cove.tool allows users to select a custom building type beyond the 8 standard templates seen at the beginning of every project. This article defines the meaning of each listed building type option. For further explanations of each building type, please check out EnergyStar.Gov for more information. Also note that selecting a custom building type will only change the benchmarking diagram in the baseline page, and not alter any values in the engineering inputs.
Adult Education - refers to buildings used primarily for providing adult students with continuing education, workforce development, or professional development outside of the college or university setting.
College / University - refers to buildings used for the purpose of higher education. This includes public and private colleges and universities.
K-12 School - refers to buildings or campuses used as a school for Kindergarten through 12th-grade students. This does not include college or university classroom facilities/laboratories, vocational, technical, trade, adult or continuing education schools, preschool, or daycare. If the school serves any of the above student populations (e.g., an elementary school that includes pre-kindergarten), at least 75% of the students must be in grades kindergarten through 12.
Pre-school / DayCare - applies to buildings used for educational programs or daytime supervision/recreation for young children before they attend Kindergarten.
Vocational School - refers to buildings primarily designed to teach skilled trades to students, including trade and technical schools. Typically vocational schools are commonly post-secondary education, consisting of 1-2 years of technical/trade training.
Other Education - refers to buildings used for religious, community, or other educational purposes not described in the available property uses previously mentioned (i.e. educational purposes other than adult education, college/university, K-12 school, pre-school/daycare, and vocational schools).
Food Sales - refers to buildings used for the sales of food on either a retail or wholesale basis, but which do not meet the definition of Supermarket/Grocery Store, Convenience Store, or Convenience Store with Gas Stations. For example, specialty food sales like a cheese shop or butcher.
Food Service - refers to buildings used for preparation and sale of food and beverages, but which do not meet the definition of Restaurant or Bar/Nightclub. For example a bakery or coffee shop.
Convenience Store with Gas Station refers to buildings that are co-located with gas stations and are used for the sale of a limited range of items such as groceries, toiletries, newspapers, soft drinks, tobacco products, and other everyday items. Convenience Store with Gas Station may include space for vehicle servicing and repair.
Convenience Store without Gas Station - refers to buildings used for the sale of a limited range of items such as groceries, toiletries, newspapers, soft drinks, tobacco products, and other everyday items, which are not co-located with a gas station.
Supermarket - also known as Grocery Store, refers to buildings used for the retail sale of primarily food and beverage products, and which may include small amounts of preparation and sale of ready-to-eat food. Buildings, where the primary business is the onsite preparation and sale of ready-to-eat food, should use one of the Restaurant property types.
Wholesale Club - also known as a Supercenter, refers to buildings used to conduct the retail sale of a wide variety of merchandise, typically in bulk quantities. Merchandise may include food, clothing, office supplies, furniture, electronics, books, sporting goods, toys, and hardware.
Fast Food Restaurant - also known as Quick Service Restaurant, refers to buildings used for the preparation and sale of ready-to-eat food. Fast Food Restaurants are characterized by a limited menu of food prepared quickly (often within a few minutes), and sometimes cooked in bulk in advance and kept hot.
Restaurant - refers to buildings used for preparation and sale of ready-to-eat food and beverages, but which do not fit in the fast-food property type. Examples include fast-casual, casual, and fine dining restaurants.
Urgent Care Center - also known as Clinic/Other Outpatient Office, refers to buildings used to treat patients, usually on an unscheduled, walk-in basis, who have an injury or illness that requires immediate care but is not serious enough to warrant a visit to an emergency department.
Hospital - also known as inpatient hospital, refers to a general medical and surgical hospital (including critical access hospitals and children’s hospitals). These facilities provide acute care services intended to treat patients for short periods of time, including emergency medical care, physician's office services, diagnostic care, ambulatory care, surgical care, and limited specialty services such as rehabilitation and cancer care.
Specialty Hospital - refers to long-term acute care hospitals, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, including Cancer Centers and Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals/Facilities.
Medical Office - refers to buildings used to provide diagnosis and treatment for medical, dental, or psychiatric outpatient care.
Veterinary Office - refers to buildings used for the medical care and treatment of animals.
Senior Care Community- also known as Skilled Nursing/Assisted Living Facilities, refers to buildings that house and provide care and assistance for elderly residents. Senior Care Community applies to nursing homes (skilled nursing facilities) and assisted living facilities and is not intended for retirement communities that offer only independent living – a community with only independent living should benchmark under the Multifamily property use.
Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) - refers to health care facilities that provide same-day surgical care, including diagnostic and preventive procedures. This property type is for stand-alone ASCs that are not located within a Medical Office building.
