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Commercial building energy codes are largely prescriptive, combining mandatory requirements for lighting controls with limits on lighting loads by application. The typical lighting load metric is lighting power density (LPD) measured in watts per square foot. Code authorities are considering approaches to energy codes that are performance based instead of mainly prescriptive. In a performance-based code, the building would be designed so that it would operate within a target limit for energy consumption as the primary metric. http://www.aboutlightingcontrols.org/education/papers/2010/2010_performance-codes.shtml
Are Performance-Based Models the Future of Commercial Building Energy Codes? by Craig DiLouie, Lighting Controls Association.