Benchmarking the Performance of Buildings

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Whether you consider benchmarking your building from a green viewpoint or from an economic perspective, it makes sense to maximize the energy and environmental performance of all of the buildings you own or manage.


Two shocking statistics* make this point perfectly clear:

  • Annual energy costs for Canada's commercial building sector amount to a whopping $17.6 billion.
  • Lighting, heating, and cooling of buildings represent 50-60 per cent of annual greenhouse gas emissions, an average of 65.3 million tonnes.

With a record like this, it's clear that we need to continue to improve the energy efficiency of Canadian buildings. Energy efficient buildings have lower operating costs and smaller carbon footprints while also attracting higher occupancy levels, lease rates, and valuations. Greening your portfolio holdings just makes sense for your wallet – and for the planet.


There are many tools and services available for measuring energy and water consumption.


Ongoing performance measurement and reporting of energy and water use is an integral part of LEED EB: O&M. Since its launch in 2010, LEED EB: O&M has been rapidly adopted and is successfully transforming the commercial office sector with a total of 349 registered and certified buildings across Canada, representing over 18 million square meters.

In July 2013, Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN) released a Canadian version of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool. Portfolio Manager is a free, interactive energy management tool that allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment.


Portfolio Manager has the ability to generate weather-normalized and non-weather-normalized energy use intensity values, greenhouse gas emission metrics, as well as a percentile energy performance score for eligible building types. As of right now, K-12 schools and commercial office buildings in Canada receive Canadian specific 1-100 ENERGY STAR energy performance scores.

ENERGYSTAR can also:

  • Establish a baseline energy performance and energy performance goals.
  • Track multiple buildings in one portfolio.
  • Help prioritize future investments.
  • Share information about your facilities with a property manager or service provider.

The Canadian version now features:

  • Provincial GHG emission factors.
  • Local climate data available by postal code.
  • Canadian source-site energy factors.
  • Metric units.
  • Bilingual interface.

If you are looking for ways to track or improve the energy efficiency of your buildings, be sure to check out all the options available to building owners, managers and operators. Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure! The Canada Green Building Council can help you evaluate your options and set you on the right path.

*Statistics from: Natural Resources Canada.

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