REALPAC is pleased to release updated Normalized Energy Use Intensity (NEUI) and Normalized Water Use Intensity (NWUI) Methodologies for Commercial Office Buildings for public use by industry.
The original Methodologies were previously used in REALPAC’s 20 by ’15 energy benchmarking program and 2012 Water Benchmarking pilot, which many building owners and managers continue to use today.
COVID-19 exposed that the original Energy and Water Normalization Methodologies had reduced effectiveness in the evaluation of building performance in periods of very low occupant density. In addition, following years of analysis of hundreds of buildings, opportunities to improve both Methodologies were identified. Both Methodologies have therefore been rebuilt to provide renewed clarity on building performance in the present day and to unleash the next wave of investment in energy, water, and carbon reductions over the coming decades.
The following improvements have been implemented in the REALPAC NEUI & REALPAC NWUI Methodologies:
- Updated model energy use and water use breakdowns to reflect current best practices
- Updated best practices credits
- Updated methodologies to better normalize for low occupant density in fully-leased buildings
- Enhanced treatment of exceptional use and associated spaces
- Improved treatment of leased vs. unleased (vacant) space
The REALPAC NEUI & REALPAC NWUI Methodologies transparently outline the technical details behind each of the key elements and the processes by which the total normalized energy and water use of an office building is calculated. They are each accompanied by a Tool (Excel spreadsheet) which can help calculate the NEUI and NWUI.
Scope & Future Updates
The REALPAC NEUI & REALPAC NWUI Methodologies will be updated periodically over time through feedback and review from industry to ensure that it remains current and valuable to users. Computation of resulting emissions from energy and water use is currently not within scope of the Methodologies, but may be added in the future. The REALPAC NEUI & REALPAC NWUI Methodologies are designed to be internal tools that building owners and managers can use to calculate and report a building’s energy and water use intensities, and is not part of a voluntary industry reporting and benchmarking program at this time, like REALPAC’s previous 20 by ’15 program. The Methodologies are currently only designed for commercial office buildings, but may be expanded to other asset classes in the future.