Steps to Achieving Outcome-Based Energy Codes

Code & Policy / Outcome-Based Performance

Outcome-based energy codes require that a number of policy, data and administration pieces be put in place. Key to the process are:

  1. Better data about actual building performance
    Information about how the building stock is currently performing is sparse.  More and better information about building performance must be made available to policymakers, code jurisdictions, and the market so that realistic building performance targets can be set. Some jurisdictions have adopted disclosure ordinances which require building owners to provide current building energy performance information to interested parties in a leasing or sale transaction.
  2. Adjustable tracking/reporting tools
    Tools and methodologies are needed for consistent reporting of performance information. Although better disclosure information may allow jurisdictions to set building performance targets, these targets must account for typical variations in schedule, use and occupant density, and other factors associated with individual building use patterns.
  3. Commitment and enforcement mechanisms
    Current code enforcement strategies generally end at building completion (when the certificate of occupancy is issued). To extend code scope into the operational life of the building, new incentives and enforcement mechanisms must be developed. These may take the form of performance bonds, annual inspections, utility rate accelerators, or other strategies.
  4. Metering capabilities
    To manage operational energy use effectively, building operators and tenants must have access to good information about how the building is performing on an ongoing basis. This implies that various feedback and submetering capabilities must be integrated into the design to enable real-time performance monitoring and response.