Collect building performance data during occupancy
Predicted EUI is the primary metric used for tracking success in the DDx. But energy models can be imprecise tools, and once a building is in use, its performance may differ from the expectations for a variety of reasons. This often happens because of longer occupancy hours than the model assumed, but the need for mechanical system tuning is also a common culprit.
Post-occupancy evaluation (POE) allows architects to access performance data and, ideally, to assess and address any problems. When POE reveals that a project is consuming more energy than expected, these lessons learned can be invaluable for future projects.
Unfortunately, POE is rare. Often, it’s seen as an extra service requiring extra fees, and owners aren’t keen to commit to it if the topic comes up too late in the process. Sharing data regularly is also one more thing for busy facilities professionals to attend to.
But things are starting to change as more and more owners pursue higher-performing buildings and net zero energy. Programs like the International Living Future Institute’s Zero Energy Certification and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Zero require actual energy data to verify achievement. Architects need to lead the growing movement toward performance verification—which has the added benefit of helping architects understand whether their designs are working as intended.
To support that goal, the DDx offers the option of tracking projects’ actual energy performance over time. Once a project is completed, firms can enter the energy use intensity from an overall utilities bill or by fuel source, which is especially helpful in assessing how on-site renewables perform in practice. But post-occupancy energy data remains a new frontier in most 2030 Commitment signatories’ reporting practices. So far, 329 projects, including 92 projects in 2021, have reported post-occupancy data in the DDx.