Inputs Tabs

General Inputs

Section 1: Input Building Specifications

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk. 

  • Project Name*: Associate a name with the project. 

  • Project ID*: The unique identifier for the project. A default Project ID is assigned when a project is created, but can be changed by directly entering a new value into the input field.

  • Project Category*: The category designation for the project that determines the input fields displayed and the minimum input requirements for the AIA 2030 Commitment. If “Interior Only” is selected it will modify the subsequent field options to switch the primary focus from pEUI metrics to LPD metrics. The three AIA 2030 Commitment category types are: 

    • Non-Residential 

    • Residential 

    • Interior Only 


Note that mid-/high-rise multifamily can be included under Non-Residential or Residential project categories. 

  • Construction Type*: The construction type field enables the DDx to effectively capture if the project is “New Construction” or a “Major Renovation of Existing Building”. The field is required to be completed for all project category types. A default value is not provided, so one of the two options is required to be selected before a project can be saved. 

  • Country*: The country where the project is located. 

  • State/Province*: The state or province where the project is located. The field is displayed if the Country selected is the United States, Canada, China or India. The drop-down list will also vary based on the country selected. If any other country is selected this field will not be displayed. For projects in other countries, see International Guidance section.

  • Zip/Postal Code*: The zip or postal code where the project is located, required for projects in the US. 

  • City*: The city where the project is located. The city is a required field for all international projects.

  • Year of Occupancy*: The year the project is planned to be occupied.

  • Climate Zone: The drop-down list selections correspond to the ASHRAE US climate zone designations. A climate zone is automatically associated with a project when a recognized zip code is entered for a US or Canadian location but can be changed by selecting another climate zone for the project.  

  • Reporting Year: The 2030 Commitment Reporting Year associated with the project. When a new project is created the default value is the current reporting year. 

  • Office Location: The office location within the firm that is running the project. By first office location in the list will be selected, but it can be changed by selecting an alternative office from the drop-down list. Each firm account is required to have one office location associated with it; if the firm only has one office location that is the only one that will be displayed. The office locations can be edited, added or deleted by Administrators from the “My Account” screen.

  • Project Phase*: The current design or construction phase for the project. Projects can have one, multiple or all phases saved for a project. Each project phase will appear as a separate row on the Portfolio screen, but they will be grouped together. The design phase options and abbreviations that will appear in the Project View drop-down include:

    • Concept (CC)

    • Schematic Design (SD)

    • Design Development (DD)

    • Construction Documentation (CD)

    • Construction Administration (CA)

    • Design Closeout Final (Final)*: The final design record when a project has been completed; see more about this important project phase here.

    • On-hold: Selected when the project has been put on hold.


  • Target Certification*: Select ALL the target green building certifications that apply to the project. If there are additional certifications for AIA to consider including, those may be submitted via the "Feedback" button.  


Note: For the USGBC's LEED Rating System, the certification level is represented generically (e.g., LEED Platinum), versus including certification level options for each different LEED rating system (e.g., LEED for Healthcare). 


  • Target Certification Selection Options:
    • Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR

    • ENERGY STAR for Homes

    • Green Globes

    • Passive Haus

    • WELL Building Standard

    • LEED Platinum

    • LEED Gold

    • LEED Silver

    • LEED Certified

    • BREEAM

    • Living Building Challenge

    • Living Building Net Zero Cert.

    • SITES

    • Others

    • None

  • Use Types Table: This is where the Use Types for the project are set up and can be edited. This information influences the input fields in other areas of DDx (e.g., Zero Tool interface). The portion of the table on the right (see example below) is auto-generated and intended to provide some initial feedback on what the BASELINE EUI and LPD will be for the Use Types and the areas associated with them for the project. However, note that they do not determine the baseline values associated with the project; this is done in Section 2, Establish Design Target. (Though if the National Average baseline option is selected, the values will be the same.)

  • Use Types*: The main program areas in the project. There can be multiple use types associated with a project to effectively capture mixed-use projects. Each project is required to have at least one Use Type. Although there can be more than one Use Type, they are assumed to be in a single building. More about use types, the source and how they map to Zero Tool can be found here. Note that parking cannot be the first Use Type selected on a project. 

  • Area* (Units = GSF): The overall area for each use type in the project. It is also referenced in the DDx as sf. Enter the project area as calculated for specific project needs (e.g. code, BOMA, or other relevant area calculation requirements). 

  • Summary Table: This table auto-generates values based on “Use Types” and “Area.” 

    • Available? [Zero Tool] (Y/N): This field indicates whether a regional average baseline is available from Zero Tool for the specified project type. If available, regional average baselines provide more accurate baselines for target setting and reporting.

