Data-Driven Approach to Investigate the Energy Consumption of LEED-Certified Research Buildings in Climate Zone 2B

Abbas Chokor, Mounir El Asmar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


During the last decade, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system has embodied the efforts of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to recognize buildings designed to achieve superior performance in several areas including energy consumption. Given the emergent interest in improving buildings' energy efficiency, researchers have generated predictive physical and data-driven models for energy consumption. Although the physical approaches aiming to calculate the energy consumption behavior at the building level are accurate, the necessity of continuously inspecting and gathering data for all the input parameters often makes these approaches impractical in some applications. The objective of this study is to introduce a novel assessment method that investigates the correlation between LEED certification and the actual energy consumption by investigating a case study of LEED-certified research buildings in climate zone 2B. The research approach first consists of developing and testing eight performance models for 13 non-LEED buildings, and then inspecting the fit of the best model to five comparable LEED certified buildings. Heating, cooling, and electricity data are collected from all buildings, in addition to multiple weather, time, and building characteristics variables. The data are used to generate several regression models that predict the energy consumption of conventional research buildings. The results show the differences in energy use between LEED and non-LEED buildings are not as large as anticipated. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge by first introducing a novel generic assessment method for LEED buildings and second applying this method to a case study sample of LEED-certified research buildings in climate zone 2B. The findings of this paper support the actual performance assessment of LEED buildings by helping practitioners make better decisions throughout the project life. In order to ensure a fair and representative assessment of the LEED certification system, future studies are invited to adopt this new method while comparing the actual performance of LEED buildings to that of non-LEED +buildings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number05016006
JournalJournal of Energy Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Case study
  • Data analytics
  • Energy consumption
  • Leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED)
  • Regression analysis
  • Research facilities
  • Sustainable construction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal


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