ASHRAE Level 1

The ASHRAE Level-1 audit is focused on the identification of the potential for energy efficiency improvements, understanding the overall building configuration, and defining the type and nature of energy systems. This audit intended to help the owner and the energy audit team understand how the building performs relative to its peers; establish a baseline for measure others of similar age, size and usage regionally.

The starting point for identifying the opportunities for energy optimization

  • Review of utility bills and usage information (staffing, hours, activities)
  • Establishing benchmark energy use data and EnergyStar score
  • Interviews with the owner and/or facilities operating staff
  • Examination of building drawings and equipment information
  • General walk-through inspection of the facility and equipment
  • Report
    • Describes the building construction and condition
    • Identifying low-cost / no-cost improvements and their implementation
    • Identifies utility and government incentives and rebates
    • Identifies the next steps, including whether a higher level audit will add value


ASHRAE Level 2

A Level-2 audit builds upon the findings of Level 1, and examines each energy consuming system or variable, the possible improvements (energy conservation measures) to be considered, and their economics. The entire building envelope, HVAC and lighting, water usage, hot water and storage, equipment loads, plugs loads, compressed air and any process loads are studied.

While many ECMs (Energy Conservation Measures) identified during the L2 audit can be implemented with quick or instant financial payback, others will need more detailed analysis to establish their benefit to the owner. If the audit identifies larger, more ambitious ECMs that affect multiple building systems or business operation, it may be necessary to dig deeper into the building operation as well as the human factors influencing overall performance. This is where the ASHRAE Level-3 audit would be required.


Detailed surveys and analysis of the entire building and it use: 

  • Building Envelope (construction, integrity, insulation, lighting, windows and fenestration
  • HVAC/R (all systems, their efficiency, ventilation losses, energy profile in operation)
  • Domestic cold water usage, domestic h water production and storage, irrigation, HVAC losses)
  • Identifying seasonal (base) loads, original design assumptions and associated energy costs
  • Performance of the interior environment, comfort and problems areas (ASHRAE 55)
  • Report
    • Identifies building energy use compared to key performance indicators
    • Identifies immediate low-impact projects, cost and short-term ROI. (≤ 2 years)
    • Identifies larger energy conservation measures, capital projections and ROI
    • Identifies possible operational changes and potential business impacts
    • Compilation spreadsheet including metrics, justifications and investment data
    • Life-cycle cost analysis of recommended projects

ASHRAE Level 3

A Level 3 audit is used to evaluate complex ECMs, and to pursue the recommendation of the L2 audit in-depth and in a manner relative to the owner’s evaluation criteria, with additional focus on business, operational and human interactions. Typically these projects will require significant financial investment and planning. The audit team will interact with the owners financial managers to develop proper assessment criteria.

Also called an investment-grade audit, L3 can include specific assessment criteria established with the owner, and include real property metrics including relative property value impacts, increased business performance and complete investment profiles including maintenance and operations, expandability, leasing options, tax depreciation, etc.

Detailed ECM descriptions, demand-management options, investment and real property analysis

  • Complete BIM (Building Information Modeling) simulation using Trane ‘TRACE’ or equal
  • Data-logging to measure temperatures and energy usage comparative to building
  • Real-time energy usage profiles directly relative to daily use, time of day and activity
  • Evaluation of improvements available from HVAC, lighting and architectural ECMs
  • Real Property Assessment and Impacts
  • Construction-grade cost estimating for ECMs
  • Master Management Report
    • Includes all L2 and L3 audit and assessment data, financial data, ECM descriptions, surveys, calculations, industry and owner criteria, illustrative graphs and spreadsheets