May 10, 2022
Conference Paper

All Hands On Deck: Raising the Bar on Whole Building Performance-Based Code Compliance and Above-Code Programs


In 2019 a large-scale national effort was launched with support from U.S. Department of Energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA). The project aimed to develop a long-term vision and a roadmap for achieving a practical application of whole building performance-based code and above code program compliance in commercial buildings. The work was aided by engaging over 70 stakeholders across the country representing jurisdictions, above-code programs such as LEED and ENERGY STAR Multifamily Program, members of the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 and other Standard committees, IBPSA and software developers. The performance path requires whole building energy modeling and is gaining momentum. Many see it as the future of the commercial energy codes and the main pathway for achieving zero energy buildings. The paper describes the findings from a stakeholder survey funded by NEEA on the current state of performance-based path, its market penetration, trends, implementation practices and adoption challenges. It discusses the patterns revealed by experience of the states with decades-long history of performance-based compliance such as Florida and California and opportunities for taking advantage of the synergies between code and above-code programs. In addition, the paper provides an overview of the tools and resources developed as part of the effort including the compliance form for ASHRAE Standard 90.1 Section 11 and Appendix G, modeling submittal review manual, and modeler and reviewer qualification requirements. The tools and resources would help remove market barriers, deliver immediate benefits to jurisdictions and rating authorities, and achieve energy efficiency through whole-building performance path.

Published: May 10, 2022


Karpman M., M.I. Rosenberg, B. Liu, and J. Williams. 2020. All Hands On Deck: Raising the Bar on Whole Building Performance-Based Code Compliance and Above-Code Programs. In ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings, August 17, 21, 2020. Virtual, Online, 10-162 - 10-177. Washington, Indiana:American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. PNNL-SA-152372.