The construction industry could use a better contextual baseline than codes for measuring building efficiency against design strategy, says the executive vice president of James Construction, based in Carnegie, Penn.
Craig Stevenson, in a Construction Dive article, says a system such as Energy Star’s Energy Use Intensity (EUI) would provide a better way to measure efficiency and provide a better market-driven approach to sustainability. According to the Energy Star web site, “EUI is expressed as energy per square foot per year. It’s calculated by dividing the total energy consumed by the building in one year (measured in kBtu or GJ) by the total gross floor area of the building.”
EUI would create a common standard analogous to the miles-per-gallon standard in the automobile industry, Stevenson told Construction Dive. Codes can be too slow to catch up to the latest technology and techniques, he added.
Standards such as LEED may not go far enough to account for operations efficiency after a building is completed, he says. EUI, on the other hand, is measurable every year and provides a benchmark for the entire building and all energy-consuming systems.