    • BASELINE (National Average) (Units = kBtu/sf/yr): An auto-generated value determined by the Use Type selected. This is "looked up" in the use type table to determine the BASELINE CBECS Average value displayed. Note that National Average values are less accurate than regional baselines generated through Zero Tool.

    • GOAL (2030 Challenge) (Units = kBtu/sf/yr): An auto-generated value determined by multiplying the BASELINE CBECS average by the Architecture 2030 Challenge percentage reduction target (70% for years 2015-2019).

    • Lighting Power Density BASELINE (Units = W/sf (Watts per square foot)): An auto-generated value determined by the Use Type selected, referencing the use type table to determine the BASELINE Lighting Power Density (based on ASHRAE 90.1-2007 values) value displayed.

    • Weighted Totals: The auto-generated totals that are influenced by multiple use types and the areas associated with them. An example is provided in the figure above. In this example the Retail use type accounts for 18% of the overall building area (20,000/115,000) and the Office use type accounts for 82% (9,000/110,000). The weighted total in the BASELINE CBECS Average column is therefore determined by multiplying the Retail BASELINE EUI (72) by 22%, then multiplying the Office BASELINE EUI (104) by 78%, and then adding them together. The same calculation is performed for each of the four columns.

Section 2: Energy Analysis (Residential & Non-Residential Projects)
  • Status of Energy Model*: Determines if the project has an energy model developed, planned or not, and what input fields in Section 2 and Section 3 are displayed. The selection options include: 

  • HAS BEEN Modeled: All Energy Model input fields and the link to the Design Energy and Emission Inputs dialog box are displayed. In addition PREDICTED (Section 3) is active for direct input of the Predicted EUI.
  • Will be modeled: The inputs for "Responsible Party for Energy Model" and "Energy Modeling Tool" are displayed. In addition a checkbox question appears in the bottom ofSection 3, asking if an EUI has been established yet?  If the checkbox is selected, then the user will be prompted to enter Predicted EUI in PREDICTED (Section 3).
  • Will NOT be modeled: All the Energy Model inputs are hidden and PREDICTED displays "Not Determined".
  • Responsible Party for Energy Model (Available when "Status of Energy Model" is "HAS Been Modeled" or "Will Be Modeled"): Identifies what party is doing the modeling for the project. (Options: Architectural Team, Design Engineer, Modeling Consultant, Other.)

  • Energy Modeling Tool* (Available when "Status of Energy Model" is "HAS Been Modeled" or "Will Be Modeled", and it is a required field): It documents the analysis tool that was used for energy modeling/analysis during the specific project phase. The energy modeling tool may vary across the unique phases of the project. The list of options is not comprehensive, but is intended to be updated periodically to provide a set of common and relevant tools in the industry. 

  • Energy modeling tool drop-down options:

    • 30 AEDG AERG

    • 50 AEDG AERG

    • Autodesk Insight 360

    • Cove.tool

    • DOE 2.2

    • DOE-2.1E Energy Pro

    • DOE-2.1E VisualDOE

    • DOE-2.2 eQuest

    • DOE-2.2 GreenBuildingStudio

    • DOE-2.2 Other

    • EnergyPlus AECOSim

    • EnergyPlus DesignBuilder

    • EnergyPus Ladybug Tools

    • EnergyPlus OpenStudio

    • EnergyPlus Other

    • EnergyPlus Simergy

    • HAP

    • HEED

    • Home Energy Saver

    • IES – Virtual Environment

    • None

    • Other

    • Other design guide

    • Other energy simulation tool

    • REM Rate

    • Safaira

    • Trace 3D Plus

    • Trace 700

    • TRNSYS

  • Time Spent on Energy Modeling (Available when HAS BEEN Modeled is selected for the "Status of the Energy Model"): The estimated range of hours spent by the responsible energy modeling party on developing, refining and analyzing the energy model to date.  

  • Fuel types, renewables, and emissions inputs (previously Design Energy and Emissions Inputs) (Available only when HAS BEEN Modeled is selected for the "Status of the Energy Model"): Selecting the checkbox launches a dialog box that allows input of the relevant values for some or all of the input fields to determine the Design Site Energy Use Intensity, Design Source Energy Use Intensity, the Design Greenhouse Gas Emissions and the Design Greenhouse Gas Emissions Intensity. Once the relevant input values have been entered, select the "Calculate" button and the metrics will be calculated based on the values and displayed at the top of the dialog box. 

