This Fact Sheet provides an overview of the Better Buildings Workforce Guidelines project. The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) are working with industry stakeholders to develop voluntary national guidelines that will improve the quality and consistency of commercial building workforce training and certification programs for five key energy-related jobs.
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The lack of empirical data on the energy performance of buildings is a key barrier to accelerating the energy efficiency retrofit market. The DOE’s Buildings Performance Database (BPD) helps address this gap by allowing users to perform exploratory analyses on an anonymous dataset of hundreds of thousands of commercial and residential buildings. These analyses enable market actors to assess energy efficiency opportunities, forecast project performance, and quantify performance risk using empirical building data. In this paper, we describe the process of collecting and preparing data for the database, and present a peer-group analysis tool that allows users to analyze building performance for narrowly defined subsets of the database, or peer groups. We use this tool to explore a case study of a multifamily portfolio owner comparing his buildings’ performance to the peer group of multifamily buildings in the local metro area. We also present a performance comparison tool that uses statistical methods to estimate the expected change in energy performance due to changes in building-component technologies. We demonstrate a low-effort retrofit analysis, providing a probabilistic estimate of energy savings for a sample building retrofit. The key advantages of this approach compared to conventional engineering models are that it provides probabilistic risk analysis based on actual
measured data and can significantly reduce transaction costs for predicting savings across a portfolio.
While the availability of “big data” about building energy performance is increasing in response to market demands and public policies, the lack of standard data formats is a significant ongoing barrier to its full utilization. To overcome this barrier, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) developed the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification (BEDES).
BEDES is designed to enable the exchange, comparison, and combination of empirical information by providing common terms and definitions for data about commercial and residential building’s physical and operational characteristics, energy use, and efficiency measures.
This paper describes the BEDES development process, scope, structure, and plans for implementation and ongoing updates.
7x7x7: Design Energy Water is an innovative program by the Division of the State Architect that encouraged California school districts to develop long-range master plans that reduce energy and water consumption on campuses and improve the quality of educational spaces. The State Architect engages seven architectural firms to develop seven conceptual case studies that reduce school energy and water consumption and result in better learning environments on seven different types of campuses (six K-12 schools and a community college). The seven campuses are representative of typical building types from different eras constructed across California’s varied climate zones. The purpose and primary goal of this program is to enable all existing K-14 facilities to be zero energy by 2030.
Evidence has shown that owning and operating energy-efficient, high-performance properties is a sound investment strategy that results in multiple financial benefits, including lower utility bills, higher rents, improved occupancy, and greater net operating income (NOI). To overcome difficulties in isolating moderating factors and identifying specific drivers behind sustainability-related improvements in financial performance and value to investors, DOE commissioned this pilot study; designed to test the logistical and empirical procedures required to conduct real estate research and contribute to the existing body of evidence in this field.
Work with the buildings industry to develop and maintain data, methods, and tools to understand and improve the sustainability of buildings at a fundamental level and continue to develop and support the U.S. Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database, which provides the starting point for LCA.
In this video, Jesus Garza, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Seton Family of Hospitals, and Bob Bonar, president and chief executive officer of Dell Children's Medical Center, discuss the financial and business decision-making that went into the building of the LEED Platinum Dell Children's Medical Center.
The FEDS system allows data input to range from minimal to extremely detailed. With minimal input, FEDS can be used as a top-down, first-pass energy systems analysis and energy resource acquisition decision software model for buildings and facilities. Providing FEDS with more detailed input allows the user to generate optimized building retrofits for an entire installation and provides detailed output for each retrofit in each building set.
This report describes miscellaneous electric loads (MELs), the assessment and monitoring of these loads, and how to implement a MEL reduction strategy in banking facilities.
This guide explains the benefits and process of building commissioning thereby providing owners and other stakeholders a tool to improve building efficiency and operation. It is intended to be a resource, as well as a call to action, for building owners and facility managers who want to verify their buildings are not only operating as originally intended, but also as efficiently as possible. Commissioning of new construction and major renovations is the primary focus, although commissioning of existing buildings is also briefly discussed as well.