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September 28, 2010 7:00 AM CDT

USGBC Opens Building Performance Partnership to Current LEED-Certified Buildings

Buildings can voluntarily submit performance data to inform future version of LEED


Last summer, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced its Building Performance Partnership (BPP), a program to engage owners and managers of commercial and residential LEED-certified green buildings, optimizing the performance of buildings through data collection, analysis and action. This year, USGBC has opened the program to all current whole-building LEED-certified commercial and residential projects. BPP will further the efforts to understand how buildings perform from the moment of LEED certification and years beyond.

This partnership among USGBC and the thousands of LEED project owners will result in the population of a comprehensive green building performance database and enable standardization of reporting metrics and analytics to establish new building performance benchmarks.

“The significance of USGBC conducting this research is to inform future iterations of the LEED green building program. By providing a large and accurate data set critical to supporting the ongoing improvement of LEED and continuous optimization of LEED-certified projects, BPP will ensure LEED projects deliver on their extraordinary environmental and economic potential,” said Scot Horst, Senior Vice President, LEED. “BPP is the foundation of USGBC’s commitment to a meaningful demonstration of the value of building and operating green.”

Participation of current LEED-certified buildings is voluntary. The partnership is made up of owners, managers and occupants of buildings of all sizes and types that are committed to improving their own performance as well as helping drive the ongoing development of LEED. The LEED buildings that participate in the partnership will receive annual information on performance, specifically comparing predicted or actual performance at the time of certification with the project’s current performance. Additionally, the report will show aggregated data of like buildings and certification levels, and will act as a case study of a project’s strong performance and/or significant improvement. Currently more than 120 projects are participating in Phase One, and these projects will receive a basic performance report in time for Greenbuild 2010 in Chicago this November.

“There is all too often a disconnect or predicted performance gap between energy modeling done during design and what actually happens during daily operation after the building has been constructed, due to occupant behavior and other factors,” added Horst. “In order to improve upon LEED and for projects that perform lower than anticipated, BPP will help projects meet operational sustainability goals sought originally during the design and construction process. The data will shed light on external issues such as occupant behavior or unanticipated building usage patterns.”

No building will be decertified for performance or a performance gap, rather this information will be used to inform and help projects achieve higher levels of performance.

Phase One of the BPP rollout is focused on energy and water. This data-collection effort will be based in ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager for LEED-certified commercial projects and in Earth Aid for LEED-certified residential projects. Owners of projects certified under LEED for New Construction, LEED for Core & Shell, LEED for Schools, or LEED for Existing Buildings who are interested in participating should follow USGBC’s Sharing Access to ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager Data instructions and create an account in Portfolio Manager. Owners of LEED-certified homes can contact their LEED for Homes Provider to set up a user account with Earth Aid.

To learn more about the Building Performance Partnership, visit

About the Author

Taryn Holowka is the Director of Communications for the U.S. Green Building Council.


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