ASHRAE’s Building Energy Quotient (bEQ) program now includes a second label for rating a building’s energy use.

The program’s “In Operation” label rates actual measured energy consumption as influenced by a building’s occupancy and usage, while the new “As Designed” label rates potential energy consumption under standardized conditions independent of a building’s occupancy and usage.

The As Designed label is based on a comparison of simulated energy use to a baseline median energy-use intensity. It is said to be a useful tool for tenants who want to compare buildings without the effects of current occupants as well as for operators who want to know whether a building’s potential is being met. For an As Designed rating to be received, a standardized energy model must be performed by an ASHRAE-certified building-energy-modeling professional (BEMP).

The In Operation label is based on a building’s actual energy use over the preceding 12 to 18 months. Key components are an ASHRAE Level I Energy Audit conducted by an ASHRAE-certified building-energy-assessment professional (BEAP) and recommendations for energy improvement. It is intended to help building owners and operators see how their building’s energy use compares to the energy use of a median baseline building and highlight the building’s potential for energy-performance improvement.

“BEQ is a voluntary program that draws on successful features from other U.S. and European building-labeling and certification programs,” Amy Musser, PhD, PE, a consulting engineer in Asheville, N.C., and volunteer chair of the bEQ committee, said. “Building energy-use disclosure is already mandatory in the states of California and Washington; the cities of Washington, D.C.; Austin, Texas; Boston, Mass.; Philadelphia; Pa.; New York City, N.Y.; San Francisco, Calif.; and the European Union and Australia.”

Building owners who participate in the program receive a displayable plaque, a dashboard providing a quick overview of energy use, and a certificate that can be used to satisfy state and local disclosure requirements.

Buildings can be rated using both labels or just one.

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