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2024 Building EQ (Building Energy Quotient) Competition

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The Student Activities Committee and Building EQ Committee have collaborated to create a new Building EQ competition.  Students will have the opportunity to evaluate and audit building energy consumption for buildings in operation to give the building a Building EQ score using the ASHRAE Building EQ online tools.

What is Building EQ ?

ASHRAE has developed a comprehensive building energy assessment and labeling program called Building Energy Quotient (Building EQ) to provide an analysis of a building's energy consumption or energy features and allow comparison to similar buildings. Read more at

When is the Competition?

Final submissions will be due May 4, 2024.

  • Who Can Compete?

    This is a student competition open to ASHRAE student members, but there is not required to have a student branch. Teams of 3-5 students are ideal for this competition, and the entire team must be students.  In order to submit the project for approval and then access and print the final report, each team must have one mentor with a Professional designation (PE, P.Eng, or ASHRAE Certified BEAP).  There are no fees for students to register on the Portal.  Industry mentors, ASHRAE YEA members and student branch advisors are excellent resources.  ASHRAE encourages you to work with industry, but they are only contributing as industrial advisors.

  • Why Compete?

    This competition takes theory into practice.  It will give students the hands-on experience with operational settings while working collaboratively with building owners. Building owners will have the benefit of a student audit.  This may also give connections to industry which can help lead to job opportunities.  If nothing else, it looks great on a resume.

    Apart from the competition, students will be able to make a difference to the planet by reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.  Once the report is complete it will identify energy efficiency measures that target components with high energy consumption that the owner may upgrade to save operational costs and reducing the carbon footprint.  Building owners can use these measures to make improvements to their buildings, turning those energy, cost, and carbon reductions into reality.

  • How To Compete

    1. Register online here and include an industry professional as your team mentor/advisor (PE, P.Eng, or BEAP).

    2. Each student and the mentor need to register with Building EQ on the Building EQ Portal.  Information about Building EQ and links to the Building EQ Portal can be found at

    NOTE:  Each team must submit a Building EQ In Operation (IO) project on the Building EQ portal, located at, through the Building EQ account of a registered credentialed user (BEAP or PE), for either one building or one campus (i.e. group of buildings), and obtain a free Building EQ Narrative Audit Report (energy audit report) in a Word document format produced by the portal. Only those teams that register will receive instructions on how to obtain a free Building EQ Narrative Audit Report from the Building EQ Portal.  All projects must complete all required fields for a Building EQ In Operation assessment, including representative spot measurements under the IEQ Survey tab.  Some of these fields go beyond the requirements for an ASHRAE Level 1 energy audit but must be completed as part of the Building EQ In Operation Assessment.

    ALL ENERGY AUDIT REPORT SUBMISSIONS MUST BE OBTAINED FROM THE BUILDING EQ PLATFORM AND ARE TO BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY via the ASHRAE FTP site. Only those teams that register will get the FTP site information and instructions for uploading entries.

    All teams that are registered participants of the 2024 Student Building EQ Competition will receive the FTP upload instructions via email. If your team is not registered, you will NOT receive this information.

    3. Select an existing facility to analyze which has been in regular operation for at least 12 months (You will use the In-Operation rating assessment). The building you select will impact the scoring. Reach out to non-profit organizations, places of worship, food banks, or shelters. It is preferrable to work with community organizations. If there are no opportunities with these types of facilities, then reach out to your local ASHRAE chapter members, or you can work with buildings on your local campus where travel is difficult. 

    4. Visit the Building EQ Portal and create a project for the facility to be analyzed. Add the students and mentor who have previously registered on the Portal to the project. In this way, all of the team members will be able to access the project to enter information, and the mentor (i.e., credential user) will be able to submit the project for approval once completed. The Portal screens will lead the team through the information that is needed for the assessment and level 1 Energy Audit. Enter the building metrics and other required information collected during your site visit, assessment, and interviews.

    Once all building data has been collected and entered, the credentialed user (i.e. the mentor) submits the project for approval.   Once that project is approved, the credential user will be able to print the Narrative Audit Report as per the instructions as noted above. This report should be customized as needed (see item #5 below) by the team and then made into a PDF file.

    5. Complete your report and submit it electronically. The report is 10 pages max (3 MB file limit including appendices), including the cover page. Font size shall be 11 pts, utilizing either Arial or Times New Roman. The report shall include:

    1. Cover page with students’ names, and a photo of the building.
    2. Abstract, and final summary of building
    3. Building function, type of use, description of systems.
    4. Explanation of how the data was collected.
    5. Recommendations to improve the performance, and estimated energy and GHG savings 
    6. Appendices (not included in the page count):
      1. The energy audit report submission for the competition must use the Building EQ Narrative Audit Report and be in PDF format only! No separate visual aids will be accepted (PowerPoint, YouTube, etc.). Deliverable presentation should consist of a 50-page maximum audit report in PDF format only. This will include:
        1. One (1) Building EQ In Operation (IO) project submitted on the Building EQ Portal by a BEAP or PE, with student members associated with the IO project; and,
        2. One (1) ASHRAE Standard 211-compliant Level 1 energy audit report, using the Building EQ Narrative Audit Report generated by the Building EQ portal from a submitted IO project.
      2. Optional reference letter from the client or building owner’s representative.
  • How will the submissions be judged?

    Projects shall be evaluated, at a minimum, according to the following criteria.

