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September/October 2009
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Energy Performance

As interest in energy efficiency and green buildings continues to build, it is easy to imagine that property due diligence by prospective buyers and lessees will begin to include such environmental considerations, which can impact property values and rental rates. This is particularly true in light of legislation such as California’s Assembly Bill 1103, a new law that became effective Jan. 1 and is directed at benchmarking energy use in existing commercial buildings.

In order to accommodate these changes, ASTM International Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action is developing a proposed new standard for the collection and disclosure of energy use information associated with buildings involved in real estate transactions.

The new standard, WK24707, Guide for Building Energy Performance Disclosure, is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee E50.02 on Real Estate Assessment and Management.

WK24707 will be used by professionals conducting due diligence for prospective property purchasers and lessees.

“It is anticipated that energy disclosure obligations will be incorporated into the traditional legal obligations of landlords and sellers relative to traditional real estate-related disclosures as to the conditions of a property,” says Anthony Buonicore. “Thus, our efforts to standardize this process will assist in establishing disclosure clarity in a routine commercial real estate sale or lease transaction upon which all parties to the transaction can rely.”

Areas that could be covered in the screening process to be described in WK24707 include:

  • Property and building characteristics (property type, building age, last major renovation, number of floors, square footage, occupancy, heating system, air conditioning system, etc.);
  • Electrical consumption and cost (minimum prior 12 months);
  • Oil, natural gas and steam consumption and cost (minimum prior 12 months);
  • Benchmarking against peer buildings as determined by green building certification and rating systems;
  • Water consumption and cost (minimum prior 12 months);
  • Carbon dioxide emissions, carbon footprint, carbon neutral potential;
  • Energy audit history;
  • Green building certification/rating;
  • Applicable energy efficiency ordinances/codes (local/federal); and
  • Applicable economic incentives, credits and grants for energy efficiency improvements (federal, state, local, utility).

All interested parties are invited to join in the ongoing work on WK24707 and in other standards developing activities of E50.02.

CONTACT

Technical Information: Anthony Buonicore, Buonicore Group, Milford, Conn.

Phone: 800-238-1841

ASTM Staff: Daniel Smith

Phone: 610-832-9727