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BOMA BEST 3.0 & COVID-195

The last date to submit a BOMA BEST 3.0 Deferrals Request form is ...

  • April 14, 2023 for the following Questions:
    • 03.02.01: Does the air quality meet the goals set out in the IAQ Monitoring Plan?
    • 03.04.04: Do measured outdoor air ventilation rates meet the minimum requirements of Table 6.2.2.1 of the current ASHRAE 62.1 Standard?

The option to request deferrals for any other BOMA BEST 3.0 questions expired on December 31, 2022. As of January 1, 2023, BOMA BEST 3.0 applicants are expected to fulfill requirements as outlined in our BOMA BEST 3.0 Practice Guides and Questionnaires. BOMA Canada will begin to conduct spot checks on previously deferred work in Q1 2023. If this work is not completed, the final score and level may be changed.

Note that BOMA BEST verifications will continue to be offered virtually.

After December 31, 2022 BOMA BEST 3.0 applicants are expected to fulfill requirements as outlined in our BOMA BEST 3.0 Practice Guides and Questionnaires. BOMA Canada will begin to conduct spot checks on previously deferred work in January 2023. If this work is not completed, the final score and level may be changed.

Note that BOMA BEST verifications will continue to be offered virtually.

We have revised which our COVID-19 and BOMA BEST guidance to identify which practices no longer require a variance – except in extreme cases – and where variances remain.

Applicable to all asset classes, the process for claiming and tracking variances has been significantly simplified.

  • Buildings that are referencing the ASHRAE Position Document on Infectious Aerosols can continue to request deferrals for the following questions until April 14, 2023:
    • 03.02.01: Does the air quality meet the goals set out in the IAQ Monitoring Plan?
    • 03.04.04: Do measured outdoor air ventilation rates meet the minimum requirements of Table 6.2.2.1 of the current ASHRAE 62.1 Standard?
  • The option to request deferrals for any other BOMA BEST 3.0 questions expired on December 31, 2022. As of January 1, 2023, BOMA BEST 3.0 applicants are expected to fulfill requirements as outlined in our BOMA BEST 3.0 Practice Guides and Questionnaires. BOMA Canada will begin to conduct spot checks on previously deferred work in Q1 2023. If this work is not completed, the final score and level may be changed.

The list of applicable questions and specific guidance for meeting the expectations is provided in the updated Guidance for BOMA BEST - Impact of COVID-19.

Yes. All buildings can be verified (and therefore certified).

Follow this decision process flow to determine if a verification can be conducted on-site. BOMA Canada fully supports the decision by any party to conduct verifications remotely.

On-site verification

The on-site verification will include all typical components of the verification, such as documentation review and visiting all areas of the building pertinent to the BOMA BEST assessment.

We encourage all parties to take the necessary precautions to ensure they feel comfortable and safe moving forward, as well as follow all required guidelines associated with safe distancing and the use of personal protective equipment as mandated by the region.

Verifiers are allowed to determine and require any additional safety precautions they feel are necessary to conduct an on-site verification. BOMA Canada supports our verifiers regardless of their decision to return to work or not, their safety and comfort is our utmost concern.

Suggestions to further reduce COVID-19 risk include:

  •      Conduct documentation review & discussion virtually, through a screen sharing app to ensure all parties are looking at the same documentation
  •      Conduct the on-site visit after hours
  •      Reduce the number of people on tour to only those required to answer questions (e.g. building manager or building operator)

Remote verification

When a remote verification is required, the verifier will follow the BOMA BEST Remote Verification Procedure.

If the verifier has not yet contacted the building, please contact verification@bomacanada.ca to discuss this option.

Many resources have been created to help users navigate this time.

Approaches to specific questions

Verification

BOMA BEST 3.0 Sunset Dates3

You will have time until the end of March 2023 to decide whether you want to register your building under BOMA BEST 3.0. You will  have 6 month's time until the end of September  2023 to submit your BOMA BEST 3.0 application. We are accepting BOMA BEST 3.0 verification requests until the end of September 2023. Access to the BOMA BEST 3.0 online portal will be closed after September 2023.

Applicants can start to register their buildings for BOMA BEST 4.0 Sustainable Buildings certification from April 2023.

You will have time until the end of March 2023 to decide whether you want to register your building under BOMA BEST 3.0.

You will  have 6 month's time until the end of September 2023 to submit your BOMA BEST 3.0 application. We are accepting BOMA BEST 3.0 verification requests until the end of September 2023. Access to the BOMA BEST 3.0 online portal will be closed after September 2023.

The annual verification sample of a new Portfolio registering under BOMA BEST 3.0 will have time until the end of September 2023 to submit their BOMA BEST 3.0 verification requests. After that date buildings will be required to meet the BOMA BEST 4.0 Sustainable Buildings standard.

