Last summer, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced its Building Performance Partnership (BPP), a program used to engage owners and managers of commercial and residential Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design- (LEED-) certified green buildings, optimizing the performance of buildings through data collection, analysis, and action. Starting this summer, the USGBC has opened the program to all current whole-building LEED-certified commercial and residential projects. BPP will further the efforts to understand how buildings perform from the moment of LEED certification into the future.

The partnership among the USGBC and thousands of LEED project owners will result in the population of a comprehensive green-building-performance database and enable standardization of reporting metrics and analytics to establish new building-performance benchmarks.

“The significance of USGBC conducting this research is to inform future iterations of the LEED green-building program. By providing a large and accurate data set critical to supporting the ongoing improvement of LEED and continuous optimization of LEED-certified projects, BPP will ensure LEED projects deliver on their extraordinary environmental and economic potential,” Scot Horst, senior vice president of LEED, said.

Participation of current LEED-certified buildings is voluntary. The partnership is made up of owners, managers, and occupants of buildings of all sizes and types that are committed to improving their own performance as well as helping drive the ongoing development of LEED. The LEED buildings that participate in the partnership will receive annual information on performance, specifically comparing predicted or actual performance at the time of certification with the project’s current performance.

Additionally, the report will show aggregated data of like buildings and certification levels and will act as a case study of a project’s performance and/or improvement. Currently, more than 120 projects are participating in Phase One, and these projects will receive a basic performance report in time for Greenbuild 2010 in Chicago this November.

No building will be decertified for performance or a performance gap; this information will be used to inform and help projects achieve higher levels of performance. Phase One of the BPP rollout is focused on energy and water. This data-collection effort will be based in Energy Star’s Portfolio Manager for LEED-certified commercial projects and in Earth Aid for LEED-certified residential projects. Owners of projects certified under LEED for New Construction, LEED for Core & Shell, LEED for Schools, or LEED for Existing Buildings who are interested in participating should follow the USGBC’s Sharing Access to Energy Star Portfolio Manager Data instructions and create an account in Portfolio Manager.

To learn more about the Building Performance Partnership, visit www.usgbc.org/bpp.