The Buildings Database is a shared resource for the building industry. The Database, developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is a unique central repository of in-depth information and data on high-performance, green building projects across the United States and abroad. Projects in the database can be featured on multiple Web sites. This collaboration increases the reach of the information and saves building designers and owners from having to provide the same information to multiple sources.
The Database includes information on the energy use, environmental performance, design process, finances, and other aspects of each project. Members of the design and construction teams are listed, as are sources for additional information. In total, up to twelve screens of detailed information are provided for each project profile. Projects range in size from small single-family homes or tenant fit-outs within buildings to large commercial and institutional buildings and even entire campuses.
A series of Web-based data-entry templates allows anyone to enter information about a building project into the database. Once a project has been submitted, each of the partner organizations can review the entry and choose whether or not to publish that particular project on its own Web site. Early partners using the database include:
- DOE's High Performance Buildings Web site, which features projects with reliable energy performance data and exemplary energy performance;
- The Federal Energy Management Program, showcasing federal projects;
- The U.S. Green Building Council, which displays buildings that have been certified through its LEED® Green Building Rating System;
- The American Institute of Architects\'
Committee on the Environment, publishing buildings that have been
selected through its annual Top Ten Green Projects competition;
- BuildingGreen, Inc.;
- The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, which displays in-depth case studies, created by teams at various universities, of projects that have benefited from grants provided by MTC;
- The Cascadia Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council, displaying projects located in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon;
- New Buildings Institute's new Getting to Zero Project Portal showcases selected ultra-low and zero net energy projects;
- Efficiency Vermont, showcasing energy efficient and high performance buildings located in Vermont;
- Enterprise Community Partners, which displays low-income housing projects that have received funding through the Green Communities program.
Although the database development was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, partners pay for the cost of establishing their Web portals and to support the ongoing hosting and maintenance costs of the database.