About BOMA BEST 4.02

Access to the BOMA BEST 4.0 questionnaire and online portal will be available from April 2023 where you will be able to access your account, register your building and complete the questionnaire for your building.

No, a beta version will not be available. Access to the BOMA BEST 4.0 portal will be available from April 2023.

General2

No, the Certification Eligibility Criteria has not changed: at least 50% occupancy rate is required for 12 consecutive months (i.e. percentage of actively leased floor area).

Occupancy rate is based on the percentage of the gross leasable area that is actively leased. This is different from the occupant density which is based on the percentage of occupants actually inside the building on a given day.

Our eligibility criteria apply to % of building leased, as follows: Buildings are eligible to participate in the BOMA BEST 3.0 certification program if the building has reached a minimum average occupancy rate of 50% for a period of one (1) year representing 12 consecutive months, at a minimum, and are eligible to achieve the BOMA BEST Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum certification levels. [See BOMA BEST Program Policy 3.]

Over the last 3 years we allowed BOMA BEST 3.0 applicants to defer certain requirements due to the Covid-related decrease in occupant density. The option to defer requirements expired on December 31, 2022. This decision is informed by input from building owners and managers who are now finding new and innovative ways of satisfying BOMA BEST requirements, irrespective of occupant density.

Overview

As a result of COVID-19, it may not be appropriate for properties to conduct a new tenant and/or transportation survey for some time once operations have resumed.

BOMA Canada recognizes this difficulty and proposed the following way forward for properties who have already conducted a tenant/transportation satisfaction survey in the past but are unable to conduct one in time for the BOMA BEST certification.

Questions

  • 10.02.01 – 10.02.08 Does building management regularly conduct an occupant satisfaction survey that includes the following components? (21 Points)
  • 10.02.09 Is a transportation survey conducted in the building? (20 Points)
  • 10.03.01: Does building management act on responses obtained from occupant satisfaction surveys? (8 Points)

Questionnaire Requirements

How to answer

1.  Answer yes (if previously done) to the following questions

  • 10.02.01 to 10.02.08 Tenant Survey
  • 10.02.09 Transportation Survey

2. Answer N/A to all parts of the following question

  • 10.03.01 Actions

3. Notify BOMA Canada that this has been done at info@bomabest.org. Include the following information:

  • Building Name
  • Building Address
  • Rationale for why it was not appropriate to conduct the tenant & transportation surveys

What to upload to Online Portal (Both are required)

  1. Upload the most recent previous survey(s)
  2. Upload an official document to certify that the survey(s) will be completed when regular building operations resume. This document must be signed and dated by the property manager.

BOMA Canada will follow up with select properties in due time to ensure the surveys have been completed.

Future requests

BOMA Canada is looking at other parts of the survey and how COVID-19 will impact these questions. Each question will be looked at individually. Please check back to the BOMA BEST FAQ page for up to date interpretation information.

 

 

Office1

On June 15, 2021, all Office building questionnaires were automatically updated in the BOMA BEST Online Portal to reflect the changes made as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All buildings verified on or after this date must complete the new expectations if seeking the points.

No existing data will be lost.

Download the complete list of changes.

Details

Due to COVID-19, buildings have experienced reduced occupant density (number of people in the building) and hours of operation as a result of public health and workplace safety measures. These changes have had a significant impact on energy and water consumption trends.

When COVID-19 first hit, BOMA Canada issued guidance that all performance benchmarking had to be based on pre-COVID-19 data. Recognizing the importance of ongoing benchmarking and the need for updated data, a new approach will be used starting on June 15, 2021. The majority of the 90 points assigned to energy performance and the 15 points assigned to water performance will be redistributed in a new section titled “Pandemic Response”.

What types of changes?

We’ve designed the new questions to encourage ongoing and active review of all operations to optimize for new building use patterns while also balancing the need for occupant health and safety. They touch upon the following:

  • Energy/Water consumption before COVID-19
  • Energy/Water consumption during/after COVID-19
  • Changes to occupant density and hours of operations due to COVID-19
  • Modifications made to various operational processes (HVAC, lighting schedules, etc.) due to COVID-19
  • Installation of new technologies and projects due to COVID-19

Download the complete list of changes.

View the Recorded Training Session

BOMA Canada delivered training sessions covering all changes and new expectations.

  • Watch the English Training Session HERE
  • Watch the French Training Session HERE

What is the impact on verification?

All buildings verified on or after June 15, 2021, must meet the new expectations if pursuing the associated points (those previously distributed via the ENERGY STAR Score and the Water Use Intensity).

  • If you complete your verification before June 15, 2021, we recommend downloading your building’s Scoring Summary (with Level 4 level of detail) by June 14, 2021 so you preserve a record of your scoring before the changes take effect.
  • If the verification is not complete by June 15, 2021, or if it begins after June 15, 2021, you will be expected to return to the questionnaire and answer the new questions if seeking the points.

What is the impact on existing certifications?