Data source: The calculations in the Design Energy and Emissions Analysis dialog box are based on factors on the project zip code entered. These are matched to electricity emissions factors obtained from the current versions of the US EPA's Power Profiler eGRID Subregion and the GHG Emissions Finder Tool. 

  • Design Energy Code*: A required field that documents the design energy code for the project. The drop-down list contains a periodically updated set of the most common design energy codes in the US, but is not comprehensive.

The Design Energy Code selected determines the code equivalent savings above the baseline associated with the project. The percentage reduction based on code displays in the SAVINGS in the metrics bar. To review the current design energy code selection options, and their associated code equivalent % savings assumptions, see the Code Equivalent table. Note, code equivalent performance is based on DOE calculations comparing the selected ASHRAE 90.1-2007 plus further conversion to the 2003 CBECS baseline by the New Buildings Institute (NBI).

Energy Model Status options that reference Design Energy Code equivalent savings:

  • "Will NOT be Modeled"

  • "Will be Modeled", with the "Has the project established an EUI yet?" checkbox remaining unchecked.

What to do if design energy code is not on the list? If the design energy code for the project is not included on the list, please refer to the Code Equivalent table, review the code options, and select the one that is the closest in stringency to the local code. Also, please select the Feedback button on the DDx, and input information similar to the information displayed in the figure below, to let AIA know of design energy codes that should be considered for inclusion.

  • Will Energy Use Data be Collected?: A checkbox input that establishes if energy use data will be collected for the project. This is an important component of successfully bringing a building on-line effectively and tracking performance moving forward.

Section 3: Baseline & Target Energy Use Intensity (Residential and Non-Residential)
  • Define Baseline: Select one of three options (radio buttons) for how the BASELINE EUI will be determined for the project. The radio buttons differ for Residential and Non-Residential project categories. Additional baseline guidance is available here.



  • Zero Tool (recommended)

  • Regional Average

  • Other defined – special cases

  • Zero Tool (recommended)

  • National Average

  • Other

The BASELINE EUI  displayed in this section also displays in the Metrics Bar at the top of the screen. Note: An energy model baseline value (ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G compliant or other) could also be entered in the "Other" field.

  • Option 1: Zero Tool: (RECOMMENDED): The Zero Tool incorporates regional weather files to determine a baseline based on 2003 CBECS. Default values will populate automatically when the Zero Tool radio button is selected. Users can hone the baseline with project specific data through the "optional inputs" button to provide additional information. 


If using the optional inputs pop-up to calculate, each use type must be completed (with the exception of the optional Annual Heating and Cooling Degree Days). By completing the inputs and selecting > Calculate, the Zero Tool API communicates those values directly to the Zero Tool to calculate the baseline EUI. The result populates the BASELINE field in section 3, and is displayed in the metrics bar at the top of the screen. More on the Zero Tool and the DDx can be found here, and the tool itself is available here

  • Option 2: National Average (CBECS): This option references the 2003 Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) average that corresponds to the selected use type; a table of use types and National Average EUIs is included here.

Default values will populate automatically when the National Average radio button is selected. If more than one use type has been selected for a project, the tool calculates a weighted total value to develop the National Average EUI for the project: ((Use Type 1 EUI X Use Type 1 GSF) + (Use Type 2 EUI X Use Type 2 GSF)) / (Use Type 1 GSF + Use Type 2 GSF).

  • Option 3: Other: This manual input option is provided for project types and cases that don't lend themselves to effectively using Option 1 or Option 2. Additionally, if a detailed baseline energy model has been developed for the project in alignment with ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G, then the EUI can be input manually in Section 4, Additional Inputs. Additional baseline guidance is available here.
  • BASELINE (Units = kBtu/sf/yr): The BASELINE EUI for the project.  The baseline value auto-populates when Zero Tool or National Average are selected in Define Baseline. This value is also displayed in the Metrics Bar.
  • GOAL (Units = kBtu/sf/yr): Once the Baseline EUI has been established, then the GOAL EUI is displayed for a quick reference. The calculation is just the BASELINE EUI multiplied by the current Architecture 2030 Challenge % reduction. The GOAL EUI is also displayed in the Metrics Bar.

  • TARGET (Units = kBtu/sf/yr): The current design energy use intensity (pEUI) for the project. The manually entered pEUI should result from an energy model simulation and/or a parametric simulation assessment. This value also displays on the Metrics Bar.

Section 3: Baseline & Target Energy Use Intensity (Interiors Only)

This is the section where the PREDICTED, BASELINE and GOAL LPD values are determined, providing the metrics displayed in the Metrics Bar. 

