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Energy Efficiency Programs That Require Building Energy Modeling


LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) created LEED as a rating system for green building.

Green building refers to the design, construction, and operation of buildings in an environmentally friendly way. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. The rating system is specific to the type of project being worked on. Some of the specific programs are LEED-New Construction, LEED-Existing Buildings, LEED-Commercial Interiors, LEED-Core and Shell, LEED-Homes, LEED-Neighborhood Development, LEED-Schools. The rating systems are broken down in to points for each type of credit. Certification levels within the systems are:

  • Minimum points: Certified
  • Second highest points: Silver
  • Third highest points: Gold
  • Fourth-maximum points: Platinum

For more information visit the US Green Building Council.

Green Globes

The Green Globes system is a revolutionary green management tool that includes an assessment protocol, rating system and guide for integrating environmentally friendly design into commercial buildings. Once complete, it also facilitates recognition of the project through third-party review and assessment. It's an interactive, flexible and affordable approach to environmental design. It also places greater value on energy related measures than LEED- 37% of available points, verses 26% for LEED-NC. Green Globes utilizes EPAs target finder, meaning the final design is guaranteed to be 20-25% more efficient than a comparable building of the same type.

  • Green building standard imported from Canada
  • Typical cost $3,000 - $5,000 per project (making it more affordable than LEED for smaller projects)
  • Incorporates Life Cycle Assessment
  • Third party verification

Energy Star for Commercial Buildings

EPA's ENERGY STAR is the national symbol for energy efficiency recognized by more than 70 percent of Americans. Use the Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR graphic in marketing materials, trade publications, and case studies to show that the project has the potential to help prevent greenhouse gas emissions and save money and energy over the life of the building.

  • Uses DOE commercial building energy consumption survey
  • Energy performance scored on a 1-100 scale
    • 50 is average for comparable type and size of building
    • Rating of 75 or better receives Designed to Earn the Energy Star rating granted for design intent
  • Final ENERGY STAR rating received after collection of utility data for one year using Portfolio Manager, so your building’s performance is verified.

Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction


Federal program that allows a tax deduction for energy-efficient commercial buildings that reduce annual energy and power consumption by 50% compared to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 2001 standard.

  • Deduction, taken by owner*
  • Up to $1.80/sf for reductions 50% above ASHRAE 90.1-2001 performance standards for Lighting, HVAC and Building Envelope.
    • OR 16.9% improvement in any one of these areas
    • OR Interim Lighting Rule
  • expires December 31, 2013.
  • Requires
    • modeled with IRS approved programs
    • third party inspection

*for public buildings, taken by designer

For further information visit Tax Incentives Business Project (TIAP) or Commercial Building Tax Deduction Coalition