WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that new multifamily high-rise residential buildings are now eligible to qualify as Energy Star buildings. According to EPA, expanding Energy Star eligibility to these properties will not only help strengthen energy-efficiency initiatives, but also provide property owners the opportunity to increase asset value and offer tenants comfortable homes.

To qualify for Energy Star, new or substantially rehabilitated multifamily high-rise buildings must meet energy-efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and be designed to be at least 15 percent more energy-efficient than buildings that meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) energy standard. Qualified buildings feature a combination of energy efficient improvements including:

• Properly sized heating and cooling equipment;

• Effective insulation systems;

• Tight construction and ducts;

• Energy Star qualified lighting and appliances; and

• High-performance windows.

An independently licensed professional engineer or architect is required to verify that the program’s requirements are met through on-site testing and inspections conducted throughout the construction process. In the past, only single family homes and units in low-rise multifamily buildings were eligible to earn the Energy Star.

For more information on the Energy Star qualified multifamily high-rise buildings program, visit www.energystar.gov/mfhr.

Publication date: 09/12/2011