There is no impact on existing finalized certifications. Earned certification scores and levels will remain the same.

What is the impact on scoring?

  • Previously, up to 105 points (approximately 10% of the total score) were assigned to buildings based on their level of energy and water performance compared to the BOMA BEST scoring scale. Only high performing buildings could achieve the maximum number of points.
  • Moving forward, these points will be distributed based on answers to qualitative questions. This means all Office buildings, regardless of performance level, can now potentially achieve full points.
  • Therefore, the impact on low- and mid-performing buildings is more substantial than the impact on high performing buildings. While it is very likely that building scores may increase as a result of this change, our analysis shows that few buildings will see a score reduction.

What’s next?

  • It is likely that these changes will be in place for a minimum of 12 months, perhaps up to 24 months.
  • In time, BOMA Canada will analyze the responses to better understand how COVID-19 impacted office building operations and consumption patterns. We look forward to widely sharing these insights with the commercial real estate industry to inform operational and benchmarking best practices moving forward.

Download the complete list of changes.

MURB1

BOMA Canada will be updating the Multi-Unit Residential Building (MURB) questionnaire to reflect current industry best practices and to respond to changes in operations resulting from COVID-19.

All changes will go live to applicants on January 18, 2022.

The changes combine a few updates, namely:

  • Replacing all BEST Practices with those used for Office, Universal and Enclosed Shopping Centres.
  • Modifying questions to reflect updates in technologies and practices made since the questionnaire was originally issued in 2012.
  • Modifying question scoring and adding a new 7th category called “Pandemic Response” to account for the operational changes incurred due to COVID-19.

All changes are outlined in this document.

Verification implications: All buildings with a verification scheduled on or after January 18, 2022, must meet these new requirements, regardless of when the building was registered.

Energy28

Energy benchmarking is the process of tracking and recording a building's energy use and comparing it with that of other buildings similar in size and function.

Benchmarking enables you to measure your building's performance against that of other buildings in your sector, against a national average or against a set standard of best practices. You can also compare your building's current performance against its previous performance or against other buildings in your portfolio.

The Data Centre Property Use Type (or Space Type) is intended for sophisticated computing and server functions which typically include:

  • high density computing equipment (such as server racks used for data storage and processing)
  • dedicated power and cooling systems
  • a constant power load of 75 kW or more
  • uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)
  • raised floors

Data Centres may include traditional enterprise services, on-demand enterprise services, high performance computing, internet facilities, and/or hosting facilities. Often Data Centres are free-standing, mission-critical computing centers.

The Data Centre property use type is NOT intended for:

  • server closets
  • computer training areas
  • telecom closets
  • print/copy rooms

Server rooms that do not meet the definition of data centre above, but have separate cooling systems and operating hours that differ from the rest of the building should be entered as a separate Office Property Use. Enter the weekly operating hours (typically 168 hours), zero workers, and enter the count of computers and Servers in the Number of Computers field. Both computers and servers should be counted only once (e.g. one server counts as 1 "Computer").

All other areas mentioned above (including server rooms without separate cooling systems) should be included in the total gross floor area for the property's main Property Use (e.g., Office).

This information is obtained from ENERGY STAR.

Points can be earned for achieving certain performance metrics. These must appear in the building's Property Characteristics Table. 

ENERGY STAR Score (eligible buildings only). Must provide:

Weather-normalized site energy use intensity (EUI)

Water Use Intensity (WUI)

Follow the instructions below for guidance on how to enter this information:

  • Here if you are using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for data entry
  • Here if you are using the BOMA BEST Online Portal for data entry

Please note that the values need only be entered once (e.g. the same Property Type, Gross Floor Area, etc. will be applied for benchmarking energy and water).

BOMA BEST uses the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) methodology to calculate energy and water performance via the ENERGY STAR Score, Energy Use Intensity (EUI) and Water Use Intensity (WUI) metrics. The Online Portal has been synchronized with the ESPM portal, meaning that data need only be entered in one of the two portals (BOMA BEST or ESPM) to generate the performance metrics requested from BOMA BEST. 

Applicants who wish to earn energy or water performance-related points will have two options:

  • PUSH: Applicants can enter energy and water consumption data directly into the BOMA BEST Online Portal. This portal will use the ESPM methodology to calculate EUI, WUI and ENERGY STAR Score. Instructions are provided here.
  • PULL: Applicants can use an existing ESPM account for the building and synchronize it with the building’s account in the BOMA BEST Online Portal. EUI, WUI and ENERGY STAR Score will be pulled into the Online Portal. Instructions are provided here.

