Designed to earn the ENERGY STAR: eligibility rules and requirements

Project requirements

Property designs that meet the following requirements are eligible to achieve Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR recognition.

General Requirements

  • The project is located in the United States, or in a U.S. Territory, or owned by the U.S. Government.
  • The design project is for an entire property and not a portion thereof (e.g., individual tenant space).
  • The energy calculations for the project (including core and shell projects) account for all intended energy use of the entire property, including all anticipated fuel and energy types.
  • The design project meets the eligibility criteria to receive the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score, and inputs for property use details meet the minimum requirements for the specific property type. See Eligibility criteria for the 1-100 ENERGY STAR score for more information. NOTE: You are required to enter estimated energy data for your design projects.
  • The project saved in Portfolio Manager does not include any default values for the property use details.
  • The project earns an ENERGY STAR score of 75 or higher.

Timeframe to Apply

  • The Architect of Record must submit the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR application to EPA within 60 days of the date on the Statement of Energy Design Intent (SEDI) generated by Portfolio Manager.
  • The Construction Documents are at least 95% completed for the design project, except for “core and shell" projects.
  • Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR applications may be submitted during the construction phase of the project.
  • Newly constructed buildings that are occupied and generating utility bills are NOT eligible for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.

Core and Shell Projects

  • Core and shell projects for a commercial real estate developed property are eligible for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR. The estimated energy use calculations for the anticipated building function are entered into Portfolio Manager.

Renovations, Additions, and Upgrades

  • Major renovations, defined as encompassing 50% or more of the gross square feet of the existing property, are eligible for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR. The project scope should include significant design and construction activities such as HVAC, envelope, and interior modifications, etc.
  • Major additions, defined as increasing the gross square feet of an existing property by 50% or more, are eligible for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.
  • Hospital additions are not eligible for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.
  • Major equipment or system retrofits or upgrades for an existing property are NOT eligible for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR. If the project scope focuses more on operational and maintenance activities, these properties may be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification for existing buildings.