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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?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) accounts for approximately 44% of commercial building energy use.Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2012 Commercial Building Energy Surveyopens in new window. Reduce your HVAC costs with SFTool  


Case Study

Spatial Equity

Open Workspaces

Organizations today are less hierarchical and work is more team based, more mobile, and more cross functional. A key to spatial equity is that space layout and workstation standards are based on new ways of working and specific work tasks and business needs rather than organizational hierarchy.

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