Creating Sustainable Communities: The Power of ENERGY STAR in Multi-Family New Construction

Hardik Miyani, PE, CEM, CRE, CPHC, LEED Green Associate, Sr. Energy and Cx Engineer

3 mins
ENERGY STAR in Multi-Family New Construction
3 min read
According to a 2019 survey conducted by the American Housing Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 43.9 million residences, or 31.4% of housing in the U.S. today, are multifamily. These spaces include apartment buildings, condominiums, townhouses, and mixed-use developments. Hence, it’s imperative that we find sustainable solutions to reduce our carbon footprint for multi-family buildings.  One such solution lies in the construction of multi-family residential buildings designed with energy efficiency in mind.
National ENERGY STAR residential new construction program
National ENERGY STAR residential new construction program version based on states.

The Role of ENERGY STAR:

ENERGY STAR is a well-known symbol for energy efficiency in the United States. It’s a government-backed program administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy. Originally, ENERGY STAR certification focused on single-family homes and appliances. However, the program has since evolved to encompass multi-family buildings, recognizing their importance in the quest for energy efficiency.

Benefits of ENERGY STAR in Multi-Family New Construction:

  • Reduced Utility Costs: One of the most immediate benefits of ENERGY STAR certification in multi-family new construction is the significant reduction in utility costs for both tenants and property owners. Energy-efficient design, appliances, and heating/cooling systems can lead to substantial savings on electricity, water, and gas bills.
  • Enhanced Comfort: ENERGY STAR-certified buildings prioritize indoor air quality and temperature control. High-performance insulation, windows, and ventilation systems ensure that tenants enjoy a more comfortable living environment, irrespective of the external weather conditions.
  • Environmental Sustainability: ENERGY STAR-certified multi-family buildings are designed with reduced energy consumption in mind. This means a lower carbon footprint, contributing to a healthier planet. Reduced energy usage also helps decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Increased Property Value: Energy-efficient buildings are more attractive to environmentally conscious renters and buyers. ENERGY STAR certification can increase the market value of a multi-family property, making it a smart investment for property owners.
  • Government Incentives: In many regions, there are government incentives and rebates available for builders and property owners who pursue ENERGY STAR certification for their multi-family projects. These incentives can offset some of the initial construction costs.

Key Considerations for ENERGY STAR Multi-Family Construction:

  • Design Integration: The key to ENERGY STAR certification is integrating energy-efficient features into the building’s design from the beginning. Factors such as building orientation, insulation, high-efficiency HVAC systems, and the use of ENERGY STAR-rated appliances are crucial.
  • Compliance with ENERGY STAR Standards: The construction process must adhere to ENERGY STAR’s specific standards and guidelines for multi-family buildings. This includes rigorous inspections, verification of compliance, and testing to ensure the building meets the required energy efficiency criteria.
  • Monitoring and Maintenance: Once constructed, it’s important to monitor and maintain the building’s energy-efficient systems to ensure they continue to perform optimally. This includes regular checks on heating, cooling, and ventilation systems and addressing any issues promptly.
In conclusion, ENERGY STAR certification in multi-family new construction is a pivotal step toward a sustainable future. By creating energy-efficient living spaces, we reduce utility costs for residents, lower our carbon footprint, and enhance property values. It’s a win-win for tenants, property owners, and the environment. As we move towards a greener, more sustainable world, multi-family new construction projects that embrace ENERGY STAR principles represent a significant stride in the right direction.Baumann Consulting is an ENERGY STAR-verified company that has a Functional Testing Agent (FT Agent) holding EPA-recognized credentials to complete parts of the ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction HVAC Functional Testing Checklist. Interested in knowing more about this program? Reach out to Hardik Miyani at h.miyani@baumann-us.com.

Creating Sustainable Communities: The Power of ENERGY STAR in Multi-Family New Construction