AIA launches tool for predicting energy use in buildings

Miami – June 10, 2010 – As part of the voluntary 2030 commitment program where architecture firms and other entities in the built environment pledge to develop multi-year action plans and implement steps that can advance the American Institute of Architects’ goal of carbon neutral buildings by the year 2030, the AIA has unveiled a new tool that generates a report on predicted energy use and project modeling.

“This tool is a valuable resource for architecture firms and will be used on their entire portfolio, not just for projects seeking green building certification,” said AIA President, George H. Miller, FAIA. “The tool was specifically developed to be simple to use and to be used by firms of all sizes on a variety of building types, large and small.”

The Excel-based reporting tool will only require the user to enter project use type (from a drop down menu), gross square footage, (GSF), yes/no questions: Is project Interior only? Is project modeled? and predicted energy use intensity (PEUI).

Based on that information, for modeled projects the tool will automatically calculate the national average site EUI for that project type and the project’s percent reduction from the national average EUI toward meeting the firm’s 2030 goal for the current year (currently 60%). For non-modeled projects, users will enter in the design standard or code and similarly the sheet will calculate the project’s contribution toward the firm’s 2030 commitment.

The excel tool will generate three easy to decipher graphs that aggregate the individually listed active projects within the Excel sheet. These three graphs represent the report that firms will forward to the AIA. The three charts will show a snapshot of the firm portfolio including: the percentage of GSF of active projects meeting the current reduction goal, the percentage of GSF being modeled and percentage of GSF for which the firm will gather actual energy performance.

Firms are asked to track all active design projects for the reporting year, not just ones that are seeking green building certification and the reports developed through the tool are meant to provide a year-to-year look of a firm’s work. Firms of all sizes and building type expertise will use the same tool and report in the same manner.

The toolcan be used for any type of building project and was developed through a collaboration between members of the AIA Committee on the Environment, the AIA Large Firm Roundtable, AIA Chicago Chapter Working Group and numerous individuals from AIA member firms.

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