Outpatient Rehabilitation Center - refers to buildings that provide rehabilitative and restorative care to patients on a long-term or permanent basis. Residential Care Facilities treat mental health issues, substance abuse, and rehabilitation for injury, illness, and disabilities. This property type is intended for facilities that offer long-term residential care to residents of all ages who may be in need of assistance with activities of daily living. If a facility is designed to provide nursing and assistance to seniors only, then the Senior Care Community property type should be used.
Physical Therapy Center - also known as General Outpatient/Physical Therapy offices, refers to buildings used to provide diagnosis and treatment for rehabilitation and physical therapy.
LODGING, Other than Residential
Hotel - refers to buildings renting overnight accommodations on a room/suite and nightly basis, and typically include a bath/shower and other facilities in guest rooms. Hotel properties typically have daily services available to guests including housekeeping/laundry and a front desk/concierge. The hotel does not apply to properties where more than 50% of the floor area is occupied by fractional ownership units such as condominiums or vacation timeshares, or to private residences that are rented out on a daily or weekly basis. Hotel properties should be majority-owned by a single entity and have rooms available on a nightly basis. Condominiums or Time Shares should select the Multifamily Housing property use.
Residence Hall - also known as Dormitory, refers to buildings associated with educational institutions or military facilities which offer multiple accommodations for long-term residents.
Other Residential Lodging - refers to buildings used for residential purposes other than those described above (i.e. residential other than multifamily residential, single-family home, senior care community, residence hall/dormitory, barracks, prison/incarceration, or hotel).
Office - refers to buildings used for the conduct of commercial or governmental business activities. This includes administrative and professional offices.
NOTE: Inside cove.tool, offices will be further categorized based on their floor area for a more accurate baseline. This includes Small Office (<10,000 SF), Medium Office (10,000 SF to 100,000 SF), & Large Office (>100,000 SF).
Aquarium - refers to buildings used to provide aquatic habitat primarily to live animals and which may include public or private viewing areas and educational programs.
Bar - also known as a Nightclub, refers to buildings used primarily for social/entertainment purposes and is characterized by most of the revenue being generated from the sale of beverages instead of food. Properties whose primary business revenues are generated from the sale of food should be entered using one of the Restaurant property uses, even if there is a bar.
Casino - refers to buildings primarily used to conduct gambling activities including both electronic and live table games. If your Casino is located in the same building as a hotel, we recommend that you enter a separate hotel property use.
Indoor Arena - refers to enclosed structures used for professional or collegiate sports and entertainment events. Examples of events held in indoor arenas include basketball and hockey games, circus performances, and concerts. Indoor Arenas usually have capacities of 5,000 seats or more and are often characterized by multiple concourses and concession areas.
Movie Theater - refers to buildings used for public or private film screenings.
Museum - refers to buildings that display collections to outside visitors for public viewing and enjoyment and for informational/educational purposes.
Race Track - refers to buildings used primarily to hold racing events such as vehicle races, track/field races, horse races, and/or dog-races.
Stadium - refers to structures used primarily for professional or collegiate sports and entertainment events in which the playing field is not covered and is exposed to the outside. Examples of events held in open stadiums include baseball, football, and soccer games, and concerts. Open Stadiums usually have capacities of 5,000 seats or more and are often characterized by multiple concourses and concession areas. If your Stadium has a covered field, ie, closed stadium, we recommend that you enter an Indoor Arena.
Transportation Terminal - also known as a Transportation Station, applies to buildings used primarily for accessing public or private transportation. This includes train stations, bus stations, airports, and seaports. These terminals include areas for ticket purchases, and embarkation/disembarkation, and may also include public waiting areas with restaurants and other concessions. Transportation Terminal can be selected to benchmark parking decks, but only as a secondary use type.
Zoo - refers to buildings used primarily to provide habitat to live animals and which may include public or private viewing and educational programs.
Other Entertainment - refers to buildings whose primary use is for entertainment or public gatherings and that do not meet the definition of any other property use defined above.
Performing Arts - refers to buildings used for public or private artistic or musical performances.
Library - refers to buildings used to store and manage collections of literary and artistic materials such as books, periodicals, newspapers, films, etc. that can be used for reference or lending.
Bowling Alley - refers to buildings used for public or private, recreational or professional bowling.
Fitness Center - also known as a Health Club or Gym, refers to buildings used for recreational or professional athletic training and related activities.
Ice / Curling Rink - Buildings that include one or more indoor ice sheets used for public or private, recreational or professional skating, hockey, or ringette. Larger facilities primarily serving professional or collegiate functions and with significant spectator seating (above 5,000 seats) should be entered as Indoor Arena.
