Adding the EUI to an RFP

By Adam McMillen 

It’s becoming more and more common for owners to include energy performance requirements in their RFPs by specifying a maximum energy use intensity (EUI) – a seemingly small addition, but one that has larger implications for design teams. To achieve the best outcomes, owners should include language in their RFPs that enforces the goals they hope to achieve. Sample language, based on the approach an owner wishes to take, includes: 

  • NEUTRAL, with no penalty or financial implications for not meeting the goal. Example: “Provide electric and gas usage and site and source EUI for each of the two yearssubsequent tooccupancy for verification of energy performance. Provide two-year water usage for each of the two years subsequent to occupancy for verification of system performance.” 
  • INCENTIVE-BASED, giving the design teama fraction of the moneythe owner will save when the goal is met. Example: “Owner shall offer a pre-determined incentive amount during the Performance Guarantee Period. Release of payment for this amount shall be contingent upon confirmation that the operations, maintenance, and EUI performance standards have been achieved and verified.” 
  • RETAINAGE-BASED, withholding a fraction of the construction fee until the energy target is achieved. Example: “The owner shall retain a pre-determined amount of dollars from the overall contract award during performance evaluation. Release of payment for this withheld amount will be contingent upon final confirmation that the energy performance standards have been achieved and verified.”

It’s critical to talk to owners about any measured performance targets as they plan their budget. The goal is not achieved on day one – it’s often a one to twoyear process of working with owners and operators to bring the project to the expected performance level 

Putting EUI requirements in an RFP allows design firms to showcase the high-value services that differentiate them from the competition and how they will collaborate with the rest of the team to create a truly high-performance building for the owner. 

For more information, watch the video, “Putting the EUI in the RFP.” 

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