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Real Estate Managers Agree to Building Energy Use Label

building EQMajor real estate firms have signed up for a pilot program that would help building owners, prospective tenants and buyers ascertain the energy efficiency of a building. The Building Energy Quotient program – Building EQ for short – is administered by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

The Durst Organization, the U.S. General Services Administration and BNIM Architects are among the initial participants in Building EQ.

The program, which was unveiled earlier this year, has two rating types for commercial buildings: as Designed (asset) and In Operation (as operated), according to a press release.

The ratings system will give buildings a certificate (see image) detailing data on actual energy use, energy demand profiles and indoor air quality, among other factors that can evaluate a building’s energy use.

Domestically, building energy use disclosure is already part of the law in California, Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas and Washington State. The European Union and Australia also have such mandates.

Recently Santa Monica has adopted stricter building codes related to energy efficiency and green building.

Meanwhile, an ambitious mandate to reduce energy use at New York City commercial buildings has hit stumbling blocks. Building owners, citing cost as the major issue, mounted opposition to Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plans for energy-efficient buildings, forcing him to drop one of the key initiatives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

A number of entities are participating in the ASHRAE pilot. Here is the list.

– The Durst Organization, a New York City real estate firm that owns 4 Times Square, 1155 Avenue of the Americas and One Bryant Park.

– The U.S. General Services Administration, the federal agency that acquires and manages federal buildings.

– Wright Runstad and Co., Seattle.

– Ashforth Pacific, Portland.

– BNIM Architects, Kansas City, Mo., a design firm, is including The Omega Center for Sustainable Living in Rhinebeck, N.Y.; the Internal Revenue Service, Kansas City Campus, Kansas City, Mo.; and the Fayez S. Sarofin Research Building, home of the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases, the University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston.

– Hines, Houston, will place high-profile properties from five major U.S. market in the pilot.

– The Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority.

– The Michigan Department of Management and Budget, which acquires and manages properties for many Michigan agencies.

– Russell Development Co., Portland, will include 200 Market Building.

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