DOE Technology Manager: Amir Roth
Principal Investigators: Cindy Regnier, LBNL, and Kevin Settlemyre, Sustainable-IQ
-- Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) – Berkeley, CA
-- Sustainable IQ Inc. – Arlington, MA
-- Saiesha LLC – Plano, TX
-- American Institute of Architects (AIA) – Washington, DC
-- Architecture 2030 – Seattle, WA
-- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – Washington, DC
-- AIA 2030 Commitment Working Group
-- Large Firm Roundtable
-- Autodesk Inc. – San Rafael, CA
DOE Funding: $200,000 in FY18; $670,000 to date
Cost Share: $270,000 in FY17; $1,320,000 to date
Project Term: 2014 –
Funding Opportunity: Commercial Buildings Integration core funding
Project Website: and
Related Projects: EnergyPlus, OpenStudio

Project Objective

Integrated design is the most direct way in which BEM can influence building energy consumption. Looking to benchmark and track this use case, DOE partnered with the America Institute of Architects (AIA) to leverage the AIA 2030 Commitment program that is based on the 2030 Challenge. Articulated in 2005, the 2030 Challenge asks architecture firms to design for ever-decreasing energy intensities—60% less than CBECS 2003 until 2015, 70% until 2020, 80% until 2025, 90% until 2030, and zero net-energy (ZNE) buildings thereafter. Launched in 2010, the AIA 2030 Commitment asks signatory firms to report annually on the design energy use for all of their projects and summarizes the results in an annual report. The Challenge and Commitment raise awareness of the contribution of BEM to high-performance design.

For the first four years of its existence, 2030 Commitment reporting was implemented using annual spreadsheet submissions. Together with partners including Autodesk Inc. and the Large Firm Round-Table (LFRT), DOE and AIA have developed the Design Data Exchange (DDx), an online portal that implements 2030 reporting on an ongoing basis. Firms can use the DDx to submit project information. The DDx automatically generates firm- and program-level reports allowing firms to track progress against the commitment and AIA and DOE to track commitment progress overall. The DDx enhances the value of the data via a research function that allows firms to view their portfolios against an anonymized view the entire 2030 dataset through various filters to study the relationship of design performance to variables such as geography, building type, and — critically for DOE — use of BEM.

An important component of the DDx is linkage to other tools. An early development was a link to ENERGY STAR® Target Finder for target setting. More recently, DDx acquired an application programming interface (API) that allows project data to be uploaded from other tools. API development was funded by Autodesk Inc. and the first tool connected to it was Autodesk’s Insight360.

In FY17, the DDx is being extended to track BEM cost — critical for reinforcing the business case for use of BEM in design. Other enhancements include import and tracking of energy data by end-use, tracking of selected ECMs, and improved project management and sharing facilities.

Project Impact

The DDx launched in December 2014, in time for that year’s reporting round — the reporting round for a given year ends on March 31 of the following year. DOE had worked with AIA since 2013 and so 2013 spreadsheets included project-level data — these were subsequently imported into the DDx using a batch import/export feature funded by the Large Firm Round-Table (LFRT).

Since 2013, the number of reporting firms grew from 99 to 152, while U.S. commercial new construction reported grew from 911 projects covering 134 million square feet to 3552 covering 769 million square feet. Over that time, percentage of projects using BEM has remained steady at 61%, although percentage of projects using EnergyPlus grew from 8% to 10%, with specific inroads among architects — as opposed to mechanical engineers and energy consultants. This increase can be attributed to recent EnergyPlus integration into early-stage design tools from Sefaira and Autodesk. DDx data also also shows that projects using EnergyPlus achieve average design energy savings of 21% over projects using no BEM. Projects using any BEM tool achieve average savings of 14%. 

Related Publications

  • "AIA 2030 Commitment Design Data Exchange," Kevin Settlemyre, 2017 BTO Peer Review, Mar. 16, 2017, Crystal City, VA.
  • Architect Live:  Spotlight on the New AIA/DoE 2030 Reporting Tool, Kevin Settlemyre and Rand Ekman, AIA National Convention, June 2014, Chicago, IL -
  • EX201 Energy Modeling for All: 2030 Commitment for Small Firms, AIA National Convention, June 26, 2014, Chicago, IL.
  • EV325 2013 Progress to the 2030 Commitment, AIA National Convention, June 27, 2014, Chicago, IL.
  • "AIA2030 Commitment Portal," Kevin Settlemyre, 2014 BTO Peer Review, April 22, 2014, Arlington, VA.
  • "2030 Commitment: Measuring Industry Progress Toward 2030," AIA, Oct. 2013,