What’s Your Building EQ?

Engineers across the country have begun assessing the energy use of selected buildings as part of a pilot program designed to encourage the building industry to cut energy use and costs. The Building Energy Quotient program, which is known as Building EQ, includes both As Designed (asset) and In Operation (as operational) ratings for all building types except residential. It also provides a detailed certificate with data on actual energy use, energy demand profiles, indoor air quality, and other information that will enable building owners to evaluate and reduce their building’s energy use. The program is administered by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Under the pilot program, which launched in December 2009, new buildings are eligible to receive an As Designed, or asset, rating, which provides an assessment of the building based on the components specified in the design and is based on the results of building energy modeling and simulation. An In Operation rating is available once the building has at least one year of data on the actual energy use and is based on a combination of the structure of the building and how it is operated. Existing buildings would be eligible to receive both an As Designed and In Operation rating.

“The process of checking a building’s EQ is not just a grading process,” said Matthew Dwyer, P.E., Dwyer Engineering, who is assessing buildings in Washington, DC and Plymouth, MA. “The engineer not only examines building energy use and carbon footprint, but tests and measures the building environment and meets with building engineers on site. After spending time onsite, we then work with the building owner to understand the building systems and provide goals and suggestions on future improvements. The intent is to create a path so more and more buildings can move from a low grade to a top grade.”

Seventeen provisional assessors have been named by ASHRAE to evaluate energy use, which is then provided in an easily understood scale to convey a building’s energy use in comparison to similar buildings, occupancy types, and climate zone. Building owners also are given building specific information that can be used to improve building energy performance. Provisional assessors and the buildings they are assessing are:

  • Stephen Kretzmer, P.E., The Fulcrum Group, 4 Times Square, 1 Bryant Park and 1155 Avenue of the Americas, all in New York City, owned by the Durst Organization
  • Jim Newman, ASHRAE-Certified Operations and Performance Management Professional, Newman Consulting Group, Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, Detroit, Mich., Detroit-Wayne Joint Building Authority
  • Gerald Kettler, P.E., Facility Performance Association, Sarofim Research Building, Houston, Texas, BNIM Architects
  • Peter D‘Antonio, P.E., PCD Engineering, 200 Market Building, Portland, Ore., Russell Development; and Liberty Centre Building, Portland, Ore., Ashforth Pacific
  • Matthew Dwyer, P.E., Dwyer Engineering, building managed by Hines in Washington, D.C.; and Plymouth Trial Court, Plymouth, Mass., Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
  • Hoy Bohanon, P.E., Working Buildings, building managed by Hines in San Francisco, Calif.,
  • Robert Watson, P.E., NOI Engineering, building managed by Hines in Houston, Texas; and 1201 Third Ave. and King Street Center, both in Seattle, Wash., Wright Runstad and Co.
  • Paul Johnson, P.E., Sebesta Blomberg, building managed by Hines in Minneapolis, Minn.
  • John Dunlap, P.E., Dunlap and Partners Engineers, building managed by Hines in Atlanta, Ga.
  • David Eldridge, P.E., ASHRAE-Certified High-Performance Building Design Professional, Grumman Butkus Associates, building managed by Hines in Boston, Mass.
  • Umit Sirt, P.E., ASHRAE-Certified High-Performance Building Design Professional, and Steve Baumgartner, P.E., ASHRAE-Certified High-Performance Building Design Professional, Buro Happold Consulting, Ted Weiss Federal Building, New York, N.Y., U.S. General Services Administration
  • Dick Pearson, P.E., Pearson Engineering, U.S. Courthouse, Hammond, Ind., U.S. General Services Administration
  • Walt Dindoffer, Green Team Collation, Jackson State Office Building, Jackson, Mich., Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget
  • Duane Paul, P.E., Nexant Inc., Jerome T. Hart Building, Saginaw, Mich., Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget
  • Abbe Bjorklund, P.E., Sebesta Blomberg, Crimson Residence Hall, Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, Mass.
  • Ruairi Barnwell, ASHRAE-Certified High-Performance Building Design Professional, Building Momentum Group, John W. McCormack Building, Boston, Mass., Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources.


  1. How much energy is blown up the chimney’s of these buildings?
    Typically, anywhere from 20 to 30% of the energy that went into the buildings heating appliance is wasted into the atmosphere as HOT exhaust. A lot of WASTED ENERGY!
    The technology of “condensing flue gas heat recovery” is designed to recover this waste energy and increase these appliances energy efficiency to well over 90%.
    Instead of hot exhaust, COOL exhaust will be vented into the atmosphere.
    Increased energy efficiency also means reduced emissions.
    Have you ever seen combusted natural gas irrigate the lawns and flower beds?
    This is how efficiently natural gas can be consumed. There is little or no wasted energy, and even the water in natural gas can be utilized.
    LITTLE OR NO WASTE!! This must be our goals.

  2. HVAC systems are a major energy drain for most buildings. This Building EQ program sounds like a great step to make indoor air quality healthier and to encourage construction of eco-friendly spaces.

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