The Building Performance Database (BPD) is the nation's largest dataset of information about the energy-related characteristics of commercial and residential buildings. The BPD combines, cleanses and anonymizes data collected by Federal, State and local governments, utilities, energy efficiency programs, building owners and private companies, and makes it available to the public. The web site allows users to explore the data across real estate sectors and regions, and compare various physical and operational characteristics to gain a better understanding of market conditions and trends in energy performance.
- Explore Tool. Allows users to filter the BPD to create and save custom peer group datasets based on specific variables including building types, locations, sizes, ages, equipment, operational characteristics and more. Users can create a peer group of BPD buildings and see how their building's energy performance compares via three different views:
- Histogram Chart. The histogram shows the number or percentage of buildings in the peer group that falls within a range of values for a single variable (shown on the x-axis), such as energy use intensity (EUI), floor area, year built, etc.
- Scatter Plot. The scatter plot allows users to examine a group of buildings based on two variables. For instance, users can compare the EUI against the floor area. A more linear trend indicates correlation among the buildings, while a wider scatter means weaker correlation.
- Table. The table allows users to generate and export characteristics of the peer group grouped by state or facility type. The table shows the building count, median EUI (kBtu/ft2), median floor area, median year built, and median hours occupied for the buildings.
- Compare Tool. Allows users to compare any two peer groups of buildings created in the Explore tool within a single view. For example, users can compare the energy performance of large office buildings in different cities. The Compare Tool can also be used to look at the difference in energy performance between similar buildings that have different technologies (e.g. cooling equipment in big-box retail stores). Users can select whether this analysis is done based on regression or actuarial methods. The results can be analyzed in two ways:
- Difference Histogram Chart: Displays the statistical difference between two datasets using actuarial or regression analysis, where the y-axis represents the number or percent of building, and the x-axis represents the probable difference between the datasets. For instance, when comparing variable vs. constant airflow for California office facilities, it's 50 percent likely that facilities with variable airflow reduce energy use by 25 percent or more than those with constant airflow. Although the chart allows users to understand the potential for energy savings based on key variable differences, it does not model or project actual energy savings for a specific building.
- Scatter Plot: Compares the same two variables for two peer groups of buildings and shows both on one graph
- For more information, visit the BPD Analysis Tools page.
Tutorials and Help
The best way to learn how to use the BPD is to create an account and start exploring the database, where you can quickly begin creating your own datasets and comparisons. A variety of tutorial videos are also available in the Help and Information section of the BPD that explain various features of the tool.
The value of the BPD depends upon the amount and quality of data it contains. Basic building information and monthly energy consumption data can be used to compare similar buildings and identify high and low performers. Richer data, such as equipment information and interval meter data, will enable statistical analysis of potential retrofit measures and other advanced analysis. If you are interested in contributing data, please contact us.
Data Contribution Best Practices
BPD Priority Fields List
BPD Data Preparation Process
BPD Privacy Terms
Getting Real with Energy Data: Using the Buildings Performance Database to Support Data-Driven Analyses and Decision-Making
Big Data Analytics in the Buildings Industry (ASHRAE Journal, July 2016, pg. 38)
For more information on the Building Performance Database, please contact BPD@ee.doe.gov.
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