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Buildings' Energy Use


Buildings represent about 76% of electricity use and 40% of U.S. primary energy use, making it essential to reduce energy consumption to reduce costs to building owners and tenants. Source: U.S. Department of Energy (2015). Quadrennial Technology Review 2015, Chapter 5opens in new window.


Related Topics


Energy Intensity

The energy consumption per square foot of building space, including industrial or laboratory facilitities (e.g., kWh/sq-ft)

Energy Performance

Assessing a building’s energy performance involves comparing its energy use to that of peers or a standard. The ENERGY STAR program provides recognized benchmarks for assessing a building’s energy performance.

Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings

The Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions are a set of sustainable principles for integrated design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, materials, and resilience aimed at helping Federal agencies and organizations:

  • Reduce the total ownership cost of facilities
  • Improve energy efficiency and water conservation
  • Provide safe, healthy, and productive built environments
  • Promote sustainable environmental stewardship

Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions

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Did You Know?

Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60-watt bulb for up to 6 hours.

Source: Bureau of International Recycling


Case Study

Occupant Comfort

Operable Windows

Comfortable workers are more likely to be productive and engaged with their work than those who struggle to work in spaces that create barriers and stresses. With an ever increasing number of environmental issues to be mindful of when designing spaces, GSA is developing practices that support both sustainability and worker comfort.

View Case Study