In the U.K. since 2008 public buildings over 1,000 m2 must display a Display Energy Certificate (DEC). DECs document the actual energy usage of a building and look similar to the energy labels provided on new cars and electrical appliances. In addition an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required whan any building is built, rented or sold.
In the U.S. six cities and two states have passed laws requiring energy benchmarking of existing buildings. It is estimated that these laws will affect 4 billion ft2 of floor space in major real estate markets.
- Washington State
- Washington, DC
- New York City
- San Francisco
In Australia commercial buildings 2000 m2 and over are required by the Building Energy Efficiency Disclosure Act 2010 to have a Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC). In the case of residential buildings the Council of Australian Governments committed to phase in the mandatory disclosure of residential building energy, greenhouse and water performance at the time the building is offered for sale or lease.
Green building codes
In 1990 rate payers in Burlington, Vermont approved a bond issue to fund energy efficiency programs. As a result of the energy efficiency initiative Burlington has been able to meet the energy needs of a growing local economy over the last 19 years entirely through energy efficiency. Burlington’s annual electricity consumption in 2009 only about 2 percent greater than in 1989. Burlington has one of the highest proportions of LEED-certified buildings in the country. It is interesting that the Burlington Electric Department not only participates in writing the energy performance guidelines of Burlington's building code, but also in the inspection and enforcement of those aspects of the building code.
The California Building Standards Commission approved the first-in-the-nation statewide mandatory Green Building Standards Code (CALGREEN) requiring all new buildings in the state to be more energy efficient and environmentally responsible. The new building code took effect in January 1, 2011.
In 2009 the State of New York New York mandated green building for government-owned facilities starting in August 2010. The State Green Building Construction Act requires that all new construction and major renovations must meet green building standards set by the New York Office of General Services.
In 2010 the International Code Council (ICC), together with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASTM International, ASHRAE, U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) developed the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which is the first model code to include sustainability measures for the entire construction lifecycle from design through construction, certificate of occupancy and beyond with the objective of making buildings more efficient, reducing waste, and having a positive impact on health, safety and community welfare.
In Jakarta a new green building code became mandatory for existing and new buildings in early 2013. The code covers all large buildings in Jakarta including office buildings, shopping malls and apartment buildings larger than 50,000 square meters; hotels and healthcare facilities larger than 20,000 square meters; and educational facilities larger than 10,000 square meters.
In October, 2009 Dallas, Texas was one of the first major cities in the U.S. to implement green building standards for both new residential and commercial construction. The most recent City of Dallas Green Ordinance took effect October 1, 2013. All new projects must meet the minimum requirements of the Dallas Green Construction Code (basically the International Green Construction Code with local amendments), be LEED certifiable, be Green Built Texas certifiable or be certifiable under an equivalent green building standard. Expedited review is available for projects that are at a minimum Dallas Green Construction Code compliant, LEED Silver certifiable or ASHRAE 189.1-2011 certifiable. A key provision is targeted at reducing water usage by 20%.
Going beyind the building code
In some jurisdictions utilities and other organizations encourage going beyond the building code ti improve energy performance and reduce water usage.
For example, in Ontario the Ontario Power Authority has implemented a High performance new construction (HPNC) program targeted on new construction and major renovations in the planning stage. The HPNC program provides design assistance and financial incentives to encourage building owners and architects to exceed the electricity efficiency standards specified in the Ontario Building Code. The HPNC program will fund up to 100% of the cost of energy performance modelling for a new building, and will pay $400 for every kilowatt saved for lighting measures or up to $800 for every kilowatt saved for non-lighting measures over the Ontario Building Code.