Launched in 2013, Natural Resource Canada’s Canadian adaptation of Portfolio Manager includes the following features to facilitate the Canadian user experience:

  • Canadian site and source energy
  • Canadian greenhouse gas emissions factors
  • Canadian 1-100 ENERGY STAR scores for several building types
  • Median source and site energy use intensities for more than 80 building types, including ones not getting a score
  • Enhanced Canadian weather data (more than 150 Canadian weather stations) and automatic selection of the closest weather station, based on the postal code of the building
  • Metric units
  • Bilingual user interface
  • Data exchange web services for Canadian buildings
  • The U.S. EPA’s Target Finder calculator

No. It is not necessary to re-enter energy or water performance data in BOMA BEST if an ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account already exists for the building.

Applicants can use an existing ENERGY STAR account for the building and synchronize it with the building’s account in the Online Portal.

EUI, WUI and ENERGY STAR Score will be pulled into the Online Portal. Instructions are provided here.

Buildings eligible to obtain an ENERGY STAR Score must meet the following requirements:

     1) More than 50% of your building's gross floor area (excluding parking lots and garages) must be consistent with a building type listed in the table below: 

Country

Eligible Building Types

Canada

Commercial Office

K-12 School

Hospital

Ice/Curling Rink

Medical Office

Senior Care Communities and Residential Care Facilities 

Supermarket/grocery store (includes supermarket/grocery store, food sales, and convenience store with or without gas station)

United States

Bank branch

Barracks

Courthouse

Data center

Distribution center

Financial office

Hospital (general medical & surgical)

Hotel

K-12 school       

Medical office  

Multifamily housing      

Non-refrigerated warehouse      

Office   

Refrigerated warehouse             

Residence hall/ dormitory          

Retail store       

Senior care community 

Supermarket/grocery store        

Wastewater treatment plant     

Wholesale club/supercenter      

Worship facility

Other countries

See United States

  • Exception 1: You are not eligible to obtain an ENERGY STAR Score if the combined floor area of all enclosed and unenclosed parking structures exceeds the total gross floor area of the building.
  • Exception 2: You are not eligible to obtain an ENERGY STAR Score if more than 25% of your floor space is ineligible for a score. The combined floor area of any property use types that do not have an ENERGY STAR score (i.e., types not listed above) cannot exceed 25 percent of your total floor area. 

2) The building must be at least 5,000 square feet (465 m2). Financial Offices may be as small as 1,000 square feet.

3) The building must be in operation at least 30 hours per week (does not apply to buildings that are not asked for hours of operation, such as hotels and hospitals, nor does it apply to religious worship facilities).

4) There must be at least 1 worker during the main shift.

5) You must be able to report on all energy used by the property (e.g. electricity, gas, oil, steam, onsite renewable energy, etc.).

6) You must be able to provide at least 12 full consecutive calendar months of energy data for all active meters and all fuel types.

This information is obtained from ENERGY STAR.

 

 

One.

In general, ENERGY STAR recommends you enter as few Spacey Types (Property Uses) as possible. For example, if you have an office with a restaurant, a health club, and a dry cleaner. ENERGY STAR recommends that you enter one Property Use (Office), and include the Gross Floor Area (GFA) and energy of the restaurant, health club, and dry cleaner within the Office Property Use. You would also include the Property Use Details (Number of Workers, Computers, etc.) from the restaurant, health club and dry cleaner with the Office Property Use.

While it may seem logical and orderly to break out each Property Use (“Space” in BOMA BEST) separately, it does not increase the accuracy of your score (unless the Property Use Type can get a score). The ENERGY STAR Score is based on Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) data, which keeps a building designated as a single type as long as that type accounts for 75% or more. You’ll receive the most accurate score if you match this CBECS approach. In fact, even if you enter these Uses separately, Portfolio Manager will add them back together into the Office Property Use before calculating your metrics. Also, entering one Property Use will simplify your property and make trouble shooting errors easier.

In BOMA BEST, even if you create multiple space types, you must still attribute the meters to the “Whole Building” or no values will be calculated. Therefore little is gained from the effort of creating multiple spaces.

This information is obtained from ENERGY STAR.

Typically, include energy data on the building's entire Gross Floor Area (GFA).

However, below are uses that should not be included (provided it is sub-metered) in the energy data:

  • Cell towers
  • Parking garages
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Outdoor, heated pools (note: indoor pools should not be excluded)
  • A large billboard or projection screen on a building (or in your parking lot) when the sign is not related to the use of the building. (A sign displaying the company's name or anything related to the business SHOULD be counted towards the buildings use.)

You may exclude a Property Use from a building if ALL of the following four conditions are met:

  • The Property Use must be less than 10% of the building’s Gross Floor Area (GFA)
  • The Property Use must not be a property type eligible to receive an ENERGY STAR Score
  • The Property Use must be sub-metered so that both the Property Use floor area and energy consumption can be excluded
  • The Property Use’s energy use patterns must be significantly different than those of the rest of the building (ex: A restaurant on the first floor of an office)

If there is a data centre that meets the ENERGY STAR definition, energy dedicated to this space must be excluded.

This information is obtained from ENERGY STAR.