    • Submission of the Building EQ IO project per the criteria stated on the Building EQ Portal;
    • Complete Level 1 energy audit report generated by the Building EQ platform meeting all the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 211 (i.e., using Building EQ Narrative Audit Report template) and all requirements for a Building EQ In Operation Assessment;
    • The complexity of the building and systems that were audited;
    • Use of ASHRAE Standards, Guidelines, and publications; and
    • The depth, thoroughness, and comprehensiveness of the audit as reflected in the audit report.

    A better Building EQ score will not make a project more favorable. Rather, it is the explanation of the score and the rationale for the recommended energy conservation measures (ECMs) that are being scored in the competition.

    Completion of all elements identified on the portal as optional will make a project submission more favorable, including, but not limited to the following:

    • Energy End Use Breakdown; and
    • Optional IEQ Survey Point Measurements.

    For items not covered specifically above, judging will be based on the merits of the documentation that best presents and explains the Building EQ score and energy conservation measures (ECMs). Teams are required to provide complete energy audit reports (Narrative Audit Report and Spreadsheets Audit Report), including the citation of industry-approved engineering standards and guidelines and the utilization of currently available technology.

    The scoring rubric will be used to evaluate the submissions.



    Low Score

    Mid Score

    High Score

    Max Points

    Complexity, size

    Larger Projects should be worth more as there is increased work.  Based on cooling and/or heating capacity per unit of building area (square feet or meters) and quantities of systems.

    Small projects with a single basic system (such as forced air, furnaces, no hydronics). Less than 5000 ft2 (464 m2)

    Medium sized projects with a basic system (hydronic and air system.) Between 5,000-50,000 ft2 (464 m2-4,645 m2)

    Large square footage, and / or many systems.  Hospitals, labs, multi use facilities.


    Level of Audit

    Did the students take it to a higher level with insights and recommendations for improvements?  Payback options?

    Only analyzed the Building EQ score.

    Provided understanding of system operation in context of the Building EQ score, and showed awareness of components with abnormally high energy consumption

    Provided recommendations to upgrade building components and provided approximate potential energy savings in the context of the Building EQ score. 


    Building EQ Portal use *Requires PE, P.Eng, CEM, CEA, EMP, or BEAP


    Incomplete or unsubmitted In Operation project

    Minimally complete In Operation project submitted with partially complete or no ASHRAE Standard 211-compliant Level 1 energy audit narrative report

    Fully complete In Operation project with ASHRAE Standard 211-compliant Level 1 energy audit narrative report


    Client financial need

    determines the need of the assessment.  Non-profit groups have higher needs and cannot afford this service, where businesses have revenue, and can afford these services.

    Businesses that could normally afford to this

    University or campus buildings

    Non-profit organizations or institutions, cultural minority shelters or social service centers (e.g. food kitchens, food bank warehouses)


    Client Reference letter (bonus)

    If they can get a client referral letter, this shows they worked with the client and are in good standing. 

    no = 0, yes = 5


    Communication skills

    How was the written presentation?

    Hard to read / no graphs, photos, or schematics.

    Coherent, but not easy to follow, minimal explanations and/or graphics.

    Well written, easy to follow and presented well.  Did not exceed max number of pages.








  • What are the Key Dates?

    There will be multiple levels of evaluation. Evaluators at all levels will judge the submissions, not only for content, but also for compliance with the competition rules.

    April 12, 2025

    Audit teams must submit a Building EQ IO project on the Building EQ portal, located at, through a Building EQ account of an ASHRAE Certified BEAP or licensed/chartered PE (or equivalent Canadian, United Kingdom, or other international engineering designation), for either one building or one campus (i.e. group of buildings). The submitted IO project must have the BEAP or PE and student members of the audit team associated with the project.

    May 4, 2025

    Audit teams must submit energy audit reports electronically by this date by uploading the report to the ASHRAE Society FTP site established for this purpose. Only teams who register will get the FTP site information emailed to them, so please register at least 30 days prior to this date to allow for processing.

    June 20, 2025

    Society-level judges selected by the ASHRAE Building EQ Committee will complete evaluation of Society level entries under the direction of the Student Activities Design Competition Subcommittee and will select first, second, and third place and, at the discretion of the committee, rising star.

    Please Note: The Society level of the competition is conducted during a closed subcommittee session and therefore, team members and/or faculty advisors, or other persons outside of the Student Activities Committee, may not attend. Any violation of this notice can result in a team's disqualification from the competition.

    August 1, 2025: Winners are announced. 

    What do the finalists receive?

    Recognition will be given at the 2026 ASHRAE Winter Conference in Las Vegas, NV to the winners as follows:

    • First Place
    • Second Place
    • Third Place; and
    • Rising Star

    First Place: A technical feature in an issue of the ASHRAE Journal of the submitted IO project, a case study produced by the Building EQ Committee to be featured on the ASHRAE Building EQ website at, and a digital first place certificate to each audit team member.

    Second Place, Third place and Rising Star: A case study produced by the Building EQ Committee to be featured on the ASHRAE Building EQ website at and a digital honorable mention certificate to each audit team member.

    One representative from each top placing teams will receive free transportation and two nights' lodging for the following Winter meeting to present at the 2025 Winter Conference.

  • Questions?

    2024 Building EQ Frequently Asked Questions

    Have a question?
    Please submit your questions here
    Please allow up to 5 business days for a response.