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ENERGY STAR Qualified Multifamily High Rise Buildings

Technical Resources: Guidelines for the ENERGY STAR MFHR Program

There are two paths to qualify a Multifamily High Rise Project to meet ENERGY STAR�s guidelines for energy efficiency.

  • ENERGY STAR MFHR Performance Path PDF (141KB): An approach to meeting program requirements where software is used to model the building�s energy use to verify that it meets the Performance Target (Note: 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.)

  • ENERGY STAR MFHR Prescriptive Path PDF (255KB): An approach where a developer constructs the project using a prescribed set of construction specifications that meet program requirements.

Policy Changes and Clarifications

  • Current Policy Record PDF (145KB) - This document contains policy issues that were received and have been resolved since the last revision of the program documents, sometime resulting in modifications that will be incorporated into the next version of the program documents. It also contains unresolved issues pending resolution by EPA. This document was last updated on August 21, 2012.

Guidance Documents: ENERGY STAR MFHR Performance Path

Simulation Guidelines PDF (327KB)

The Simulation Guidelines is a companion document to ASHRAE 90.1-2007 and ASHRAE 90.1 - Appendix G and contains program requirements to assist energy modelers in developing the Baseline Building Design, Proposed Building Design, and As-Built models for each project. The intent of these guidelines is to:

  • Facilitate consistent modeling among different modelers;
  • Facilitate consistent modeling of baseline components not mentioned in Appendix G;
  • Establish modeling protocols for measures that ASHRAE 90.1-2007 leaves to the rating authority to determine; and
  • Ensure that modeling results are used to drive the energy-efficient design process.

Performance Path Calculator xls

The Performance Path Calculator ensures consistency among energy modelers by providing the exact calculations described by the Simulation Guidelines. The calculator spreadsheet contains the Reporting Summary (sample pdf (131kb)) which is used to summarize the Proposed Building and As-Built models. Prior to construction, a PDF of the Proposed Building Reporting Summary spreadsheet must be submitted to EPA or its designated agent as part of the Proposed Building Submittal to demonstrate that the project has met the Performance Target. The PDF of the Reporting Summary spreadsheet for the As-Built Building must be submitted at the end of construction before the project can be qualified as ENERGY STAR. Although the use of the other spreadsheets in the calculator is optional, submission of the Reporting Summary is mandatory.

Quality Control Checklist PDF (49KB)

The modeling Quality Control Checklist provides guidance to energy modelers on commonly missed requirements or requirements that may be different than commonly seen in commercial or single family energy models.

Guidance Documents: ENERGY STAR MFHR Testing and Verification

Testing and Verification (T&V) Protocols PDF (776KB)

The T&V Protocols are mandatory requirements for the inspection, testing, and verification of components related to the building�s energy performance. All inspections and diagnostic tests described within these protocols are required for each of the energy-related components and systems that exist in the participating building. Results of inspections must be documented in the T&V Worksheets and Photo Template and provided to EPA or its designated agent, at the completion of construction. These inspections should be conducted throughout the project construction phase at a time that is best suited to determine whether the energy efficiency element is installed to specification.

Testing and Verification Worksheets xls and Photo Template doc

The T&V Worksheets and Photo Template are used to document that each prerequisite and each energy conservation measure included in the As-Built Building meets all requirements and follows the T&V Protocols. The T&V Worksheets are a key component to the program�s submittals and must be submitted to EPA or its designated agent, as part of the Proposed Building Submittal and the As-Built Building Submittal. View


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 qualifying for the ENERGY STAR for the project, the developer/owner must commit to benchmarking their building in Portfolio Manager for a period of two years.

Portfolio Manager is a free, online, interactive energy management tool that allows developers/owners to measure and track their building's energy and water consumption, identify investment priorities, and verify improvements over time. Developers/owners can use Portfolio Manager to track weather-normalized energy use intensity (EUI), energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions, and water consumption. For more information on how to use Portfolio Manager, see the Portfolio Manager - Multifamily Housing Quick Reference Guide PDF (920KB) document.

To accomplish this goal, the developer/owner or an entity working on their behalf, must be capable of evaluating the utility consumption of the residential-associated spaces independent of any commercial/retail space. These non-residential associated parts of the building shall be separately metered (or sub-metered) for electricity, gas, fuel oil, water, steam, and hot water for domestic and/or space heating purposes. Also, they should work with tenants to secure consumption information. If the building is direct-metered for utilities to the apartments, the building owner must secure signed releases from individual apartment occupants to allow for benchmarking or find alternative methods to assessing whole building energy consumption such as a whole-building meter or asking the utility for aggregated data.

All data uploaded to Portfolio Manager is strictly confidential and only used to estimate the energy performance of the building as a whole, not of individual apartments.

Information and Resources

  • Learn more about program eligibility and how to earn the ENERGY STAR.
  • Learn more about becoming an ENERGY STAR MFHR Developer Partner.
  • Learn more about the requirements for Licensed Professionals and program submittals.
  • View training resources to help developers, modelers, licensed professionals, and other program participants meet ENERGY STAR for MFHR guidelines.