energy efficiency of a building,” says Ron Jarnagin, chair of the committee developing the label. “ASHRAE’s label will help building owners differentiate their product in a technically sound manner while providing tenants with the tools they need to select energy-efficient spaces.”
For more information on ASHRAE’s prototype label, visit http://buildingEQ.com/.