Designed to Earn for Multifamily

Multifamily projects that earn Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR include requirements for the energy-efficient features and construction details typically found in ENERGY STAR multifamily new construction —tight construction and duct systems, properly installed insulation, high performance windows, efficient heating and cooling equipment, and ENERGY STAR certified lighting and appliances.

ENERGY STAR certified homes and apartments are at least 10% more energy efficient than homes built to code and achieve a 20% improvement on average, while providing owners and residents with better quality, performance, and comfort.

Builders and developers may use the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR mark on drawings and promotional materials for specified design projects that have been verified by an Energy Rating Company. Projects may not be promoted as ENERGY STAR certified until all program requirements are met. The Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR is an excellent way to get a head start on promoting your project.

Utilizing the mark in promotional materials sends a powerful message to future residents or owners that your project stands apart from conventional buildings, showcasing your commitment to energy efficiency and high-performance design. See the ENERGY STAR Brand Book for details.

See projects that have achieved the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR.

Using the Designed to Earn Mark

Below are some great ways that developers can utilize Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR prior to final certification:

  • On advertising or other promotional materials, either print or electronic, which are specific to the project design. The mark should be located adjacent to the project description or design that achieved the ENERGY STAR.
  • On case studies or other project materials, only if the document refers exclusively to the specified project.
  • Directly on certified project plans, adjacent to the building name in the title block.
  • At the project’s construction site, adjacent to the project name, architect of record and owner/developer names.

Achieving Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR for Multifamily Projects

Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR is awarded to new multifamily properties that are in the design or construction phase, have met the design requirements of the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction program, and have achieved an ENERGY STAR design score of 75 or higher in Portfolio Manager. Builders or developers must work with an Energy Rating Company to review the project.

The Rater will review the project design and construction documents to ensure all of the mandatory requirements are specified, and that the energy performance target is met through one of the three pathways as described in steps 1 and 2 of the Certification Process in the National Program Requirements or California Program Requirements. The Rater must review all items on the National Rater Design and Field checklists for inclusion in the design. This can be documented by completing the National Rater Design Checklist, including the completion of Section 5. They must also complete a Statement of Energy Design Intent for the project showing it has earned a 75 or higher. The SEDI must include an estimate for all energy used in the building (i.e., common space energy use and commercial energy use) even if that energy is not included in the modeling to meet the ERI or ASHRAE performance target.  How to Generate a SEDI (PDF, 91 KB) walks through the process of creating a Statement of Energy Design Intent.

Upon completion of the review, the Rater is required to keep electronic or hard copies of the completed and signed National Rater Design Checklist, the National HVAC Design Report, and the SEDI. Additionally, the following steps must be followed:

  • ERI Path: submit documentation to an EPA-approved HCO or their designated agent (e.g., RESNET Rating Provider). These documents include the SEDI and optionally, the Multifamily Workbook.
  • ASHRAE and Prescriptive Path: submit documentation to a Multifamily Review Organization (MRO) for their review and approval. These documents include the Multifamily Workbook, SEDI, construction documents, photo documentation, and for ASHRAE projects, the ASHRAE Path Calculator and either the modeling file or input and output files.

If the project design is approved, the builder and developer partners will get access to the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR Mark.

Architect of Record

Architects working on ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction projects may also qualify for the ENERGY STAR Service and Product Provider partnership as an MFHR Architect of Record (AOR) to promote the project. Partnership is free and offers access to ENERGY STAR marks to promote commitment to energy efficient design and construction.

The Architect of Record (AOR) can access the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR recognition graphic to use on promotional materials and drawings/plans for the project if:

  1. The AOR is an ENERGY STAR Service and Product Provider Partner 1, AND
  2. The AOR completed the ENERGY STAR Design Profile by providing an image of the project and a brief description of the energy efficient strategies used in the design. These profiles are posted on the ENERGY STAR website. To submit a profile, the AOR must:
    1. Go to and select the Tools and Resources link from the navigation menu. View resources for Commercial Building Design and download the ENERGY STAR Design Profile document.
    2. Save the profile as a Word document (or similar format) and name the file: "Profile_[Project Name]_[AOR Name]".
    3. Submit the ENERGY STAR Design Profile with the Service and Product Provider partner application or, if already a partner, write "MF DEES Application" in the subject line of an email and send the design profile to

Information and guidance on How to Apply for Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR recognition is available on the ENERGY STAR website.

1 If the AOR is not an ENERGY STAR Partner, access the partnership agreement for service and product providers at In the partnership agreement, the AOR must submit the ENERGY STAR Design Profile as part of the application. For multifamily projects, this is the only document required. New construction can include significant gut rehabilitations if the building is able to meet all the program requirements.