ASHRAE has introduced its building energy labeling program with release of a prototype label at its 2009 Annual Conference in Louisville, Ky., using the organization's headquarters building in Atlanta as the test building.
The Building Energy Quotient program, (Building EQ) will include both asset and operational ratings for all building types, except residential, ASHRAE says. ASHRAE has announced that it is working with major real estate developers to implement the label prototype this fall with a widespread launch of the full program in 2010.
"As the United States looks to reduce its energy use, information is the critical first step in making the necessary choices and changes," says Bill Harrison, ASHRAE president. "With labeling mandatory in Europe and disclosure of a building's energy performance becoming required by several states, now is the time to introduce a label that can serve as a model for mandatory programs. ASHRAE's introduction of its prototype labeling program couldn't be better-timed."
Ron Jarnagin, who chairs the committee developing the label, said that the market, with its move toward placing a premium on energy-efficient properties, would benefit from a labeling program.
"When potential building tenants and owners have information on the properties they are interested in, they can understand the full cost of their investment and place a value on the energy efficiency of a building," Jarnagin says. "ASHRAE's label will help building owners differentiate their product in a technically sound manner while providing tenants with the tools they need to select energy-efficient spaces."
The asset rating provides an assessment of the building based on the components specified in the design and would be based on the results of a building energy model. The operational rating provides information on the actual energy use and is based on a combination of the structure of the building and how it is operated.
According to ASHRAE, one difference from existing labeling programs is that the ASHRAE labeling program focuses solely on energy use. Under the ASHRAE program, new buildings will be eligible to receive an asset rating. An operation rating will be available once the building has at least one year of data on the actual energy use of buildings. Existing buildings would be eligible to receive both an asset and operational rating.