Roller Rink - refers to buildings used primarily for roller-skating, inline skating/rollerblading, or skateboarding.
Swimming Pool - refers to any heated swimming pools located either inside or outside. To enter a swimming pool, a specific pool size must be selected. In order to enter buildings associated with a Swimming Pool, the main property use must be entered (e.g., K-12 School, Hotel, Fitness Center/Health Club/Gym, etc).
Other Recreation - refers to buildings primarily used for recreation that do not meet the definition of any other property use defined above.
Convention Center - refers to buildings used primarily for large conferences, exhibitions, and similar events. Convention centers may include a diverse variety of spaces, including large exhibition halls, meeting rooms, and concession stands. Conference facilities located within a Hotel should be included along with your Hotel property use details, rather than added as a separate Convention Center property use. Conference facilities primarily serving smaller meetings should be entered as Social/Meeting Hall.
Meeting Hall - also known as a Social Assembly/ Social Club, refers to buildings primarily used for public or private gatherings. This may include community group meetings, seminars, workshops, or performances. Please note that there is another property use available, Convention Center, for large exhibition and conference facilities.
Fire Station - refers to buildings used to provide emergency response services associated with fires. Fire stations may be staffed by either volunteer or full-time paid firemen.
Police Station - applies to buildings used for federal, state, or local police forces and their associated office space.
Other Public Services - refers to buildings used by public-sector organizations to provide public services other than those described in the available property uses above (i.e. services other than offices, courthouses, drinking water treatment and distribution plants, fire stations, libraries, mailing centers or post offices, police stations, prisons or incarceration facilities, social or meeting halls, transportation terminals or stations, or wastewater treatment plants).
Mobile Homes - refers to a large trailer or transportable prefabricated structure that is situated in one particular place and used as permanent living accommodation.
Multifamily Housing - refers to residential properties that contain two or more residential living units. These properties may include low-rise buildings (1-4 stories), mid-rise buildings (5-9 stories), or high-rise buildings (10+ stories). Occupants of these buildings may include tenants, cooperators, and/or individual owners. Communities of single-family homes are not eligible. If your property is a mix of multifamily and single-family homes, the property would still be eligible as long as the single-family homes are less than 25% of the total GFA.
Single Family Attached - refers to a residential structure consisting of two or more residential units that share common walls, but not including Apartments (ie. Rowhouses, townhouses, duplex).
Single Family Detached - refers to a standalone building with its own lot that provides living space for one household or family.
Enclosed Mall - refers to buildings that house multiple stores, often “anchored” by one or more department stores, and with interior walkways. Most stores will not have entrances accessible from outside, with the exception of the “anchor” stores.
Strip Mall - refers to buildings comprising more than one retail store, restaurant, or other business, in an open-air configuration where each establishment has an exterior entrance to the public and there are no internal walkways.
Automobile Dealership - refers to buildings used for the sale of new or used cars and light trucks.
Retail Store - refers to individual stores used to conduct the retail sale of non-food consumer goods such as clothing, books, toys, sporting goods, office supplies, hardware, and electronics. Buildings containing multiple stores should be classified as an enclosed mall, or strip mall.
Post Office - known as a Mailing Center, refers to buildings used as retail establishments dedicated to mail and mailing supplies. This includes U.S. Post Offices, in addition to private retailers that offer priority mail services and mailing supplies.
Personal Services - refers to buildings used to sell services rather than physical goods. Examples include dry cleaners, salons, spas, etc.
Repair Services - refers to buildings in which some type of repair service is provided. Examples include vehicle service or repair shops, shoe repair, jewelry repair, locksmiths, etc.
Other Services - refers to buildings in which primarily services are offered, but which does not fit into the Personal Services or Repair Services property types. Examples include kennels, photo processing shops, etc.
Self Storage Facility - refers to buildings that are used for private storage. Typically, a single Self Storage Facility will contain a variety of individual units that are rented out for the purpose of storing personal belongings.
Warehouse / Refrigerated - refers to refrigerated buildings that are used to store or redistribute perishable goods or merchandise under refrigeration at temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Buildings that are used primarily for assembling, modifying, manufacturing, or growing goods, products, merchandise, or raw material should be classified as Manufacturing Facility.
Warehouse / Unrefrigerated - refers to unrefrigerated buildings that are used to store goods, manufactured products, merchandise, or raw materials. Buildings that are used primarily for assembling, modifying, manufacturing, or growing goods, products, merchandise, or raw material should be classified as Manufacturing Facility.
