What constitutes a single structure? What if multiple buildings are connected via hallways, common spaces, etc.?

EPA’s score is based on a statistical analysis of individual buildings, not campuses of buildings (with the exception of hospitals, K-12 schools, hotels, and senior care). 

If you have a campus with multiple buildings that are located close together (e.g. a office park or a college campus), it is necessary to separately meter the energy consumption for each individual building in order to get a score and to be eligible for ENERGY STAR certification.  This type of metering (or sub-metering) is a more effective management strategy as it will isolate problems and target the most efficient improvement opportunities.  It also results in the most accurate ENERGY STAR score, given that the scoring system is based on data from single structures.

Properties that have multiple towers connected by common concourse levels and/or hallways may present a different situation. In these types of properties, if there are common areas that truly cannot be divided or separated among the towers, then EPA will consider this to be a single structure. Examples:

  • An office building has three stories of common space including an atrium, a cafeteria, and seamless connections between two towers. This IS considered a complete and indivisible connection, and the building may be treated as a single structure in Portfolio Manager, even though it may appear as two above ground towers.
  • An office complex consists of two buildings connected by an outdoor (covered) walkway. This is NOT considered a complete and indivisible connection, and energy use in these buildings must be separately metered. ENERGY STAR certification must be pursued separately for each structure.
  • An office complex consists of three buildings connected by underground walkways “tunnels” that allow workers to move between the buildings without being exposed to the outside weather. This is NOT considered a complete and indivisible connection, and energy use in these buildings must be separately metered. ENERGY STAR certification must be pursued separately for each structure.
  • Two office towers built on top of an underground parking garage may be considered an entire, single structure OR each of the towers may be benchmarked individually, provided they have complete, measured energy data.
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Topic Information
  • Topic #: 23002-21616
  • Date Created: 2/20/2008
  • Last Modified Since: 7/17/2014
  • Viewed: 2051
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