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Impact of More Precise Construction Data on Estimated Savings from Energy Standard Adoption for Commercial Buildings



Joshua D. Kneifel, David T. Butry


The Applied Economics Office (AEO) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed the Building Industry Reporting and Design for Sustainability (BIRDS) database, which estimates the sustainability (energy, economic, and environmental) performance for eleven commercial building prototypes designed to different energy efficiency levels. Analysis of the BIRDS database estimates both the average percentage change in energy consumption and the aggregate changes in energy consumption for one year’s worth of new construction for each U.S. state. Due to the limited publically-available new construction data, the estimates are calculated by giving equal weighting to all the cities in a state that are included in the BIRDS database. However, such an approach leads to underweighting the importance of cities with more new construction and overweighting cities with less new construction. The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of implementing a non-equal weighting approach on state-level energy consumption impacts of adopting a more restrictive state energy code. New construction floor area completion data for 2012 was obtained for each county in the United States to assist in increasing the accuracy of these impact estimates.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1178
Report Number


commercial buildings, whole building energy simulation, energy efficiency, new construction data, geospatial mappingbuilding energy simulation


Kneifel, J. and Butry, D. (2014), Impact of More Precise Construction Data on Estimated Savings from Energy Standard Adoption for Commercial Buildings, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 16, 2024)


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Created December 19, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018