INSIDE A s many cities in the Unit- ed States are declaring net-zero carbon goals to address the effects of cli- mate change, one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions that cities must tackle is existing buildings. In the U.S., build- ings account for about 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions, but in individual cities, those percentages can be much higher. For example, in Washington, D.C., buildings and homes account for almost 75% of emissions, and in Denver it’s 63%. In 2023, consumer preference is driving demand for more efficient buildings and overall corporate commitments to climate action and sustainability. By enhancing building efficiency and per- formance, building owners can create value for their cus- tomers by reducing operating expenses, increasing property asset value, help- ing them achieve their corporate sustainability goals and enhancing the comfort of their tenants. The regulatory answer to address existing building emissions is build- ing performance standards. By cre- ating a standard to which existing buildings need to perform, cities are mandating improvements and better efficiencies to the existing building stock. Several cities and states are already implementing their programs, and more than 40 jurisdictions are part of the Nation- al Building Performance Standards Coalition, which has committed to passing a BPS policy by Earth Day 2024. Some cities have focused on energy performance, requiring a minimum Energy Star Score or maximum site energy use inten- sity (Denver, St. Louis, Washington, D.C.). Others are focusing on carbon emissions, capping the limit of car- bon emitted per building over time (New York, Boston, Seattle). Some cities have created companion poli- cies requiring electrification upon equipment replacement to shift buildings off of natural gas (Denver, Seattle). An important aspect to these policies is they are mandating continuous improvement where the standards get more stringent over time, leading the buildings toward net-zero carbon or energy perfor- mance. In Denver, the performance stan- dard is focused on energy-efficiency improvement and electrification, with site energy use intensity tar- gets set by property type, with alter- nate compliance options available, and partial electrification required upon equipment replacement at end of system life. The state of Col- orado is in the process of designing its program with draft compliance pathways for both energy use inten- sity or greenhouse gas emission targets. Boulder’s building perfor- mance requirements are focused on prescriptive energy efficiency improvements, and both Aspen and Fort Collins are in the process of designing their BPS policies. What does the building industry need to know about these policies? Here are some key suggestions on how to best prepare your operations to meet building performance stan- dards: n Connect with your local city or professional organization. The best way to get up to speed on what’s happening in your area is to start following the activities of your city’s sustainability office. For example, in Denver you can sign up for the Office of Climate Action, Sustain- ability and Resiliency’s newsletter Planning ahead to control emergency outages, costs before there is no choice Minimize emergencies Pinpointing the best possible LED retrofit opportunities that generate enviable ROI LED maximization PAGE 15 Protecting the hydrosphere by finding ways to meet current and future demand BOMA Please see Performance, Page 17 July 2023 PAGES 22-25 PAGE 10 Sharon Jaye, D.Ed, SFP Building performance policy manager, Office of Climate Action, Sustainability and Resiliency, City and county of Denver Building performance standards are here