About Advanced Buildings New Construction Guide

The Advanced Buildings New Construction Guide supports architects, engineers and building owners who want improved energy performance and indoor air quality (IAQ) on their small- to mid-size, commercial new construction projects while working within tight design and construction budgets. Projects that apply the New Construction Guide can be deemed an Advanced Building, a designation that represents a best-in-class commercial building that adds value and saves time and money. 

Advanced Buildings also offers additional Design Tools on best practice in energy-efficient lighting, daylighting, HVAC and other critical aspects of low-energy buildings. This Advanced Buildings "Toolbox" supports the specific criteria in the New Construction Guide but also can help with any scale of energy efficiency project. 

The New Construction Guide is available for $129. Buy Now

How does the New Construction Guide help?

The Advanced Buildings New Construction Guide provides a direct path to proven best practices in advanced design, keeps project schedules on track and budgets in line. High performance buildings consistently deliver lower operating costs, higher appraisal rates and faster leasing rates.

AB Tiers of Efficiency


How much energy does Advanced Buildings save?

The New Construction Guide is structured around a series of increasingly efficient tiers that allow you the flexibility to target the efficiency outcome that works best for your project. The full set of design strategies and technology applications, when applied under an integrated design process, results in new commercial buildings that perform up to 40% more efficiently than model energy code standards such as ASHRAE 90.1-2007 and the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). 

What is required in each of the Advanced Building tiers?

All tiers must comply with an integrated design process refered to the Design Process Strategies section of the guide.  Section One outlines Tier 1 criteria and must be met for all projects. The Design Process Strategies and Section One represent Core Performance-level energy savings of up to 25%.

Section Two describes Tier 2 criteria including strategies that are required and enhanced measures that can be pursued for higher efficiencies on a projects-specific basis.  Section Three provides Tier 3 criteria that represent performance pathways going deeper into design strategies for significant additional savings beyond the basic requirements. These include: Advanced Envelope, Advanced Daylighting, Advanced Office Lighting Design, Ground Source Heat Pump, Variable Capacity Heat Pump Systems, Radiant Heating/Cooling and Plug Load Controls. 

How does it work with my local energy efficiency programs?

Many energy efficiency programs offer incentives for whole building efficiency in new construction. The efficiency levels of Advanced Buildings will qualify more nearly all programs, but those programs may require modeling. There are several programs that have pre-approved incentives for Advanced Buildings without the need for modeling.  See programs that incent Advanced Buildings

How are the savings calculated?

An extensive energy modeling protocol has been implemented to support development of the New Construction Guide. The results of over 100,000 energy modeling runs using eQUEST software to run DOE-2 have been evaluated using a batch analysis protocol built into the eQUEST energy modeling tool. 

For each of the prototype buildings, three to five typical mechanical systems were defined to represent usual construction practice. Sixteen representative U.S. citites were identified to serve as "typical" climate representatives of the eight ASHRAE climate zones. 

What building types are good candidates for application of the guide?

In general, the requirements are best suited for small- to mid-size buildings ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 square feet. While the design strategies, envelope, lighting and most systems measures in the guide are applicable to buildings of any size, larger building types are more likely to adopt more complicated systems and energy conservation strategies that are noas predictably described in a prescriptive standard. 

The prototype building used in the analysis of the guide represent about two-thirds of commerical buildings, according to the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS). The guide is applicable to offices, schools, retail, warehouses, libraries, public assembly, etc.