Commercial Real Estate Developer-Owner Property Requirements
Commercial Real Estate (CRE) developer-owners may include core and shell buildings (envelope and major systems design).
The Architect of Record (AOR) submits the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR application package to EPA; however, the building owner is required to sign the Owner-Occupied Buildings Letter of Intent , stating the intent to:
- Operate the building to earn an EPA energy performance rating of 75 or higher.
- Apply for the ENERGY STAR qualified building label if it meets all criteria.
- Provide information for a case study documenting the process and outcomes highlighting best practices in completing the cycle of designing and operating the building that earned the ENERGY STAR.
These design projects are required to meet the following criteria:
- CRE developer-owners may request that the AOR apply for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR after completing the core and shell building projects prior to completing construction documents as long as the following qualifications are satisfied.
- The program requirements for design should be sufficient enough to perform whole-building energy use analysis. The energy analysis is required to obtain an EPA rating to determine whether the project’s estimated energy use achieves an EPA rating of 75 or higher. An incomplete energy analysis will produce a rating that does not reflect the true scope of the project’s intended energy use, rendering the project ineligible for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.
- The energy use estimate should include, but is not limited to, energy use associated with the building form and envelope; orientation; program and function, including occupant schedules and density; primary HVAC systems; general lighting and supplemental loads, including plugs and other miscellaneous equipment loads; and all other energy-intensive process loads, including elevators and escalators, cooking equipment and refrigeration, laundry washing and drying, etc. Meeting code compliance for energy use may not include all energy use and loads associated with the building's operation.
- Developer-owners should include only those properties that are not intended to be sold within at least 24 months after achieving Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR. If property is sold, it is important to inform the new owners of the original commitment to earn the ENERGY STAR label and the cost-saving benefits of operating an energy-efficient building.
- The developer may not know the ultimate needs of all tenants or be in the position to specify the efficiency of certain building systems, including lighting, appliances, computer equipment, and other plug loads. Yet the developer plays a critical role in directing the design of the building and its core systems, and can do the following:
- Include realistic estimates of tenant energy needs in a whole-building energy use estimate.
- Implement guidelines for tenant alterations and "fit-outs" that match the building's energy design goals and state that the property is intended to earn the ENERGY STAR label.
After the building is occupied and operating, it is up to the owner to do the following:
- Communicate energy goals to the building operations team.
- Track energy use during operations, and pass this data along to any future owners.
- Establish incentives for tenants to share cost savings from energy efficiency measures.
- Track and verify energy use of the operating building, and if it qualifies, apply for the ENERGY STAR label for the building.