ATLANTA - The Building Energy Quotient program, which will be known as Building EQ, has been launched. It will include both As Designed (asset) and In Operation (as operated) ratings for all building types, except residential. Similar to a nutrition label on food, it will also provide a detailed certificate with data on actual energy use, energy demand profiles, IAQ, and other information that enables building owners to evaluate and reduce a building’s energy use. The program is administered by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

“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,” said 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 zone, while also providing building owners with building-specific information that can be used to improve building energy performance.”

Holness noted that building energy use disclosure is already mandatory in California; Washington; Austin, Texas; Washington state; the European Union; and Australia.

Those participating in the pilot program are leading building owners and designers, real estate developers, and government agencies, including the U.S. General Services Administration, the primary agency responsible for the acquisition and management of federal buildings, which owns or leases 8,600 properties and maintains an inventory of more than 354 million square feet of workspace for 1.1 million federal employees.

Through the pilot program, the Building EQ program will allow fine-tuning and final development of the program. In parallel with this effort, ASHRAE has developed a certification program for building energy modelers. Following completion of the pilot program in mid-June, the program is expected to be fully functional by the end of 2010.

“With procedures for both an As Designed and In Operation rating, building owners can make side-by-side comparisons that could further reconcile differences between designed and measured energy use on an ongoing basis,” Holness said.

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 and 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.

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Publication date:01/11/2010