Benchmarking Emerges

Green Building

Benchmarking Emerges

As energy and water performance mandates are adopted in cities, concerned suburban and rural communities can progress benchmarking at the grassroots level.

Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Environmental Design + Construction (EDC) magazine.

On September 4, 2012, New York City publicly posted the 2011 energy and water benchmarking results for more than 2,000 nonresidential properties covered under the benchmarking ordinance (Local Law 84), making it the first major city in the U.S. to release this kind of information.

Closely following suit, San Francisco publically released data from its Existing Commercial Buildings Energy Performance Ordinance in November 2012. The benchmarking policy requires owners of nonresidential buildings larger than 10,000 square feet and at least five years old to obtain energy-efficiency audits every five years and to report energy consumption yearly.

Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia have similar plans to release benchmarking data. In the context of building performance disclosure policies, the term “benchmarking” is defined as tracking a building’s energy and water consumption and comparing the building’s performance against its past performance and the performance of other comparable structures using standard metrics.

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