Cities and states across the country are taking a stand against climate change by setting rigorous carbon reduction goals. The Center for Building Performance Standards is a hub of knowledge to aid in the development of building performance standards, one of the most important carbon reduction policy tools decision makers can implement. This is a work in progress and will collect relevant resources from various locations into one place. 

The Center for Building Performance Standards is also the home of the Building Energy Analysis Manager (BEAM). BEAM is a building energy database and communication tool to aid in the implementation, tracking and reporting of building performance standards, benchmarking, or other building energy rating related programs.

Building Energy Analysis Manager

Owner Resources

Policy Maker Resources

Contractor Resources

Why Building Performance Standards?

Existing Buildings

X% of buildings that will exist in 2050 are already built.

Buildings account for 40% of national GHG emissions and 65-80% of city emissions

Rigorous Climate Goals

Cities, states, and countries are committing to rigorous carbon reduction targets.

[examples at different gov levels]


Building performance standards create a demand for efficient products and a clean energy workforce.

Efficient buildings pay less for utilities and are healthier to inhabit

What Is a Building Performance Standard?

A Policy/Program

A building performance standard is type of policy that sets mandatory performance requirements for buildings.

Common metrics include:

  • Energy Use Intensity
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Water Use Intensity

Targets the Big Buildings

Building performance standards apply to the biggest buildings, usually those greater than 10,000 square feet.

This means building performance standards usually apply to commercial, government, industrial, and multifamily buildings.

Continuous Improvement

A key element of these policies is continuous improvement.

The standard may begin with the biggest buildings (greater than 50,000 square feet) and include smaller buildings over time.

The standard may also strengthen performance requirements over time, setting buildings on a glide path to net zero

What is BEAM?

BEAM is a tool that aggregates benchmarking data and is capable of performing complex compliance tracking based on a jurisdiction’s specific benchmarking or building performance standard policy. 

Tracking data for building energy rating policies can be time consuming and resource intensive. BEAM, which can be use for both small and large projects, removes these barriers by streamlining the process. The Building Energy Analysis Manager (BEAM) tool is a cost-effective solution designed to help towns, cities, and states manage their building energy policy goals. BEAM tracks compliance and streamlines administration of policies including benchmarking and building performance standards (BPS). It facilitates easy communication with various groups of building owners with a built-in CRM.

The development of BEAM has been guided by a project advisory committee, whose members represent early adopters of benchmarking and BPS, ensuring the tool’s functionality meets a broad range of policy specifications. The overall purpose of BEAM is to help administrators of these programs manage benchmarking data, track compliance, communicate with building owners, and analyze results. BEAM expands upon U.S. DOE’s SEED Platform by adding complex automatic compliance tracking based on a jurisdiction’s specific BPS or benchmarking policy. This flexible structure accommodates various policy and ordinance program designs including building type, building size, compliance timelines, unit of measure (ENERGY STAR Score, EUI, GHG emissions, jurisdiction specific scores, etc.), and more. BEAM also has a CRM and email component which enables seamless communications between a jurisdiction and its building owners.

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