A lot of data. More buildings are creating energy data now than ever before, due to advances in technology, markets, and policies. While data in some areas, such as energy consumption, is becoming easier to collect, other types of data, such as physical attributes, is still hard to collect.
But a lack of insight. Even when data has been collected, it is often located in many decentralized locations, and in different formats. This makes it difficult to collect, analyze, and exchange the data. These are major barriers in the building energy efficiency market, and they affect everyone from building owners, designers, and operators to product and service providers, consultants, and policymakers.
No insight = no action. When these decision makers understand how their buildings are using energy, and can predict the savings that will result from upgrades, they will make smarter investments, design better policies, and implement more effective energy efficiency programs. An interoperable set of analysis tools will help them get there.
The Solution: An Interoperable System
The Energy Department’s Commercial Buildings Program has set out to address these market barriers by doing just that: developing a standardized, interoperable ecosystem of analysis tools. Decision makers can use these tools to collect, manage and analyze information about buildings’ performance, implement energy efficiency programs and policies, and better understand the potential for and impacts of investing in energy efficiency. Each tool addresses one or more phases of a building’s lifecycle: design, operation, renovation, and rental or sale. The DOE’s tools are also intended to serve as foundations that enable the growth of a market of private sector products and services.
- Facilitate the exchange of data across tools with a standard data dictionary, called the Building Energy Data Exchange Specification.
- Organize energy audit data by using a BEDES-based standard data file format, called BuildingSync.
- Unique Building Identified (UBID).
- Combine and manage data from multiple sources about a large group of buildings—for example, you can manage a city’s building transparency reporting requirements—using the SEED Platform™.
- Analyze trends in the building characteristics and energy performance of hundreds of thousands of real buildings using the Building Performance Database.