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Significance and Use
Uses—This practice is intended for use on a voluntary basis by parties who wish to conduct a BEPA on a building. The process defined in this practice involves the collection of building energy use information, some of which may be collected as part of Guide E2018 PCA or Practice E1527 ESA. The practice is intended primarily as an approach to conducting a standardized inquiry designed to identify building energy performance in connection with a commercial property involved in a real estate transaction. This practice is intended to reflect a commercially practical and reasonable inquiry.
Clarifications on Use:
Use in Conjunction with Guide E2018 PCA or Practice E1527—This practice, when added as a supplemental scope of work to a Guide E2018 PCA or a Practice E1527 ESA, is designed to assist the user and consultant in developing information about energy use in a building or buildings involved in a real estate transaction. The BEPA also has utility to a wide range of persons, including those who may not be involved in a real estate transaction.
Independent Use—This practice may also be used independently of any other building assessment to determine building energy performance.
Site-Specific—This practice is property-specific in that it relates to existing building energy performance. The practice is not intended to replace Guide E2018 PCA or Practice E1527 ESA conducted by a qualified consultant or individual, but rather to supplement it.
Who May Conduct—A BEPA shall be performed by a qualified consultant or individual (hereafter referred to as the “Consultant”) with the education, training and experience necessary to perform the requirements of this practice (see Appendix X4). No practical approach can be designed to eliminate the role of professional judgment and the value and need for experience in the individual performing the inquiry. The professional experience of the Consultant is, consequently, important to the performance of this BEPA.
Additional Services—As set forth in Section 13, additional services may be contracted for between the user and the Consultant. Such additional services may include issues not included within the scope of this practice. For example, the user or Consultant may wish to benchmark the building against similar buildings in the portfolio or in the same geographical area or identify select green building attributes that may contribute to the energy efficiency performance and/or the building’s value.
Benchmarking Additional Service—Any benchmarking system selected relies on critical data in generating its output, so the validity of the data collection process directly impacts the integrity and usefulness of the benchmarking system’s results. Utilization of this practice and adoption of its data collection approach can serve to enhance the integrity of the benchmarking process for all transactional stakeholders in a standardized, uniform, and consistent manner. Notwithstanding, building energy use information should always be evaluated within the context in which it is collected and building energy use numbers should not be used without conveying this context. (Refer to Appendix X1 for additional information.)
Principles—The following principles are an integral part of this practice and are intended to be referred to in resolving any ambiguity or exercising such discretion as is accorded the user or Consultant in performing a BEPA.
Uncertainty Not Eliminated in BEPA—No BEPA practice can wholly eliminate uncertainty in determining the myriad of variables that can impact the energy use of a building on a property. The BEPA is intended to reduce, but not eliminate, uncertainty regarding the impact such variables can have on the energy use of a building.
Not Exhaustive—This practice is not meant to be an exhaustive assessment. There is a point at which the cost of information obtained or the time required to gather it outweighs the usefulness of the information and, in fact, may be a material detriment to the orderly completion of a real estate transaction. One of the purposes of this practice is to identify a balance between the competing goals of limiting the costs and time demands inherent in performing a BEPA and the reduction of uncertainty about unknown conditions resulting from collecting additional information.
Level of Inquiry is Variable—Not every building will warrant the same level of assessment. The appropriate level of assessment will be guided by the type of property subject to assessment, the needs of the user, and the information already available or developed in the course of the inquiry.
Rules of Engagement—The contractual and legal obligations between a Consultant and a user (and other parties, if any) are outside the scope of this guide. No specific legal relationship between the Consultant and user was considered during the preparation of this practice.
1.1 Purpose—The purpose of this standard is to define a commercially useful practice in the United States of America for conducting a building energy performance assessment (BEPA) on a building involved in a commercial real estate transaction and subsequent reporting of the building energy performance information. The practice is intended to provide a methodology to the user for the collection, compilation, analysis, and reporting of building energy performance information associated with a commercial building. The practice may be used independently or as a voluntary supplement to Guide E2018 for property condition assessments or Practice E1527 for Phase I environmental site assessments. Utilization of this practice and performance of a BEPA is voluntary. If the property owner (e.g., the seller) is unwilling to provide building energy use and cost information, a BEPA cannot be performed.
1.2 Building Energy Performance—This practice defines building energy performance as the building’s total annual energy use and cost for heating, cooling, electricity, and other related uses. Energy use, for example, includes total electricity purchased; purchased or delivered steam, hot water, or chilled water; natural gas; fuel oil; coal; propane; biomass; or any other matter consumed as fuel and any electricity generated on site from alternative energy systems (for example, wind energy generator technology or solar photovoltaic systems).
1.3 Objectives—Objectives in the development of this practice are to: (1) define a commercially useful practice for collecting, compiling, and analyzing building energy performance information associated with a building involved in a commercial real estate transaction; (2) facilitate consistency in the collection, compilation, analysis, and reporting of building energy performance information as may be required under building labeling, disclosure, or mandatory auditing regulations; (3) supplement as needed a property condition assessment conducted in accordance with Guide E2018 or an environmental site assessment conducted in accordance with Practice E1527; (4) provide that the process for building energy performance data collection, compilation, analysis, and reporting is consistent, transparent, practical and reasonable; and (5) provide an industry standard for the conduct of a BEPA on a building involved in a commercial real estate transaction, subject to existing statutes and regulations which may differ in terms of scope and practice.
1.4 Documentation—The scope of this practice includes data collection, compilation and reporting requirements. Documentation of all sources, records, and resources relied upon in the investigation is provided in the report.
1.5 Considerations Outside the Scope—The use of this practice is limited to the collection, compilation, and analysis of building energy performance information as defined by this practice. While this information may be used to facilitate building benchmarking, labeling, rating or ranking, reporting of building energy performance information between a seller and a buyer or a landlord and a tenant on a voluntary basis or as may be required by building labeling disclosure or mandatory auditing regulations applicable to the building, or any other use, such use is beyond the scope of this practice.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
E1527 Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process
E2018 Guide for Property Condition Assessments: Baseline Property Condition Assessment Process
Other StandardsDSIRE Database of Federal, State, Local Government and Utility Incentives for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (http://www.dsireusa.org)
ICS Number Code 91.120.10 (Thermal insulation of buildings)
UNSPSC Code 77101500(Environmental impact assessment)
ASTM E2797-11, Standard Practice for Building Energy Performance Assessment for a Building Involved in a Real Estate Transaction, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2011, www.astm.orgBack to Top