 

The ENERGY STAR Score is a screening tool that helps you assess how your property is performing compared to similar buildings nationwide. It will help you identify which properties in your portfolio to target for improvement or recognition. It is expressed on a 1-to-100 scale – a rating of 50 indicates that the building performs better than 50% of all similar buildings, while a rating of 75 indicates that the building performs better than 75% of all similar buildings.

To obtain an ENERGY STAR Score (eligible buildings only), the following information must be entered in either BOMA BEST or ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager:

Follow the instructions below for guidance on how to enter this information:

  • Here if you are using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for data entry
  • Here if you are using the BOMA BEST Online Portal for data entry

Applicants can enter energy and water consumption data directly into the BOMA BEST Online Portal. This method uses the ENERGY STAR methodology to calculate EUI, WUI and ENERGY STAR Score. Instructions are provided here.

If synchronisation is set to Pull – the data and meters in BOMA BEST become READ ONLY. All new data must be entered directly in ENERGY STAR. Your BOMA BEST account will be refreshed automatically every 24 hours once the initial synch has occurred.

If you wish to add entries using the BOMA BEST account instead of ENERGY STAR moving forward, change the synchronization to Push instead. All the data that was auto-populated will remain and you will be able to start making edits. If you decided to return to Pull, any spaces or meters that exist in your BOMA BEST account, but have not been added to your ENERGY STAR account, are added automatically to the ENERGY STAR account.

In general, we recommend that you only edit the property details:

  • In ENERGY STAR if the synchronisation is set to Pull
  • In BOMA BEST Online Portal if the synchronisation is set to Push

It is possible the building is already connected with BOMA BEST. This may occur when several people use the same ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager account. Check the building’s sharing permissions in ENERGY STAR. BOMA BEST will be listed if this is the case.

Once all benchmarking steps have been followed, performance values appear in 2 places:

  • In the Property Characteristics Table in the BOMA BEST Online Portal

  • On the Summary Page in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (if you have an existing account)

These may be different based on specifically what time period you have selected to compare in your report in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The BOMA BEST Online Portal automatically pulls performance values based on the most recent 24-month period (for weather-normalized site EUI) and 12-month period (for water use intensity) entered.

Additionally, the summary page in ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager provides the Site and Source EUI but not the weather-normalized site EUI (which is what BOMA BEST displays).

If each structure is sub-metered: 

Since the buildings qualify as an individual building, only one BOMA BEST questionnaire is used. This means all energy and water consumption data for each structure/building will have to be merged into a single account to generate a single EUI, WUI and ENERGY STAR Score value.

These values cannot be estimated.

Follow these steps (in either ENERGY STAR or BOMA BEST):

  1. Create a single space that represents the totality of the structures combined. If individual ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager accounts exist for each structure, a new account/space will have to be create that represents all areas together.
    • If using BOMA BEST to enter data: Create a single Space that represents the totality of the space, entering the total area and associated consumption for all structures in the building.
    • If using ENERGY STAR: Create a single account that represents the totality of the space, entering the total area and associated consumption for all structures in the building.
  2. Create energy and water meters that represent the totality of the structures combined.
  3. Synchronize BOMA BEST with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager following the Push or Pull methodologies.
  4. After 24 hours the values should appear in the Property Characteristics Table. Transcribe these values in the appropriate place in the BOMA BEST questionnaire. Don’t forget to select the appropriate unit!

If the structures are not sub-metered:

If there is no sub-metering of the structures that qualify as an individual building, simply follow the instructions for generating an EUI, WUI and ENERGY STAR Score, ensuring that the values entered represent the totality of the area, energy and water consumption of the combined structures.

The Gross Floor Area (GFA) is the total property square footage, as measured between the exterior walls of the building(s). This includes all finished areas inside the building(s) including supporting areas.

Include in GFA:

  • Lobbies
  • Tenant Areas
  • Common Areas
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Break Rooms
  • Atriums (count the base level only)
  • Restrooms
  • Elevator Shafts
  • Stairwells
  • Mechanical Equipment Areas
  • Basements
  • Storage Rooms
  • Laundry Rooms

Do not include in GFA*:

  • Exterior spaces
  • Balconies
  • Decks
  • Patios
  • Exterior Loading Docks
  • Driveways
  • Covered Walkways
  • Outdoor Courts (Tennis, Basketball, etc.)
  • The interstitial plenum space between floors (which house pipes and ventilation)
  • Crawl Spaces/Attics
  • Parking

*Although you do not include these areas in your GFA, you do include the energy use associated with these areas in your meters. The GFA refers specifically to interior space but the energy use evaluated in the ENERGY STAR algorithms should be all energy required to operate your building, which includes the energy used both inside and out.

GFA is not the same as rentable space, but rather includes all area inside the building(s). Rentable, or leasable, space is a subset of GFA.

While you never include any Parking GFA in your Property GFA, you may need to enter your Parking GFA if you do not submeter it. More information on parking available here.