  • Define Energy Code*: The design energy code for the project. To review a table of the current design energy code selection options, and their associated code equivalent % savings assumptions, see Code Equivalent Savings.

  • Was the LPD Calculated?*: Identifies if the predicted LPD for the project was calculated or if a default or placeholder LPD value has been included. The response to this question assists in the development of the AIA 2030 Commitment Annual Report. 

  • Define Baseline*: For Interior Only projects there are two options for how the BASELINE LPD can be determined:

    • Option 1: Default (ASHRAE 90.1-2007): When selected, the DDx establishes the BASELINE LPD based on the use type(s) entered.

    • Option 2: Space by Space: When selected, the BASELINE field is activated so that the the appropriate BASELINE LPD calculated elsewhere can be manually input.

  • BASELINE (Units = W/sf): The LPD value that is determined by the option selected in BASELINE TARGET to develop the BASELINE.

  • GOAL (Units = W/sf): Once the Baseline LPD has been established, then the GOAL LPD is displayed for a quick reference. The calculation is the BASELINE LPD multiplied by the current reduction goal (25%). The GOAL LPD is also displayed in the Metrics Bar.

  • TARGET LPD: The current lighting power density (LPD) for the project design is entered. Typically the manually entered LPD will be the result of a basic calculation. The value entered here will be displayed in the Metrics Bar.

Section 4: Additional Inputs

These inputs are optional and vary based on the project category selected (Non-residential, Residential, and Interiors Only). When the option is not available for all three project categories it is noted for which it is available below.




Interiors Only

  • Lighting Power Density
  • Window to Wall Ratio %
  • ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G Baseline Energy Model
  • Renewables
  • Occupancy Sensor Included?
  • Daylighting Sensors Included?
  • Water
  • Window to Wall Ratio %
  • ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G Baseline Energy Model
  • Renewables
  • Water
  • Window to Wall Ratio %
  • ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G Baseline Energy Model
  • Renewables
  • Occupancy Sensor Included?
  • Daylighting Sensors Included?
  • Water


  • Lighting Power Density (LPD) (Units: Watts/Square Foot (W/sf)) (Non-residential projects only): The lighting power density for the overall building as compared to the overall square footage of the building. This provides a useful comparison metric for the projects, as well as acting as an energy use indicator. (Non-residential only)
  • Window-to-Wall Ratio % (Input Type/units: Manual Input/ % (percentage)): The window-to-wall ratio is the percentage of glazing per wall area for all sides and all floors of the building. It provides an interesting comparison metric for firms for their projects and portfolio, and also provides a useful energy use indicator.
  • ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G Baseline Energy Model (Input Type/ units: Manual Input/ kBtu/sf/yr): If the Baseline EUI for the project has been determined using another approach, the BASELINE EUI in Section 2 can be entered using the User Defined approach, allowing an additional Baseline EUI value from an ASHRAE 90.1 Appendix G model to be associated with the project for reference. Note: the entry of a value here is only for reference and comparison, and does not influence any calculations within the DDx. 
  • Renewables: Establishes if renewable energy sources are an energy savings strategy and part of the project. Select all that apply; the current options are PV (Photovoltaic), Wind Turbine, Solar Thermal, and none. 
  • Occupancy Sensors Included?:  A checkbox input that establishes if occupancy sensors were used on the project. (Non-residential & Interiors Only)
  • Daylighting Sensors Included?: A checkbox input that establishes if daylighting sensors for daylight dimming controls were used on the project. (Non-residential & Interiors Only)
  • Water: A checkbox input that establishes if water efficiency strategies were incorporated in the project. When the checkbox is selected, the following options are available: 
    • Reduction in Potable Water per LEED?: A checkbox input that establishes if reducing potable water, along the lines of the requirements in the LEED for Building and Construction Rating system, was pursued as a strategy for the project. 
    • Only non-potable water used for irrigation (or no irrigation)?: A checkbox input that establishes whether using only non-potable water for irrigation or including no irrigation were project strategies. 
    • Water collected for reuse (e.g,. rainwater, graywater or blackwater)?: A checkbox input that establishes if water harvesting of various types was a strategy for the project. 
  • Do you track embodied carbon?: A checkbox input that establishes if (whole building) embodied carbon was calculated for the project. When the checkbox is selected, users are able to input their (whole building) embodied carbon amount in metric tons CO2.

Section 5: Notes 

This section is for internal use only, if firms want to keep any notes about project progress for their own memory, to collaborate on inputs, or in any other way that helpful. 

Section 6: Inputs Responsibility

Administrators can assign DDx users responsible for project data for reference or accountability.

Section 7: Last Updated

Provides a log of which user most recently updated the project.