Building IQ

Know Your Building, Know Your Power.

Welcome to the Building IQ Program Hub

The one-stop-shop for the City of Aspen’s building benchmarking program – learn about Building IQ, enroll in the program, program support and more.
The City of Aspen is committed to cutting carbon in the built environment and is partnering with CORE on Building IQ to make it happen. Aspen is joining a growing roster of cities worldwide that are working on innovative policies to reduce building energy use through benchmarking and building performance standards policies. The City recently adopted science-based goals for reducing community greenhouse gas emissions by 63% by 2030 and zero carbon by 2050. Since buildings account for 57% of Aspen’s total emissions, with 27% coming from commercial structures and 30% from residential, Building IQ is an essential part of the plan to shrink our carbon “blueprint”.

Benefits of Building IQ

  • Conserve energy

  • Help manage your building

  • Identify short- and long-term savings

  • Support global climate action

  • Market as a green building

  • Inform City of Aspen energy programs

(account for 57%)
All other sources 43%


One of the most effective ways to save energy and water in buildings is to benchmark — that is, to measure and compare a building’s energy to similar buildings, past consumption, or a reference performance level. It’s also the first step to improving meeting future Building Performance Standards. The simple act of benchmarking can decrease energy use by 2 – 3% per year, a modest but meaningful reduction. Building IQ uses Energy Star’s benchmarking platform, Portfolio Manager.

Building IQ Benchmarking FAQs

Why should I benchmark?

In addition to it soon being a law in Aspen, there are multiple reasons benchmarking benefits you and the community. Through the Building IQ program, building owners can expect to:

  • Conserve energy.
  • Help manage your building.
  • Inform City of Aspen energy programs.
  • Market as a green building.
  • Support global climate action.
  • Identify short- and long-term savings.
How much will Building IQ cost?

There is no charge to the building owners or to the City of Aspen to use the Energy Star Portfolio Manager platform to benchmark.

What do building owners need to do?

To benchmark a property, building owners will need to take three steps:

  • Create an account in Energy Star Portfolio Manager (the EPA’s free tool used by more than 300,000 properties across the United States.)
  • Add your property’s information (property type, square footage, etc.).
  • Enter the energy, water, and gas data for your property for the reporting year.
When will the Building IQ program start?

We are hopeful that the program will begin in June 2022. City-owned buildings will be the first properties to comply, then large commercial properties will be phased in based on square footage, with large multi-family buildings to follow. A final timeline will be determined upon Aspen City Council’s anticipated program adoption in April 2022.

View the timeline here:

Building IQ – Community Office for Resource Efficiency

Who will be required to benchmark?

Owners of large commercial properties (20K sq. ft. +) will be the first properties required to benchmark, with an anticipated due date of December 1, 2022. Smaller commercial properties and multi-family properties will be phased in over time. If you still have questions regarding when you will need to benchmark your building, visit

Get Started with CORE

The easiest way to benchmark your building correctly is to fill out this form and let our building science experts take it from there. Having CORE benchmark your building is 100% FREE and includes the following services:

  • Building IQ walkthrough to assess your property
  • Set up of your Portfolio Manager account
  • Accurate benchmarking of your building
  • Hassle-free end of year reporting

Are you the DIY type? Start Here.

We recommend letting CORE benchmark your building for FREE, but we have you covered if you want to get it done on your own. Check out these helpful videos from our friends at Energize Denver on how to use ENERGY STAR’s Portfolio Manager to benchmark your building.

1. How to Create an Account in Energy Star Portfolio Manager

2. How to Add a Property in Energy Star Portfolio Manager

3. How to Create Energy Meters and Manually Add Data

4. How to Check for and Correct Data Errors in Portfolio Manager

5. How to Submit your Report to the City in December

Building Performance Standards

Once you understand how your building uses water and energy, it’s time to start using resources more wisely. That is where Building Performance Standards–AKA BPS–come into play. 

BPS is a policy that requires building owners to meet performance targets for energy use by actively improving their buildings over time. Since the majority of commercial and residential building stock that will be standing in 2050 is already built, BPS will help accelerate carbon-reduction at the rate necessary to meet local and national climate action goals. From a building owner’s perspective, BPS provides flexibility as owners can use whatever technologies and operational strategies they decide are most effective and economical to meet the target. Multiple state and local governments have passed BPS policies, including Washington D.C., New York City, St. Louis, and Colorado and Washington states.

The BPS policy details for the City of Aspen have not been defined, yet. We are interested in getting feedback from community stakeholders and will be starting stakeholder engagement beginning in 2022 with the goal of collecting input to implement policies the following year, in 2023. Technical and financial resources will be available to help aid in the process.

How do I improve the energy performance of my building?

CORE’s Commercial Path to Zero is a step-by-step guide for improving building performance. Start with simple measures like upgrading your lighting and adding controls then work your down the path all the way to electrifying everything and powering your building with renewable energy.

…or just reach out to Mike Bouchet. He will visit your property and create a simple, cost-effective plan customized for your building.

When do building performance standards begin?

Building IQ Ordinance enactment: June 1, 2022

  • Building Performance Standards (BPS) stakeholder group formed: Summer 2022
  • BPS stakeholder group conducts research, gathers feedback from the broader community, and develops the BPS Design Guidelines: Summer 2022 – Q3 2023
  • BPS Design Guidelines brought to Council for consideration and adoption: Q3/Q4 2023
  • Properties will need to comply with building performance standard: TBD (Established by BPS Design Guidelines)
Got questions? I am here to help.
CORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to leading the Roaring Fork Valley to a carbon-free, net zero energy future. Under the guidance of a Board of Directors–made up of elected officials, utility representatives, and committed citizens–CORE helps people, businesses, municipalities, facilities and nonprofit organizations save natural resources and lower energy bills while reducing their carbon footprint.