Leveraging Data to Assess Performance

Department of Energy Resources (DOER) – Building Asset Rating (BAR) Program

As part of a pilot program sponsored by the United States Department of Energy and the Barr Foundationa private, Boston-based philanthropy organizationSMMA was selected to be a technical and process consultant for the Building Asset Rating (BAR) pilot program in Massachusetts.

The mission of the BAR program is simple: To identify cost-effective, scalable methods of assessing existing buildings and systems with the hope of creating “apples-to-apples” comparisons of commercial building energy performance.  

Since many commercial buildings have unique space types, such as data centers or cafeterias, creating universal tools that provide accurate energy-performance assessments and recommended energy-conservation measures is a challenging enterprise. However, such tools, if they could be created, would have significant market benefit to commercial building owners, asset raters, and the financial backers of efficiency upgrades, such as utilities companies.

SMMA was contracted to provide energy-advisory consulting services to develop streamlined energy modeling and reporting protocols, as well as to provide a technical evaluation of the building analyst teams’ modeling results.

We aggregated the findings of 62 building energy-analysis reports, and used this information to arrive at a better understanding of the capacity and limitations of streamlined modeling tools in providing valuable energy-performance information to building owners. SMMA also identified issues that may affect a building owner’s ability to implement energy-efficiency upgrades.


Below are some examples of the graphical results that SMMA created through aggregated data, and some of the information that was reviewed in the building analysis reports.