The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that new multifamily high-rise residential buildings are now eligible to qualify as Energy Star buildings (www.energystar.gov/mfhr). Expanding the Energy Star eligibility to such properties will allow property owners the opportunity to increase the asset value and offer tenants comfortable homes.
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 designation.
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.