This information is obtained from ENERGY STAR.

For indoor/underground parking garages, preferably, no.

If the underground/indoor parking area is sub-metered (preferred):

  • Exclude its floor area from the Gross Floor Area; and
  • Exclude its energy consumption from the energy meters

If the underground/indoor parking area is not sub-metered:

  • Include its floor area in the Gross Floor Area; and
  • Include its energy consumption in the energy meters

For exterior parking garages:

  • Always exclude the floor area from the Gross Floor Area
  • Include the energy consumption associated with exterior lighting in the energy meters

 

Only eligible Data Centres that can provide Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) energy data are eligible to have data excluded from the total building’s consumption. If the data centre does not have a dedicated power supply of this type, its consumption must simply be added to the full building’s consumption (along with the floor area).

To exclude your eligible data centre data from the EUI, follow these steps:

1) Create 2 space/Use types:

  • One (1) representing the Data Centre area exclusively
  • One (1) representing the rest of the building (does not include the data center area)

2) Complete all field for the above spaces/uses

3) Energy consumption: 

  • Create at least one (1) meter representing consumption for the entire building (24 individual and consecutive months). Data centre consumption must be included along with the rest of the building consumption in the same meter. Do not create a separate meter for data centre consumption. If using the BOMA BEST Online Portal for data entry, assign this meter to the “Whole Building”.

EUI stands for Energy Use Intensity. It calculates how much energy is consumed per unit of floor area by dividing the building's total energy consumption by the floor area. EUI allows for the comparison of energy performance across buildings of different sizes.

BOMA BEST uses weather normalized site EUI for benchmarking, provided in gigajoules per square meter per year (GJ/m2/year).

 

Weather normalized energy is the energy your building would have used under average weather conditions. The weather in a given year may be much hotter or colder than average; weather normalized energy accounts for this difference.

As such 24 consecutive and individually entered months of energy consumption data are necessary to obtain this value.

BOMA BEST benchmarks energy performance with the weather-normalized site EUI.

To obtain a weather-normalized site energy use intensity (EUI), the following information must be entered in either BOMA BEST or ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager:

Follow the instructions below for guidance on how to enter this information:

  • Here if you are using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for data entry
  • Here if you are using the BOMA BEST Online Portal for data entry

Benchmarking in BOMA BEST is based on the Site (weather-normalized) EUI.

Site energy provides information about the energy consumed by the building. Generally, the term EUI refers to Site EUI.

Source energy provides information about the energy consumed by the building, along with energy associated with transmission, delivery, and production losses. By taking all energy use into account, the source EUI provides a complete assessment of energy efficiency in a building.

More detailed information on Site and Source energy is provided here.

It depends.

For Office, Multi-Unit Residential, Health Care and (ENERGY STAR Score-eligible) Universal buildings: These buildings must have 100% of the building data to obtain points (tenant spaces, common areas, etc.) If this is not the case, no values should be entered.

For Open Air Retail, Light Industrial, Enclosed Shopping Centres or (non-ENERGY STAR-eligible) Universal buildings: Although it is preferable to have all building data, it is not required to obtain points in BOMA BEST. For these property types you will be prompted (in the BOMA BEST Portal) to identify for which areas you are providing energy consumption data. These buildings can still obtain a weather-normalized Site EUI if 24 consecutive months of data have been provided. Report this EUI in the space provided. 

Obtaining performance metrics is not a required component of the BOMA BEST program (i.e. not a BEST Practice). Rather, benchmarking using BOMA BEST or ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager can provide applicants with additional points.

The following performance metrics can earn the applicants’ some points:

Office questionnaire:

Universal questionnaire:

Multi-Unit Residential Buildings and Health Care questionnaire:

Enclosed Shopping Centres, Light Industrial, and Open Air Retail questionnaire:

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ES) is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s interactive energy management tool that is free to use and allows you to track and assess energy and water consumption across your entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment. It offers weather-normalized energy use intensity values, greenhouse gas emission metrics, reporting features that help you track trends over time, and 1-100 energy performance scores for eligible building types.

Register here.

Benchmarking energy and water (reviewing trends in data) allows building managers and operators to understand how energy and water are being consumed in the building, providing valuable information to assist in the implementation of consumption reduction strategies.

  • Can be an internal process – measure building performance against its own past performance or against other buildings in portfolio
  • Can be external process – compare building performance to similar buildings outside the organization

By making benchmarking a routine practice, you can:

  • identify poorly performing buildings
  • establish a baseline for measuring improvement in energy (or water) consumption for all buildings
  • enhance and create competition through comparison with similar buildings
  • participate in green building certification programs and various other environmental initiatives

To obtain performance points (ENERGY STAR Score, Energy Use Intensity or Water Use Intensity), values must be visible in your Property Characteristics Table.

