The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that new multifamily high-rise residential buildings are now eligible to qualify as Energy Star. Expanding the Energy Star eligibility to such properties will not only help EPA strengthen energy-efficiency initiatives, across the nation, which save money and help protect the environment, but also provide property owners the opportunity to increase the asset value and offer tenants comfortable homes.
To qualify for Energy Star, new or substantially rehabilitated multifamily high-rise buildings must meet energy-efficiency guidelines set by the EPA and be designed to be at least 15 percent more energy-efficient than buildings that meet the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers energy use standard. Qualified buildings feature a combination of energy–efficient improvements including:
- Effective insulation systems
- Properly sized heating and cooling equipment
- Tight construction and ducts
- Energy Star qualified lighting and appliances
- High–performance windows
An independently licensed professional engineer or architect is required to verify that the program’s requirements are met through on-site testing and inspections conducted throughout the construction process. In the past, only single family homes and units in low-rise multifamily buildings were eligible to earn the Energy Star.
Energy Star was started by EPA in 1992 as a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy-efficiency. Today, the Energy Star label can be found on more than 60 different kinds of products as well as new homes and commercial and industrial buildings that meet strict energy-efficiency specifications set by EPA. Last year alone, Americans, with the help of Energy Star, saved about $18 billion on their energy bills while preventing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions of 33 million vehicles.
More information on Energy Star qualified multifamily high-rise buildings: http://www.energystar.gov/mfhr