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How do I benchmark a property that has two (or more) connected buildings? Follow

In general, the best practice is to benchmark each building separately because that will isolate potential problems and help you find the most cost-effective improvements.

However, we know it’s not always possible to benchmark these buildings individually. Here are some questions to consider for your situation:

  1. Is each buildings separately metered?
    • Yes. Great, because each building is separately metered you can benchmark them individually, which is EPA’s preferred method. Refer to this FAQ to figure out how to divide the “connected” parts (the parking, lobby, etc.) among the buildings.
    • No. EPA recommends you look into sub-metering each building. In the meantime, see #2 and #3.
  2. Are you pursuing ENERGY STAR certification?
    • Yes. EPA requires that each ENERGY STAR application represent only one building, (Note: these 5 use types may earn the certification as a campus: Hospitals, Hotels, K-12 Schools, Multi-family, and Senior Care). If you’re not separately metering, see #3.
    • No. If you are not pursuing ENERGY STAR certification, then you are welcome to benchmark any way you want. If sub-metering isn’t possible right now, then you should benchmark all the buildings together as one property.
  3. Are your buildings so interconnected that they can pass as a “single structure?” Two (or more) buildings must share functional space that cannot be divided among the buildings (such as underground parking, an atrium, or conference space) to be considered as a single structure. Hallways or interior walking paths between buildings are not considered functional, shared space, even if they are lighted and/or heated. See this FAQ for more information.
    • Yes. Great, by EPA’s definition your multiple connected buildings can be benchmarked and certified as a single property. Depending on your situation, you still may want to consider sub-metering in the future.
    • No. Ok, by EPA’s definition, you have multiple separate buildings. However, as long as you are not pursuing ENERGY STAR certification, we recommend you benchmark all the buildings together as a single property because without sub-metering its your best option.

If you want to discuss your specific situation, please send us an email via our Ask A Question form for EPA guidance.

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