Improving Energy Efficiency Through Benchmarking

2 minute read

Multifamily housing could be 15 to 30 percent more energy-efficient, resulting in $3.4 billion in annual savings, according to a recent report from the Institute for Market Transformation. But owners and property managers need to better use the energy and water data they collect to make efficiency investments and decisions.

In addition, benchmarking water and energy usage with other buildings can help spur decreased consumption. The BREEAM standard, which started in Europe in 1990 and has now come to the United States, can help commercial and multifamily buildings make these comparisons and reductions.

In an interview with Construction Dive, BREEAM USA CEO Barry Giles explains the difference between LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), which focuses on ensuring new construction is as energy-efficient as possible, and BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), which zeroes in on benchmarking energy use industrywide to drive down consumption.

Giles emphasizes that BREEAM is not in competition with LEED, and he wants the two certifications to work together toward the same goal.

“With 5.6 million buildings, there is no way BREEAM is going to do all of those,” Giles told Construction Dive. “There’s no way LEED is going to do them. But we could do it if we started working together and putting data together.”

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