July 29, 2014 ATLANTA –- To allow greater uniformity for building types seeking an In Operation rating under its Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program, ASHRAE is now using methodology from its standard for energy efficiency in existing buildings to calculate the rating.
The bEQ program, a consistent, comprehensive and accurate method of rating and labeling buildings based on energy use, offers two rating labels: an As Designed label that rates the building’s expected energy use under standardized conditions—independent of the building’s occupancy and usage variables—and an In Operation label that rates the building’s actual metered energy use as influenced by the building’s occupancy, structure and usage. bEQ helps owners and managers zero in on opportunities to lower building operating costs and make informed decisions on energy reduction strategies.
Previous to this change, the In Operation rating relied on ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to provide a normalized median energy use index (EUI) for the rating calculation. Unfortunately, this normalization was only available for those buildings that were covered by Portfolio Manager, so all other building types, such as convenience stores, libraries, fire stations and restaurants, had no methodology for this normalization.
“The change to this new methodology provides several advantages for those who are submitting buildings for In Operation ratings,” Ross Montgomery, bEQ Committee chair, said. “The new methodology allows greater uniformity for many more available building types, which should result in better rating comparisons since those buildings are now able to get a normalized energy use index. In addition, submission forms are now easier to use with more of the information/calculation automated and with expanded explanations, definitions and instructions to help better classify a candidate building.”
Montgomery explained that the updated bEQ Workbooks use methodology from one of the informative appendices of Standard 100, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings. This methodology allows generation of median EUIs by climate zone for all building types covered in the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), maintained by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
He notes that similar changes are planned for the As Designed rating, which currently uses Target Finder to calculate the median EUI for normalization.
Given the updated improvements for the In Operation rating, ASHRAE is offering a four month limited offer to qualified ASHRAE members, allowing them to submit for two ratings with no registration/submission fee from July 30, 2014, until Nov. 30, 2014.
The offer is extended to ASHRAE members who are certified by ASHRAE as Building Energy Assessment Professionals (BEAP) or Building Energy Modeling (BEMP) Professionals, or professional engineers (PE) licensed in the jurisdiction where the rated building is located.
For more information on the offer, visit www.buildingenergyquotient.org.
ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a building technology society with more than 50,000 members worldwide. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability. Through research, standards writing, publishing, certification and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today. More information can be found at