The New Buildings Institute released a summary report (available here) following a Seattle summit on building performance outcomes. To excerpt from the report,
The goal of advancing the buildings industry to focus on actual, measured energy performance and life-cycle approaches has been a bit of a fairytale. The Getting to Outcome-Based Performance Summit was intended to be a step on the path to “happily ever after.” This gathering of industry thought leaders was convened to provide vision in the research, policies and other solutions that will advance the industry. Immediately, the group identified the need to focus in two key areas—codes and policies, and industry practice. While these areas often involve different audiences, the success of the overall advancement to outcome-based performance will require a coordinated approach. Design and construction must be linked with operations and maintenance to realize performance goals. Participants identified several goals based on their vision for the industry. These include:
• Service-based models for delivery where comfort and occupant experience are the deliverables.
• Refocus the modeling industry away from models solely as compliance and verification tools (~80% of their current use) to performance and design decision-making tools (~20% of their current use).
• Move toward requirements where a project’s energy use intensity (EUI) is predictable based on building type, rather than large variations in EUI based on design decisions.
• Develop a simple, three-page energy code focused on performance outcome.
In addition to these high-level goals, participants identified several existing challenges and the steps necessary to overcome them. Many of these were addressed in greater depth during the breakout sessions; they provided an important starting point for the discussion and are listed below.
• Occupants: Occupants must share clear, direct responsibility for outcomes and be engaged in achieving the desired results.
• Operations: Greater knowledge and skill is required in operations— operations and maintenance staff should no longer be relegated to the basement. They are part of the team and should be compensated in line with their importance to the mission. Unions could be part of this effort.
• Policymakers: Policymakers need to understand what is actually possible and build policies and programs around those possibilities. Such programs and policies should be built on feedback loops.
• Responsibility for Performance: Building design, construction and operations have become increasingly complex. With the convergence of systems and growing complexity in interactions, clear lines of responsibility seldom exist.
• Project Team Goals: From day one, complete project teams should be assembled, and comfort and energy goals identified.
• Valuation: Valuation criteria and corporate decision making need to shift. The value of real estate should be more closely tied to performance. The industry must move away from over-emphasis on minimizing first cost, which is only perpetuated by the concept of payback. Energy performance is an investment that increases net present value and generates other substantial economic and other benefits.
• Integrated Design: Design-bid-build models should be sunset in favor of integrated design paths that yield integrated risk and reward structures.
• Change over time: Current codes require design for a snapshot in time, yet buildings evolve over their lifetime.
• Scale: Outcomes beyond individual buildings are required. This can drive policy development at the community level across multiple sectors to achieve the desired goals.
• Operations phase: Codes regulate design and construction, but what regulates operations? Codes could fill that gap, but should they?
• Building energy data: A new framework for data based on real-time information is needed. The Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) model is obsolete.
This report summarizes the key discussions and findings identified at the Summit and ties these issues together with additional information and narratives focused on advancing the building industry toward tools and practices to advance measured building performance outcomes.
To read more of the report, click here.