Sustainability – Building Performance Database – BPD – U.S. DOE

The Buildings Performance Database (BPD) unlocks the power of building energy performance data. The platform enables users to perform statistical analysis on an anonymous dataset of tens of thousands of commercial and residential buildings from across the country. Users can compare performance trends among similar buildings to identify and prioritize cost-saving energy efficiency improvements and assess the range of likely savings from these improvements.  Register/Access

Key Features

  • The BPD contains actual data on tens of thousands of existing buildings — not modeled data or anecdotal evidence.
  • The BPD enables statistical analysis without revealing information about individual buildings.
  • The BPD cleanses and validates data from many sources and translates it into a standard format.

Analysis Tools

  • Peer Group Tool. Allows users to peruse the BPD and create peer groups based on specific building types, locations, sizes, ages, equipment and operational characteristics. Users can compare the energy use of their own building to a peer group of BPD buildings.
  • Retrofit Analysis Tool. Allows users to analyze the savings potential of specific energy efficiency measures. Users can compare buildings that utilize one technology against peer buildings that utilize another.
  • Coming Soon!
    • Data Table Tool. Allows users to generate and export statistical data about peer groups.
    • Financial Forecasting Tool. Forecasts cash flows for energy efficiency projects.
    • Application Programming Interface (API). Allows external software to conduct analysis of the BPD data.

2007 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey – CBECS – Data Issues!


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Lack of Updated Commercial Building Energy Data Troubles Institute

May 03 2011
The National Institute of Building Sciences is alarmed that efforts to produce high-performance buildings may stall without up-to-date data following the news that the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will not be releasing results of its 2007 Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) due to statistical issues.
The Institute is also troubled because EIA is suspending work on its 2011 survey due to budget constraints, which means the last reliable data, from the 2003 survey, is nearly a decade old.

“The building industry relies on the availability of benchmark data and metrics from the CBECS to set goals and evaluate progress,” said Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA. “The nation is in the midst of a fundamental shift toward high-performance buildings. The significant gap of reliable data from the EIA is extremely troubling at a time when the building community is thirsting for quantifiable statistics to show their actions to save energy are working.”

Many efforts within the building community rely on the CBECS statistics, in particular the EnergyStar program. EnergyStar, which is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, uses CBECS data to establish its energy use benchmarks for buildings. Both the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings (LEED-EB) and the Green Building Initiative’s GreenGlobes tools reference EnergyStar as a baseline and some jurisdictions, such as Washington, D.C. and New York City, require disclosure of a building’s EnergyStar score. Because the EnergyStar program compares a building to its peers, the value of making comparisons will diminish as the underlying CBECS data becomes older.

In the wake of the troubling news from EIA, the Institute is establishing a High-Performance Building Data Collection Initiative to identify a path forward for collecting and disseminating data on all high-performance building attributes, not just energy use. This Initiative will allow the building community to still obtain the building energy data necessary to achieve national objectives for high-performance buildings.