Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ASTM Publishes Its Building Energy Performance Assessment Standard

On Thursday, February 10, 2011, ASTM will publish its long-awaited Standard E2797-11, Building Energy Performance Assessment (BEPA). The consensus standard was two years in development by a Task Group consisting of more than 220 professionals, including consultants, engineers, architects, attorneys, real estate service providers, real estate investors, building owners and managers, bankers, manufacturers, educators, professional associations and government officials. For the first time, the ASTM BEPA standard provides a clear and precise methodology for collection, compilation and analysis of building energy use and energy cost data that is consistent, transparent, practical and reasonable. Use of the standard will support and facilitate better building benchmarking and labeling.

The driving forces behind development of the standard were both regulatory and business. The regulatory driving forces consisted principally of the growing number of building energy performance disclosure regulations in states, such as California and Washington, and cities such as Austin, Seattle and New York. The business driving forces were for the most part financial as more energy efficient buildings have lower operating costs, higher NOI and will be more valuable and attractive to tenants.

The ASTM BEPA methodology standardizes a number of major variables including:

• the time frame over which data needs to be collected
• what criteria must be met for collecting reliable building energy use data
• what constitutes a major renovation
• how partial month data is calendarized
• what building energy metrics are to be used
• how building energy use is normalized
• how variables impacting building energy use are to be treated
• what weather data needs to be collected, over what period and how it is to
be statistically analyzed
• what constitutes an appropriate range for building energy use
• what the most representative values are for building energy use and cost.

The ASTM BEPA standard also includes a series of appendices that provide additional support information for users of the standard. For example, one of the appendices identifies for the major property types associated with commercial real estate transactions those building characteristics expected to have a significant impact on energy use. Another appendix provides a commercial building survey checklist. There is also an appendix that provides an illustrative example using the myriad of calculations that have to be made.

The ASTM BEPA standard is expected to be the foundation for accurate and reliable building energy use data collection, compilation and analysis in the industry. It is already finding use to support benchmarking and energy auditing services in the property due diligence, energy efficiency lending and asset management markets.

The ASTM E 2797-11 BEPA standard may be purchased from ASTM for $55 by clicking on the following link: http://www.astm.org/STORE/AffiliateEntry.cgi?BEPN+E2797.

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