Tackling Building Performance

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has launched a new Building Performance Initiative, designed to establish “a comprehensive data collection effort from all buildings that have achieved LEED certification.” Additionally, the initiative will implement an appropriate analysis methodology of that data and provide feedback to building owners, giving them better information with which to address any performance gaps stemming from predicted building performance versus actual performance.

The USGBC says this the Building Performance Initiative complements the announcement earlier this year that will require ongoing performance data from buildings as part of the certification process under the latest version of LEED.

“This initiative is about gathering knowledge about building performance in a way no one has ever done before,” said USGBC LEED Senior Vice President, Scot Horst.  “The information that we collect from our certified projects is a workable, holistic approach for achieving better performing buildings.”

Numerous factors affect the ability of a building to deliver high performance, including energy modeling tools, properly timed energy models, quality building commissioning, proper goal setting/benchmarking, coordination between design and operation, and how occupants use the building day to day.

“Plenty of people are content to simply point to these longstanding issues without offering a constructive way to address them.  We’re going to take them on and engage practitioners and thought leaders alike in establishing a national roadmap to optimize building performance,” continued Horst.

That engagement mechanism is four Building Performance Initiative summits to be held across the country this September and October.  Participants will have a chance to preview USGBC’s data collection agenda and proposed analysis methodology and provide other feedback.

“The local summits are a way to gather people’s input for our vision and also for them to share their performance stories, successes and challenges,” said Horst.

The inputs from these meetings will be reported on at the First Annual Building Performance Summit at Greenbuild, Nov. 11-13, 2009 in Phoenix.