Follow the instructions below for guidance on how to enter this information:

  • Here if you are using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for data entry
  • Here if you are using the BOMA BEST Online Portal for data entry

 

TROUBLESHOOTING

If no values appear after 24 hours of completing the steps, return to your data and check  each item below:

1) Space Tab

  • At least one space type has been created (preferably only one)
  • All required fields must be completed (for Office - all fields; for other space types - GFA)
  • The "Effective as of" date is older than the first date of energy or water consumption data entered
  • The "Effective as of" date is the same across all fields

 

2) Energy Tab

  • Each meter is attributed to "Whole Building" (absolutely no exceptions)

  • The meter's "Installation date" is the same as the "Effective as of" date entered in the Space Tab

  • Data is entered in individual months (e.g. January 1-January 31, 2019; February 1-February 28, 2019; etc.)
  • There are 24 individual months of data provided in each meter
  • The time period represented in each meter overlaps (e.g. Electricity meter has monthly data from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018; Natural Gas meter has monthly data for exactly the same period)

 

3) Water Tab

  • Each meter is attributed to "Whole Building" (absolutely no exceptions)

  • The meter's "Installation date" is the same as the "Effective as of" date entered in the Space Tab

  • There are 12 months of data provided in each meter
  • The time period represented in each meter overlaps (e.g. Indoor water meter has data from January 1 to December 31, 2018; Outdoor water meter has data for  exactly the same period)

 

4) Registration page:

  • Year Built: The "As of" date is the same as the "Effective as of" date in the Space tab

  • Gross Floor Area (for ENERGY STAR): Is complete AND the "As of" date is the same as the "Effective as of" date in the Space tab
  • Synchronization option has been selected from the "Energy Star” section

  • The detailed instructions on synchronization have been followed (literally each point):
    • Here if you are using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for data entry
    • Here if you are using the BOMA BEST Online Portal for data entry

 

5) Identical dates: To recap, the same date must be used in the following places

  • Energy and Water tabs: Installation dates for all Energy and Water meters
  • Spaces tab: “Effective as of” dates for each field
  • Registration page: “As of” dates for the following:
    • Year Built
    • Gross Floor Area (for ENERGY STAR)

Water3

WUI stands for Water Use Intensity. It calculates how much water is consumed per unit of floor area by dividing the total consumption of indoor and outdoor water by the floor area. WUI allows for the comparison of water performance across buildings of different sizes.

In BOMA BEST, it is provided in cubic meters per square meter per year (m3/m2/year).

To obtain water use intensity (WUI), the following information must be entered in either BOMA BEST or ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager:

  • Property Type (already entered if energy is being benchmarked)
  • Identify one (1) property use-type (already entered if energy is being benchmarked)
  • Gross Floor Area (already entered if energy is being benchmarked)
  • Twelve (12) consecutive months of indoor and outdoor water consumption (can’t be older than 36 months)

Follow the instructions below for guidance on how to enter this information:

  • Here if you are using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager for data entry
  • Here if you are using the BOMA BEST Online Portal for data entry

 

It depends.

For Office, Multi-Unit Residential, and Health Care buildings: These buildings must have 100% of the building data (indoor and outdoor for all areas) to obtain points for WUI. If any data is missing, the WUI is invalid and nothing should be entered in the designated area in the questionnaire. No points will be awarded.

For Open Air Retail, Light Industrial, Enclosed Shopping Centres or Universal buildings: Although having complete data is preferred, it is not required to obtain points in BOMA BEST. For these property types, applicants will be prompted in the questionnaire to identify for which areas water consumption data is provided. These buildings can still obtain a WUI as long as 12 consecutive months of data have been provided. Report this WUI in the space provided. Points will be awarded.

Administration10

To ensure the integrity of all BOMA BEST Certifications, BOMA Canada will conduct a secondary verification of the following:

  • Every building achieving a Platinum level
  • Randomly selected buildings achieving other levels

This quality assessment process is initiated once the building has completed its first verification. BOMA Canada will endeavour to complete this secondary verification within a reasonable timeframe and with minimal interruption to the building manager. It will occur remotely. Applicants may be contacted for additional information.

The score and level identified by the BOMA Canada Verification Professional will be considered the final score and may differ from the originally identified score.

Quality assessments are performed on buildings in the Single Stream and in the Portfolio Stream.

 

In most cases, each individual building must use a single questionnaire. However, it is possible for multiple buildings/structures to be assessed using a single questionnaire.

Multiple buildings (or towers/structures) are considered an individual building and can complete only one questionnaire, if the following three (3) requirements are met:

  1. The buildings must share an actual, physical connection that is complete and indivisible (i.e. a shared functional space that cannot be divided such as underground parking, an atrium, or conference space). Hallways or interior walking paths between buildings are not considered functional, shared space, even if they are lighted and/or heated. This requirement is consistent with the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager (ESPM) definition of a “single structure”.
  2. Buildings must be managed by the same management company and share policies.
  3. Buildings must have the same primary use type (75% or more of each building is dedicated to the same use, such as “office”).
    • Exception: this final requirement is only necessary if the building is seeking an ENERGY STAR Score. If the structures have different primary use types then it can likely be assessed using a single Universal questionnaire (and won't be eligible for ENERGY STAR).

