Home > Partner Resources > For New Home Industry Professionals > ENERGY STAR Certified Multifamily High Rise Buildings > Program Requirements
To earn the ENERGY STAR, a new or substantially rehabilitated multifamily mid and high rise building must meet strict guidelines for energy efficiency set by EPA, making them designed to be at least 15% more energy efficient than MFHR buildings built to ASHRAE Standard 90.1–2007. *Note: See below for performance target updates in states with more advanced building codes such as ASHRAE90.1-2010/2012 IECC.
To ensure that a building meets the ENERGY STAR requirements, the developer of a project participating in the program must provide EPA or its designated agent with program specific submittals. These submittals, which must be validated by a Licensed Professional are used to demonstrate that the program’s requirements have been met, that all prerequisites are included, and that each energy conservation measure is installed to specification. Please visit the Certification Process page for more information on how buildings earn the ENERGY STAR.
Although an eligible building may qualify for the ENERGY STAR by meeting the requirements of the Performance Path or the Prescriptive Path, building performance is as much a function of proper building management as the energy conservation measures incorporated into the structure. Therefore, after the project qualifies for the ENERGY STAR, the developer/owner must commit to benchmarking their building in Portfolio Manager for a period of two years. For more information please see the Benchmarking page.
There are two paths to certify a multifamily mid or high rise project to meet ENERGY STAR’s requirements for energy efficiency.
Please note that although the Performance Path allows for some trade-offs when selecting energy conservation measures for meeting the Performance Target, the program has set some minimum prerequisites for specific energy efficiency components. Although the prerequisite measures can be used to help the project meet the Performance Target, failure to meet the prerequisite requirements will result in the project not being qualified as ENERGY STAR. The prerequisites are found within the ENERGY STAR MFHR Performance Path document.
Both the Prescriptive Path and Performance Path require that partners comply with mandatory Testing & Verification Protocols available on the Guidance Documents page. All program documentation for both paths is available for download in a .zip file for convenience.
To ensure that ENERGY STAR remains a mark of distinction and provides meaningful energy savings above code, MFHR projects pursuing ENERGY STAR certification in states that have adopted ASHRAE 90.1-2010/2012 IECC will be required to meet a Performance Target of 15% over ASHRAE 90.1-2010, rather than the current requirement of 15% over ASHRAE 90.1-2007.
Since EPA has not yet developed a Prescriptive Path based on ASHRAE 90.1-2010, only the ENERGY STAR MFHR Performance Path certification option will be available for projects in these states.
To provide a period of transition, all ENERGY STAR MFHR Project Applications submitted to EPA by December 31, 2014, must meet the current performance target of 15% savings over 90.1-2007, regardless of the current or future code for their state.
All Project Applications submitted on or after January 1, 2015 must pursue a Performance Target of 15% better than the state energy code under which the building is permitted. Note that the code in place at the time of the project’s ENERGY STAR application may be ASHRAE 90.1-2007, but the code at the time of permit could have changed to ASHRAE 90.1-2010. In this case, the project would need to meet a Performance Target of 15% over ASHRAE 90.1-2010 since this was the code in place at the time of permit.
EPA periodically revises the MFHR program requirements in response to partner questions and evolving standards (e.g., ENERGY STAR product specifications, NAECA standards, model energy codes). The purpose of this revision process is to be responsive to partner questions, to disseminate policy changes in a consistent manner, and to adapt the program as needed for success. Revisions will be made on an as needed basis; however, it is expected that the guidelines will not be updated more frequently than every six months.