Building Performance Standards

A New Framework for Equitable Policies to Address Existing Buildings

A new framework is available for local governments, community and industry stakeholders interested in Building Performance Standards (BPS) to improve existing buildings. The policy tool can help cities reach climate goals while integrating equity and economic inclusion.

At its most basic, a BPS policy establishes targets for buildings to reduce energy use or greenhouse gas emissions, or to improve other metrics, over time. In addition, successful BPS policies include complementary support programs and assistance for covered buildings, local workforce, and historically underserved populations.

Download the Building Performance Standards Framework


We hosted a three-part webinar series to support stakeholders in exploring and engaging on opportunities related to BPS policy. Each webinar focused on a specific audience, but we encourage interested stakeholders to join all three webinars to hear different perspectives.

Webinar 1: Building Performance Standards for Local Governments

September 16th, 2021

Throughout, the BPS Framework lifts up considerations for equity and workforce development. This webinar and document are based on key learnings from a workshop and 18 months of biweekly sessions among communities in the American Cities Climate Challenge and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network.  This webinar reviewed the basics of BPS, highlight the framework and feature perspectives on BPS from Denver, CO and Montgomery County, MD who were in the workshop cohort. 

Webinar 2: Building Performance Standards for Community

October 21, 2021 

Local governments are increasingly exploring new requirements for improving the energy performance of buildings in the community through policy tools such as Building Performance Standards (BPS). In this webinar, we invited community-based organizations and frontline communities to learn more about the BPS Framework and implications for community, including potential benefits and harms. To support community organizations in engaging with cities on a BPS-type policy, we discussed different components of BPS policy development and how communities can engage to center community priorities. 

Webinar 3: Building Performance Standards for Industry Professionals

As a new policy tool, BPS have the potential to impact climate and equity goals for implementing jurisdictions. For industry professionals these policies will present new challenges and opportunities for building design, planning and operations. This webinar highlighted policy development and implementation areas critical for consideration by building owners, operators, facility managers, architects, engineers, and many others.