News Brief

New Guide Tries to Make Building Performance Tracking Easier

By Paula Melton

IMT Building Rating Impact

Depending on city density and policy requirments, mandatory disclosure of energy performance can affect a huge number of buildings. This chart shows how many square feet of space are affected by existing transparency regulations.

Source: Institute for Market Transformation
Accurately benchmarking and reporting the energy performance of buildings is a notoriously difficult task, but policymakers looking to enact a climate change mitigation policy often begin by eyeing the buildings in their jurisdictions. A new guide from the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) attempts to make it easier for governments to write and enforce fair and effective building benchmarking regulations.

Drawing on best practices from national, state, and local governments that require building rating and disclosure, the guide identifies key barriers to implementing a building rating policy—including tenant confidentiality, data reliability, and the inherent difficulty of comparing one mixed-use building with another. The guide also presents possible solutions for each obstacle along with case studies of cities and states that already have policies in place.

Although IMT argues that building rating policies are essential, the guide also points out that transparency does not in itself reduce energy use; a comprehensive policy would also require that building owners cut their consumption. For the complete guide, visit www.buildingrating.org.

Published August 30, 2011

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