U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Building Technologies Office
Buildings Performance Database Analysis Tools
The Buildings Performance Database will offer four analysis tools for exploring building data and forecasting financial and energy savings: a Peer Group Tool, a Retrofit Analysis Tool, a Data Table Tool, and a Financial Forecasting Tool.
Peer Group Tool
The Peer Group Tool allows users to peruse the BPD, define peer groups, and analyze their performance.
- Users can create Peer Groups by filtering the dataset based on parameters such as building type, location, floor area, age, occupancy, and system characteristics such as lighting and HVAC type.
- The graphs show the energy performance distribution of those buildings in terms of:
- Energy metrics such as energy use intensity based on source consumption, site consumption, electricity consumption, or fuel consumption.
- Building characteristics such as gross floor area, year built, and hours occupied
- More variables will become available for analysis as the dataset grows.
- Users can also enter information about their own building to see how it compares to the peer group
The BPD statistically analyzes trends in the energy performance and physical and operational characteristics of real commercial and residential buildings.
Retrofit Analysis Tool
- The Retrofit Analysis Tool allows users to analyze the savings potential of specific energy efficiency measures for a peer group of buildings.
- By selecting two technologies from drop down lists, the user can compare buildings that utilize one technology against peer buildings that utilize another. The tool conducts one-to-one comparisons between the buildings in each sub-group.
- The bar chart shows the distribution of likely energy savings, and therefore the performance risk, of the retrofit measure. The horizontal axis shows the percent change in energy use, while the vertical axis shows the percentage of the one-to-one comparisons that resulted in that level of energy savings.
- The Retrofit Analysis tool compares the performance of real buildings. Unlike many other tools, the BPD does not project or model the performance of a retrofit measure in a specific building.
- Note that the retrofit analysis tool does not take into account the impact of other building characteristics that may be correlated with the presence of the technologies being compared. However, as the data in the BPD becomes more robust, users will be able to control for these variables.
Analysis of an Office Building Heating Retrofit.
- Data Table Tool
- The Data Table Tool enables users to create and export tables with statistical information about user-defined peer groups.
- Users can generate tables showing up to three dimensions of data for the peer group (e.g. peer group of office buildings broken out by location, age, and size).
- The tables show the number of buildings and median energy consumption in each sub-group.
- As with the Peer Group Tool, selections that return fewer than ten records will not return a result in order to protect data anonymity.
- Financial Forecasting Tool
- The Financial Forecasting Tool calculates the potential cash flow over time from a specific energy efficiency measure.
- The Financial tool uses the results from the Retrofit Analysis Tool, combined with financial information such as energy pricing, capital outlay, investment horizon, and discount rate.
- The results include cash flow projections (expected value and uncertainty) and associated metrics such as Internal Rate of Return.
Notes about Analysis Tools
The BPD is currently the largest source of building energy performance data. However, the current dataset is not dense and detailed enough in many areas of the country to effectively utilize the data. As the BPD becomes more populated, users will have greater flexibility to analyze their particular investment opportunities. If you are interested in contributing data, please contact us.