eTool International Commercial Office Benchmark (Methodology Summary)

Below is a summary of our approach to the International commercial benchmark. A full EN15978 report on the benchmark model can be found here.

In light of eTool’s recent exploration into global markets, we thought it prudent to create a “global” benchmark for each building type assessed.  You can read the full methodology behind the residential benchmark here. Outlined on this page is the approach we took for the commercial office benchmark.

The purpose of the eTool benchmark is:

  • To establish a common measuring stick against which all projects are assessed so that any project can be comparable to another (for the same building type);
  • To create a starting point, or “average, business as usual case” from which to measure improvements.

Benchmark Form and Structure

The benchmark has been created to represent a generic commercial office building built in a developed country.  The statistics for a range of developed countries have been population weighted and combined into a single theoretical average dwelling.


The structure of the commercial benchmark model takes a generic 10 storey office building with 2 basement levels for car parking plant equipment etc. 

Benchmark sketchup

The building is a typical double glazed concrete structure, some further characteristics are shown below a full list of all inputs can be downloaded here.

commercial benchmark summary table 2


Benchmark Operational

The operational statistics used in the benchmark are based on energy data obtained for each country.  A detailed summary of the methodology behind each of the data sources can be downloaded here.


This information was combined with end use data and population weighted to provide the following final energy figures for the commercial benchmark.

Energy Summary COmmercial Benchmark

Existing data has been used for operational energy, and arguably new build data would be preferable, but total existing data is generally a lot more robust (and readily available). Whilst new build energy figures were available for some countries, the figures tend to be from modelling completed for regulatory purposes and are therefore theoretical. In many countries there is a perceived “performance gap” between modelling results and actual consumption mainly due to differences in occupant behavior, but also because of limitations in software and methodologies used for the modelling. The hope is that there will be continued industry effort towards monitoring of new build performances. Until further data in this area is available, we have a robust snapshot of how average buildings are currently performing by taking existing building data.

The global average water consumption ……..

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