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Chicago Energy Rule Could Penalize Historic Buildings

Chicago skylineChicago’s proposed mandatory energy benchmarking has come under fire from BOMA/Chicago, the local chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association. The organization says that while it does not oppose the mandatory benchmarking, it believe the ordinance’s public disclosure mandate “will unfairly penalize and marginalize” owners of many older structures, including historically significant buildings. These owners struggle with retrofit costs, BOMA/Chicago says, and publishing their scores won’t change that.

The organization makes a good point, and one the city should keep in mind. The public disclosure ordinances already exclude buildings with more than 10 percent of floor space dedicated to data centers, TV studios, or trading floors. Perhaps a carve-out in the public disclosure program could be added for buildings above a certain age, or for which refitting would cost above a certain amount.

Tamar Wilner is Senior Editor at Environmental Leader PRO.

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One thought on “Chicago Energy Rule Could Penalize Historic Buildings

  1. Just because buildings are historically significant is no reason to exclude them from disclosure requirements. In fact, historically significant buildings are very often among the worst-performing from the standpoint of energy efficiency and sustainability. Of course they should be included in energy benchmarking requirements, disclosure requirements, and any mandates to improve building performances. Why would anyone ever consider excluding them?
    In fact, no building deserves exclusion from the requirements.

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