The high performance building concept has been around since the late 1990s, starting with the high performance schools movement that has since been embraced by school districts in most states. A decade later, high performance building principles are being applied worldwide in nearly every type of structure, from schools and municipal buildings to hospitals, technology centers, industrial plants and other kinds of facilities.
Studies have demonstrated that high performance buildings use fewer resources, have a smaller environmental footprint and provide a better place for people to work, visit and live. High performance buildings tend to have better occupancy rates, command higher rents and retain value or appreciate faster than comparable structures in the same real estate market.
So it stands to reason that more new buildings than ever before are being designed to enhance their performance in such dimensions as energy and water efficiency, environmental impact, operational reliability and occupant health and welfare. Meanwhile, owners and operators of existing buildings are using new technologies and practices to turn their older facilities into high performance buildings.