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  • [ June 25, 2013 ]
  • DOE launches new Buildings Performance Database

Image courtesy of the Berkley Lab

The Department of Energy (DOE) launched a new, free, publicly available Buildings Performance Database today. Developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Building Energy Inc, the database may help cut energy waste and save money through innovative energy tools, according to the Department.

“The real estate investment community, building managers and owners asked the DOE for a tool to help them better evaluate the financial costs and benefits of energy-efficiency projects in buildings, to help them guide investment decisions. DOE responded by establishing the Buildings Performance Database, which we are developing under their direction,” said Berkeley Lab’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division leading Staff Scientist, Paul Mathew.

The database provides information on more than 60,000 residential and commercial building energy performance, including location, age, size, function, electricity and fuel consumption, equipment information, and operational characteristics. Users are able to access the data to perform statistical analyses, compare performance trends among similar buildings, identify and prioritize cost-saving energy efficiency improvements, and assess the range of likely savings from these improvements.

“We are building this database to meet the needs of the buildings community—of investors, owners and building managers, as well as energy-efficiency program managers, and local, state and federal government agencies that manage buildings,” says Mathew. “The capabilities we’re building into the database allow them not only to assess the potential savings from energy performance upgrades, but to increase confidence that planned projects will meet their goals.”

According to the Berkeley Lab, energy efficiency program and building managers can use the BPD to compare the performance of efficiency in their portfolio and use that information to influence local real estate markets to undertake efficiency performance improvements. Public and private stakeholders are able and encouraged to participate by adding data which is made anonymous and protected by privacy and security protocols.

“Development of the BPD is ongoing,” says Mr. Mathew. “More types of information, such as building assets and equipment, and metered interval data from utilities, will become available as the BPD grows…As we add more datasets and functionality, we expect that the Building Performance Database will become an essential tool for the buildings and financial industries. It will help provide the confidence in rates of return from energy efficiency performance investments in buildings to help these investments, and the economic benefits and job growth they bring, to expand.”

Sources:
Energy Department Launches New Database on Residential and Commercial Building Energy Performance, EERE News
Building Performance Database Helps Building Owners, Investors Evaluate Energy Efficient Buildings, Berkeley Lab

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