Pilot Building Energy Labeling Program Launched by ASHRAE with Leading Owners, Designers

Dec. 9, 2009

A new program to inform building owners and operators, tenants, and prospective buyers on the energy use of buildings was launched to encourage the building industry to find ways to cut energy use and costs. The program, called the Building Energy Quotient program, or Building EQ, is administered by ASHRAE and includes both As Designed (asset) and In Operation (as operated) ratings for all building types except residential.

“Information on a building’s energy use is the critical first step in making the necessary changes and choices to reduce energy use and costs,” says Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president. “The Building EQ program provides an easily understood scale to convey a building’s energy use in comparison to similar buildings, occupancy types, and climate zones, while also providing building owners with building-specific information that can be used to improve energy performance.”

According to Holness, building energy use disclosure is already mandatory in California; Washington, D.C.; Austin, TX; Washington State; the European Union; and Australia.

In addition to ratings on building energy use, the Building EQ program will also provide a detailed certificate with data on actual energy use, energy demand profiles, indoor air quality, and other information that will enable building owners to evaluate and reduce their building’s energy use.

Under the program, new buildings will be eligible to receive an As Designed, or asset, rating, which provides an assessment of the building based on the components specified in the design. The rating is based on the results of building energy modeling and simulation. An In Operation rating will be available once the building has at least one year of data on the actual energy use, and is based on a combination of the structure of the building and how it is operated. Existing buildings would be eligible to receive both an As Designed and In Operation rating.

Many leading building owners and designers, real estate developers, and government agencies are participating in the pilot program. Among them are:

  • The Durst Organization, who will include 4 Times Square, 1155 Avenue of the Americas, and One Bryant Park in New York City in the pilot.
  • The U.S. General Services Administration.
  • Seattle-based Wright Runstad and Co.
  • Ashforth Pacific, Portland, OR.
  • BNIM Architects, who will include The Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, NY; the Internal Revenue Service, Kansas City Campus, Kansas City, MO; and the Fayez S. Sarofin Research Building at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, in the pilot.
  • Hines, a privately owned real estate firm.
  • The Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority, who will include the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.
  • The Michigan Department of Management and Budget.
  • Portland, OR-based Russell Development Co.

Through the pilot program, the Building EQ program will allow fine-tuning and final development of the program. The pilot program will be complete in mid-June, and the program is expected to be fully functional by the end of 2010. For more information, visit www.buildingEQ.com.

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