CBECS Data Visualization Infographics


Sponsored by the Idaho Power Company, the University of Idaho Integrated Design Lab (UI-IDL) developed this series of infographics to communicate how four different building types consume energy on both a regional and national level. The data used to create them has been gathered from The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS), which is a national-level sample survey of commercial buildings and their energy suppliers conducted quadrennially by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The survey collects key benchmark information on U.S. commercial buildings, their characteristics, and how they consume energy. It is used by private and public stakeholders to track industry progress and gain a high-level understanding of how similar buildings compare and inform policy decisions. Architects and engineers can also use this information for goal setting and prioritizing energy efficiency measures within the integrated design process for high performance projects. These infographics make detailed consumption data per building type easily accessible to design teams without having to filter the CBECS database themselves. Information from CBECS is reported on the EIA’s website in the form of summary tables, which provide tabular breakdowns of high-level energy consumption statistics based upon general building characteristics. The information is also available as public use microdata spreadsheets that can be downloaded, filtered, and organized with much more flexibility than the summary tables. These spreadsheets contain much more detailed information from the building characteristics survey in its entirety and served as the origin of information for this series of infographics.

Currently, there are five double-sided 11x17" infographics. The first is an introduction to the project and the CBECS database. The next four delve specifically into the office, retail, education and lodging building type.

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Jan 2, 2013