Certification Process

The graphic below illustrates the process that mid and high rise multifamily buildings follow to earn the ENERGY STAR. Click each step below for more details about the certification process.

Step 1: Join

Developer chooses to partner with ENERGY STAR

A developer signs a Partnership Agreement with EPA acknowledging their roles and responsibilities as a partner and documenting their commitment to meet the MFHR Program Requirements.

Step 2: Design

Developer submits a Project Application and a set of designs that meet the program requirements through either the Performance Path OR the Prescriptive Path.

An ENERGY STAR MFHR Project Application (PDF, 214KB) must be submitted for each project. Once a project application is approved, the project will be held to the specified versions of the requirements as noted in the application.

There are two paths to earning the ENERGY STAR. Developers may choose a prescriptive package developed by EPA (Prescriptive Path), or a customized approach using ASHRAE approved energy modeling software (Performance Path).

Prior to construction, the Licensed Professional working on behalf of the Developer Partner must submit a complete Proposed Design Submittal to an EPA-recognized MRO to ensure that the proposed building design meets program requirements. Visit the Licensed Professional page to learn more about the submittal process and the Guidance Documents page to download the required submittal documentation. If eligible, the units could earn the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR mark when the Proposed Design Submittal is accepted. More information is available in the document Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR for MFHR available on the Guidance Documents page.

Step 3: Build

Developer constructs the project with the prerequisites and energy conservation measures as described by the Proposed Design Submittal.

Throughout the construction process, a number of inspections and diagnostic tests are required to verify proper installation of the selected energy-efficient features and overall energy performance of the project. Testing and verification requirements are found in the Testing & Verification Protocols and are documented in the Testing and Verification Worksheets. Both are available on the Guidance Documents page.

Step 4: Earn

The Licensed Professional submits an As-Built Submittal and if approved, EPA issues the ENERGY STAR Certification.

After the final inspection the Licensed Professional must submit a complete As-Built Submittal to an EPA-recognized MRO to ensure that the program prerequisites and energy conservation measures are installed to specification. Once the submittal has been approved, EPA will provide documentation to the developer notifying them that the units in the building have earned the ENERGY STAR.

Step 5: Perform

The developer or property owner assesses the energy performance of the project using ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager for a minimum period of two years following the date of receipt of the Certificate of Occupancy.

Although the ENERGY STAR label is attained at the unit level by completing steps 1 through 4, whole-building performance is as much a function of proper building management as the energy conservation measures designed into the structure. Therefore, the developer/owner must commit to benchmarking their building in Portfolio Manager for a period of two years. Please see the Benchmarking page for more information.