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Energy disclosure law in New York City: Building energy performance benchmarking progress

Eunhwa Yang (School of Building Construction, Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Design, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Yong-Cheol Lee (Department of Construction Management, College of Engineering, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)
Qi Li (School of Architecture, College of Design, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)


ISSN: 0263-2772

Article publication date: 16 October 2018

Issue publication date: 17 October 2018




This paper aims to primarily analyzing the state and pattern of current energy benchmarking progress on commercial buildings since the New York City’s energy disclosure law, Local Law 84: Benchmarking has been implemented. It then compares the yearly benchmarking progress of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified and non-LEED-certified buildings as well as ENERGY STAR-certified and non-ENERGY STAR-certified.


For thorough analytics, the authors combined and examined four sources of data: New York City Local Law 84: Benchmarking, Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output, US Green Building Council and US Environmental Protection Agency. The data sets were combined using two primary keys: the Borough, Block, Lot (BBL) number and the building address. Four years of energy use intensity values were obtained and normalized by shrinking the range of deviance in weather.


The findings indicate a significant improvement in the benchmarking progress when controlling building size, building type, year of construction or the most recent renovation and the presence of renovation. Interestingly, there is no significant difference in the energy benchmarking progress between LEED- and non-LEED-certified buildings. Possible reasons are explored and discussed.


From a methodological perspective, the study benefited from data disclosure as well as open data sources and used secondary data with a relatively large sample size. Many studies in the construction industry are based on the case-study approach, which may affect generalizability and causality of research findings. This unique approach illustrates the potential of secondary data analysis in the industry.



Yang, E., Lee, Y.-C. and Li, Q. (2018), "Energy disclosure law in New York City: Building energy performance benchmarking progress", Facilities, Vol. 36 No. 11/12, pp. 571-583.



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