[Report] The Critical Need for Transparent and Reliable Building Performance Data

For the first time, the GBPN has assessed the quality of data of building types in each of its priority regions – China, the European Union, India and the United States. The premise of the new study is that transparent, comprehensive and credible data collection and analysis are crucial for designing new policies that can help move the building stock towards zero energy. This new report entitled “Robust Building Data: A Driver for Policy Development”, reveals that there are important “white spots” in the data across the GBPN regions and that quality and availability of data vary considerably, which prevents modelling and estimation of energy efficiency potentials in buildings. The study provides a series of recommendations for overcoming these gaps and calls for a collaborative effort in improving the quality of data collection worldwide.

The GBPN convened a panel of building analysts and data experts from all four regions that were surveyed to assess the quality of data using a scoring system based on several parameters. The experts were further asked to provide guidance on how the data quality and the collection techniques could be improved.

Key findings of the report include:

– Generally, the US has the higher scoring data quality for most of the parameters followed by the EU, China and India.
– Regionally, there are large differences in data quality and large gaps, making it difficult to analyse the current state of play in each region.
– That there are not enough available data in all four regions for accurately modelling building energy performance.
– The main reasons for the data varying widely across the four regions is due to the different political approaches to data collection.

How to improve data collection practices worldwide?

Experts surveyed by the GBPN emphasised the need for a comprehensive data collection framework to ensure consistency of data and advised for data collection definitions and guidelines to be harmonised and clarified.

Through this report, the GBPN calls for a collaborative effort towards making data transparent so that data collection, monitoring, reporting and evaluation leave no gaps and produce accurate and reliable data. The GBPN recommends the establishment of a global database that includes all energy-performance building data and the diverse requirements of the building stakeholders. As a first step, the GBPN has just launched a global Knowledge Platform that aims to invite all interested stakeholders to share and curate best knowledge and data on building performance policies that can deliver the abatement potential of buildings.

Robust Building Data: A Driver for Policy Development”, GBPN, February 2013

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