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Designed to Earn Energy Star: Connecting Design with Operations

Energy Star

Today’s tip is about a program from the US Environmental Protection Agency called Designed to Earn the Energy Star Label. The idea behind the program is to link energy efficient design plans with post-occupancy Energy Star ratings. In other words, Designed to Earn sets a goal during design that is based on the same metrics and benchmarking system the more well-known Energy Star for Buildings program is based on. Project designs must achieve at least a score of 75 based on energy modeling to get the Designed to Earn label. And then, as facility executives know, the building must meet that same score of 75 once the building is operating to earn the Energy Star Label.

The idea is to give designers and facility executives a system of comparison for how energy efficient a building is designed to be and how efficient it actually turned out to be.

Right now, the Energy Star benchmark is the metric used by LEED-EB, and Energy Star officials are in the first stages of discussions with USGBC to make Designed to Earn the basis for LEED-NC as well. Doing so would be a huge step in helping to ensure that LEED certified buildings end up as energy efficient as they were designed to be, also.

For more information on Designed to Earn, visit www.energystar.gov/commercialbuildingdesign

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