Currently Reading

Chicago latest U.S. city to mandate building energy benchmarking

Chicago latest U.S. city to mandate building energy benchmarking

The legislation mandates building energy benchmarking and disclosure for owners of large commercial and residential buildings. 

By BD+C Staff | September 13, 2013

The Windy City is the latest U.S. city to enact legislation that mandates building energy benchmarking and disclosure for owners of large commercial and residential buildings. The ordinance was introduced in June 2013 and passed city council vote on Wednesday.

In developing the Chicago Energy Use Benchmarking & Transparency Ordinance, city officials reached out to eight U.S. cities that have enacted similar benchmarking legislation and adopted the best elements of each program.

During a panel discussion at BD+C's BUILDINGChicago conference this week, Jamie Ponce, Chicago City Director of the C40 - Clinton Climate Initiative, outlined the elements that differentiate Chicago's benchmarking ordinance. The most unique element, said Ponce, is a rule that mandates the verification of building energy data every three years. The data must be checked and verified by a registered architect, professional engineer, or other trained professional designated by the city. Chicago will be the only city with such a mandate.

"We asked representatives from the eight other cities what they would add or do differently, and the overwhelming majority mentioned the need for data quality and accuracy," said Ponce. "They said they were getting some questionable data from building owners." 

Causes range from errors in data entry to owners not fully considering all aspects of the building in calculating the energy performance. "It's helpful to have an additional data check," added Ponce. The city will offer low- and no-cost verification options for building owners who cannot afford third-party data verification services.

Here's a breakdown of Chicago's  benchmarking ordinance (click image to enlarge):


Here's a comparison of the various U.S. city ordinances (click image to enlarge):

For more on Chicago's ordinance, click here.

Related Stories

Multifamily Housing | Oct 20, 2021

Sacramento’s first luxury high-rise rental residences announced

Southern Land Company is developing the project.

Multifamily Housing | Oct 14, 2021

27-story Bronx tower will include retail, 200 apartment units

CetraRuddy is designing the project.

Multifamily Housing | Oct 12, 2021

Affordable and sublime: 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing

These projects prove that it’s possible to develop aesthetically pleasing, high-quality housing for low-income families, the homeless, and veterans.

Multifamily Housing | Oct 12, 2021

New multifamily community completes in Austin

Britt Design Group and Davies Collaborative designed the project.

Multifamily Housing | Oct 4, 2021

Spire brings 343 condos to downtown Seattle

The project is the closest high-rise building to the Space Needle.

Multifamily Housing | Sep 29, 2021

Five-story apartment community in Duarte, Calif. breaks ground

The project is located 22 miles from downtown L.A.

Multifamily Housing | Sep 22, 2021

Designing for the ‘missing middle’ in multifamily housing

Multifamily housing expert Patrick Winters, AIA, discusses a neglected segment of the market: the "missing middle."

Multifamily Housing | Sep 22, 2021

11 notable multifamily projects to debut in 2021

A residence for older LGBTQ+ persons, a P3 student housing building, and a converted masonic lodge highlight the multifamily developments to debut this year. 

Magazine Subscription

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.


Follow BD+C: