A new pilot program launched by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) will provide both design and operational ratings for all building types, except residential buildings; the ratings will be posted on the buildings themselves.

The “Building EQ” program is designed to give building owners, designers and potential buyers a more realistic sense of how buildings are actually performing in terms of energy use, ASHRAE officials said at the launch of the program in Washington, D.C., at the Dec. 7-11 Ecobuild conference, sponsored by the National Institute of Building Sciences. Initially, volunteer ASHRAE members will conduct the assessments on about 20 buildings, but ASHRAE plans to launch a program to certify assessors as the program is expanded.

The General Services Administration is one of the participants in the pilot program, targeted at both existing and new buildings. Kevin Kampschroer, GSA director of Federal High-Performance Green Building, says he is particularly interested in the program because it offers an opportunity to get an accurate picture of building performance. “The potential of the design is rarely achieved in the performance of the building,” he says. “It’s vitally important that we get a better understanding of what is happening around us.”

“The potential of the design is rarely achieved in the performance of the building.”
— Kevin Kampschroer, GSA

Also at Ecobuild, Kent Peterson, founder of P2S Engineering, Long Beach, Calif., and chairman of AHSRAE’s Standard 189.1 committee, said the committee could be close to publishing a green-building standard, perhaps as early as winter 2010.