The best practice is to include all of a property’s Gross Floor Area (GFA) and energy use when benchmarking. However, here are a few examples of energy that may make sense to exclude (provided it is sub-metered) from your property:
- Cell towers
- Parking garages
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- outdoor, heated pools (note: indoor pools should not be excluded)
- A large billboard or projection screen on a building (or in your parking lot) when the sign is not related to the use of the building. (A sign displaying the company's name or anything related to the business SHOULD be counted towards the buildings use.)
Regarding certification, any Property Use that can receive a score, such as ground-floor retail (over 5,000 sq ft) and data centers, must be included. These Property Uses cannot be excluded from an application under any circumstance.
You may exclude a Property Use from a building (and for ENERGY STAR certification) if ALL of the following four conditions are met:
- The Property Use must be less than 10% of the building’s Gross Floor Area (GFA)*
- The Property Use must not be a property type eligible to receive an ENERGY STAR score
- The Property Use must be sub-metered so that both the Property Use’s floor area and energy consumption can be excluded
- The Property Use’s energy use patterns must be significantly different than those of the rest of the building (ex: A cell phone tower on a building)
If you do exclude the energy use, then you would also exclude the GFA and property use details. If you apply for certification, the LP who certifies your application will need to explain all property uses that are excluded, and how they meet the above criteria.
*You can exclude more than one property type, as long as each meet the 4 criteria above, AND their combined total is less than 10% of the building's GFA.