Distribution Center - refers to unrefrigerated buildings that are used for the temporary storage and redistribution of goods, manufactured products, merchandise, or raw materials. Buildings that are used primarily for assembling, modifying, manufacturing, or growing goods, products, merchandise, or raw material should be classified as Manufacturing Facility.
MISCELLANEOUS BUILDING TYPES
Bank Branch - refers to a commercial banking outlet that offers banking services to walk-in customers.
Financial Office - refers to buildings used for financial services such as bank headquarters and securities and brokerage firms.
Courthouse - refers to buildings used for federal, state, or local courts and associated administrative office space.
Data Center - refers to buildings specifically designed and equipped to meet the needs of high-density computing equipment, such as server racks, used for data storage and processing. Typically these facilities require dedicated uninterruptible power supplies and cooling systems. Datacenter functions may include traditional enterprise services, on-demand enterprise services, high-performance computing, internet facilities, and/or hosting facilities. Often Data Centers are free standing, mission critical computing centers. When a data center is located within a larger building, it will usually have its own power and cooling systems, and require a constant power load of 75 kW or more. Data Center is intended for sophisticated computing and server functions; it should not be used to represent a server closet or computer training area. Learn more about uploading a Data Center project to the 2030 DDx here.
Barracks - refers to residential buildings associated with military facilities or educational institutions which offer multiple accommodations for long-term residents.
Mixed-Use Property - also known as a multi-use property, refer is a property that contains multiple use types, none of which are greater than 50% of the total Gross Floor Area (GFA), including parking GFA.
Worship Facility - refers to buildings that are used as places of worship. This includes churches, temples, mosques, synagogues, meetinghouses, or any other buildings that primarily function as a place of religious worship. Worship Facilities applies to buildings that function as the primary place of worship and not to other buildings that may be associated with a religious organization, such as living quarters, schools, or buildings used primarily for other community activities.
Energy / Power Station - applies to buildings containing machinery and/or associated equipment for generating electricity or district heat (steam, hot water, or chilled water) from a raw fuel, including fossil fuel power plants, traditional district heat power plants, combined heat and power plants, nuclear reactors, hydroelectric dams, or facilities associated with a solar or wind farm.
Other Utility Station - applies to buildings used by a utility for some purpose other than general office or energy/power generation. This may include utility transfer stations or maintenance facilities. Note that an administrative office occupied by a utility should be entered as Office, and a power or energy generation plant should be entered as Energy/Power Station.
NOTE: The following use-types are not included in the CBECs 2003 dataset and therefore unfortunately are not available to be benchmarked on the platform.
Laboratory - refers to buildings that provide controlled conditions in which scientific research, measurement, and experiments are performed or practical science is taught. Using ZeroTool to generate baselines, lab use-type is not a supported function, instead, it is recommended to use Labs21 for benchmarking.
Manufacturing/Industrial Plant - refers to buildings used for manufacturing or assembling goods. Typically a Manufacturing/Industrial plant includes a main production area that has high-ceilings and contains heavy equipment used for assembly line production. This building type is not listed in the CBECs 2003 data set, so unfortunately it is not an option for building type. in cove.tool because we currently have no benchmarking data, energy usage data available for this building type. It was not included in the CBECs 2003 survey which is what is used here. Like laboratories, Manufacturer and Industry Plant requires a custom datasets to, one of which is provided by EnergyStar, more information on that here.
Parking - refers to buildings and lots used for parking vehicles. This includes open parking lots, partially enclosed parking structures, and completely enclosed (or underground) parking structures. Parking structures may be free-standing or physically connected to the property. Individual private garages in Multifamily Housing are not considered Parking. For purposes of reporting to the DDx, Transportation Terminal may be selected for benchmarking, however, this should not be the primary use type.
Prison / Incarceration - refers to federal, state, local, or private-sector buildings used for the detention of persons awaiting trial or convicted of crimes. Cove.tool does not support prisons due to ethical concerns around mass incarceration of people of color. We are supporting the AIA and it’s recent call to action on this topic. See here for the full policy statement from the AIA here.
Drinking-Water Treatment Center - refers to facilities designed to pump and distribute drinking water through a network of pipes. Depending on the water source (groundwater, surface water, purchased water), a water utility may or may not contain a treatment process. This property use applies to any/all water sources and any/all levels of treatment.
Wastewater Treatment Center - refers to facilities designed to treat municipal wastewater. The level of treatment at a plant will vary based on the BOD limits and the specific processes involved. This property use is intended for primary, secondary, and advanced treatment facilities with or without nutrient removal. Treatment processes may include biological, chemical, and physical treatment. This property use does not apply to drinking water treatment and distribution facilities.