Some examples are provided here:

Aspects that are not taken into consideration in the definition of an individual building:

  • Age of construction of each structure in the building
  • Whether utilities are shared
  • Whether consumption is sub-metered
  • Whether HVAC equipment or other technologies are shared

If your multiple structures meet the requirements for an individual building, assess them using a single questionnaire. All structures in the complex must be included in the assessment (e.g. a complex with 4 towers must assess all 4 towers, not simply a part of the complex).

For information on benchmarking energy and water for multiples structures that qualify as an individual building, click here.

Contact info@bomabest.org if you have any questions.

Documentation supporting and demonstrating compliance with the BEST Practices must be uploaded to the portal and are mandatory for certification.

Documentation demonstrating compliance with every question marked “Yes” or “N/A” must be available (either in hard copy or digitally) during the on-site visit, however, is not required to be uploaded to the portal. We strongly recommend that users take advantage of the portal and use the system as a document repository for easy retrieval during verification.

Your building’s status provides important information about your trajectory through the BOMA BEST Certification process.

The status is visible under the “PROPERTY” tab. Below is a description of what each status means:

  • New: Your building has just been created.
    • If your building is in the Single Stream, click "Register Building” to finalize registration.
    • If your building is in the Portfolio Stream, notify your portfolio's manager that you have created the building.
  • Pending: (Single Stream only). The Local BOMA Association has acknowledged your building’s registration and is reviewing the details.
  • Payment due: (Single Stream only). The Local BOMA Association has sent you an invoice. You have 60 days to submit payment. If payment is not received in this time, you will no longer be able to make changes to the online questionnaire.
  • Payment overdue: (Single Stream only). The Local BOMA Association has not yet received your payment. You can no longer make changes to the online questionnaire.
  • Full access: (Single Stream only). Payment has been accepted. Your building has full access to the questionnaire. It is now possible to request verification.
  • Ongoing: (Portfolio Stream only). Your building has full access to the questionnaire.
  • Verification requested: (Single Stream only). You have clicked on “Request Verification”. The Local BOMA Association has been automatically notified.
  • Awaiting verification: Your verification is being scheduled.
  • Certified: Congratulations, your building is officially certified! Consult your building's "Certification Tab" for more details. You will continue to have access to the online questionnaire during the time your building is certified.
  • Not certified: Your building’s verification was unsuccessful. If you wish to try again, click "Re-apply". You will not lose the answers saved in your questionnaire however will be expected to pay a new registration or verification fee.
  • Certified (+24 mos): (Single Stream only). Your building has been certified for over two years and is 12 months away from expiry. You will receive an automatic notification to this effect. You can begin the recertification process at any time; simply click on “Renew certification.”
  • Certified (+32 mos): (Single Stream only). Your building has been certified for nearly three years and is 4 months away from expiry. You will receive an automatic notification to this effect. You can begin the recertification process at any time; simply click on “Renew certification.”
  • Expired: Your building’s certification is expired. You will no longer be able to make any changes to your online questionnaire. If you wish to recertify your building, simply click on “Renew certification” to begin the process anew. A new registration fee will be collected.

You can give access to your building to as many users as you wish.

Simply email info@bomabest.org with the following information:

  1. The building(s) name
  2. The username you wish to give access. CAUTION: the username must already exist in the BOMA BEST Online Portal (instructions in Step 1)

When the new BOMA BEST Online Portal was created, bare-bones records of all previously certified buildings were imported into the portal (specifically, the building name, address and previous certification date and level). No questionnaire data was imported.

Instead of creating a new building with the same name, simply email BOMA Canada and we will connect you with your building.

Include the following information in your email to info@bomabest.org:

  1. The building(s) name
  2. Your username. CAUTION: Your username from previous portals won't work, you must create a new one by following the instructions (Step 1)

The portal requires the “company name” to be unique to you. Please note the instructions at the top of the new user page.

Please try again, following this format when entering your company name: “Management Company A – Jane Smith

If you wish to change your password or replace a temporary password, please follow these steps:

  1. Logon to your account
  2. Click "ADMIN"
  3. Select "change password"
  4. Save

If the dates and addresses in your portal are in a different language, please see the following step:

  1. Select "ADMIN"
  2. Change the "Culture" drop down to the required language
  3. Save

The portal is offered in multiple languages. If you wish to change your language setting, please follow these steps:

  1. Click “ADMIN”
  2. Use the drop down for language and select
  3. Use the drop down for culture and o select
  4. Save

Please note that the “culture” must also reflect the language you have selected.