Partnering with EPA’s ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise Program (“MFHR”) helps developers design and build energy-efficient mid and high rise multifamily buildings that benefit owners, residents and communities.
Benefits of Partnership for Developers
Developers face a variety of unique challenges based on the particular markets they serve. The ENERGY STAR MFHR Program can benefit all participating developers in a number of ways:
- Capitalize on the ENERGY STAR brand recognition and logo
- Market units that are comfortable and affordable to live in
- Receive incentives in selected markets
- Access special financing
- Ensure verification of energy efficiency measures
- Utilize EPA guidance and technical assistance
- Earn recognition through EPA’s Market Leader Award and Partner of the Year Award
- Help meet energy requirements for other green building programs for additional market distinction
The MFHR Program also has specific benefits for market rate developers and developers of affordable housing projects:
The MFHR Program offers unique advantages to market rate developers who are interested in delivering properties that meet resident needs and exceed expectations.
Whether the developer plans to market their building to a management company or hold the property themselves, building to the ENERGY STAR multifamily high rise guidelines includes energy efficiency features that result in high quality, comfortable units with lower operating costs than traditional multifamily buildings. These are features a developer can market at any price point, no matter who pays the utility bills.
Additionally, you may be able to capitalize on utility rebates or other incentives for energy efficiency features or certifications. Visit the DSIRE website for a comprehensive list of current incentives in your market.
Affordable housing developers can take advantage of the MFHR Program to supply low income and senior populations with high-quality, affordable housing that maximizes the income residents have available for other priorities by lowering their monthly utility bills.
ENERGY STAR certified multifamily units also help owners and managers preserve affordability over time and provide a hedge against fluctuating energy prices.
Check with local and state affordable housing programs to see if there are incentives available for ENERGY STAR construction in your area.
How Do I Partner with ENERGY STAR?
Developers must be an active ENERGY STAR partner before a project can earn the ENERGY STAR. Developer Partners must be the primary party responsible for the design, financing and construction of multifamily mid and high rise projects. To apply, an online ENERGY STAR MFHR Developer Partnership Agreement must be submitted to EPA for approval. To maintain active status, the Developer Partner must have an approved ENERGY STAR MFHR Project Application on file with an EPA-recognized MFHR Review Organization (MRO) or its designated agent within 1 year of becoming a partner.
The goal of the Partnership Agreement is to clearly and consistently outline the terms and conditions for using the ENERGY STAR name and marks. As a partner in the program, your organization agrees to abide by the ENERGY STAR Identity Guidelines to ensure proper use of the logo. Developers must comply with the MFHR Program Requirements to maintain an active partnership status.
Developers must only submit a Partnership Agreement once. However, an ENERGY STAR Project Application (PDF, 497 KB) must be submitted for each project that is pursuing certification. This will ensure each project is allowed to adhere to the program requirements in place at the time the project application is submitted, and will not be subjected to additional requirements as the program progresses.
Who Should I Work With?
ENERGY STAR MFHR Developer Partners are required to work with a Licensed Professional (a Registered Architect or Professional Engineer) to provide an EPA-recognized MRO with program specific submittals. These submittals are used to demonstrate that the program’s requirements have been met, that all mandatory measures are included, and that each energy conservation measure is installed to specification. Visit the Licensed Professional page for more information on their role in the certification process. The Certification Process page also outlines the responsibilities of both Developer Partners and Licensed Professionals during the design and construction phases. MRO’s may also allow Developers to work with professionals with different credentials to provide the program submittals. Contact your MRO for more information.
Although not a requirement, the Developer Partner may also engage one or more third party energy consultants in addition to the Licensed Professional in order to provide recommendations on cost-effective, energy-efficient measures and construction techniques. Energy consultants may also be subcontracted or work directly for the Licensed Professional to develop energy models and conduct the required on-site diagnostic testing and inspections. More information on the recommended qualifications for energy consultants is available on the Energy Professionals page.
Watch recorded presentations about earning the ENERGY STAR for MFHR projects and the MFHR program requirements on the Training Resources page. Find a Licensed Professional (PDF, 379 KB) who has worked on ENERGY STAR MFHR projects.
How can I use the ENERGY STAR to Promote My Project?
Partnering with ENERGY STAR distinguishes developers as leaders in energy-efficient construction and environmental stewardship, providing valuable peer and public recognition that translates into market advantage because consumers increasingly ask for ENERGY STAR. In fact, 87% of consumers recognize ENERGY STAR as the symbol for energy efficiency.
As owners, lenders and tenants across the country become increasingly interested in green building, energy efficiency is the best place for them to start. And the easy way for developers to show that their buildings are energy efficient is with the blue ENERGY STAR logo mark, the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency.
Promote your partnership by using the familiar ENERGY STAR marks. For specific applications of each mark, please refer to the ENERGY STAR Brand Book.
The ENERGY STAR Multifamily High Rise Consumer Page includes a map to search for those units that have earned the ENERGY STAR label and those under construction that have achieved Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.
In addition, the ENERGY STAR MFHR Building Profiles showcase the Developer Partner, Licensed Professional, a building image, and unique construction details that set these buildings apart. Developers are encouraged to link to their individual Building Profile from their own website to highlight their achievement.
Getting the Most Out of ENERGY STAR Post-Certification
Benchmarking – You’ve heard it before: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Although the ENERGY STAR label is attained after construction, whole-building performance is as much a function of proper building management as the energy conservation measures designed into the structure. By measuring and tracking energy and water consumption, property managers can make sure that a building is performing properly. A project’s developer/owner must commit to benchmarking the building in Portfolio Manager for a period of two years.
Resident Engagement – Enterprise Community Partners’ Multifamily Resident Engagement Tools can help you to support healthy living, lower costs, and protect the environment -- all by engaging residents in green living. The tools include proven strategies for getting residents involved, training in a box, a green leader toolkit to empower motivated residents, and printer-ready creative materials for your property.