Friday, May 31, 2013

Boston Building Energy Benchmarking - It's a Go. Is Your Museum Ready?

At the recent Summit on Environmental Sustainability Standards in Museums at the national conference for the American Alliance of Museums we talked about how the outside world will enact standards for us -- and wouldn't it be better to create our own? 

Well in Boston (and Philadelphia, Seattle, DC, Chicago, New York and San Francisco) the law is going to require energy benchmarking for each city's large- and medium-sized business and residential buildings within the next five years. When this comes to your city, will you be ready?

Here are highlights from the City's webposting on the Ordinance, summarized with editorial comments of my own added: (Ordinance is here).
  • All large and medium buildings or groups of buildings are required to report annual energy use, ENERGY STAR rating (if applicable), water use, and greenhouse gas emissions through ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager or an equivalent mechanism as approved by the Air Pollution Control Commission. (The recent Summit with EPA/ENERGY STAR and Portfolio Manager participation gives us a leg up on this, team...let's get cracking on working with ENERGY STAR for a system that makes sense for museums! - SB)
  • The requirement will be phased in over 5 years and will ultimately apply to non-residential buildings 35,000 square feet or greater and residential buildings with 35 or more units. (Not sure 5 years is necessary...let's get going! 18 months would do. - SB)
  • The City will make energy and water use per square foot, ENERGY STAR ratings, greenhouse gas emissions, and other identifying and contextual information for individual buildings available online. (Glad the institutions don't have to do it individually, but then why not post it on one's own website if you have one? - SB)
  • Buildings not demonstrating high energy performance or continual improvements or other appropriate exemption criteria are required to conduct energy assessments or actions every 5 years to identify opportunities for energy efficiency investment. Building owners are not required to act on the audit. (Jeez Louise...why the heck not? - SB)
  • Failure to comply with reporting requirements will lead to fines for building owners. (Let's hope the income ends up in the sustainability fund - SB)
Let's hear from a museum already benchmarking and reporting through ENERGY STAR without any LEED certification attached...

1 comment:

  1. This blog should make sense to everyone who reads it as Energy benchmarking
    is really important for buildings because they can save on cost along with doing their part towards Environment too. Thank you for the blog.
    Thanks! For sharing..