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Evaluating the Journey of a High Performance Building

March 12, 2013

The construction or retrofit of a high performance building is exciting: The new technology, the gadgets, the occupant buzz and the eventual launch can all make for a very dramatic affair. But what’s less sexy – and no less important – is what happens afterwards.

The true measure of a high performance building (HPB) is its performance, of course. A recent piece in Seattle’s Daily Journal of Commerce agrees, and notes that the real test of success comes a year or two later when building operations are reviewed and compared to design expectations.

The author calls this evaluation the “fifth element” of HPB delivery, after the concept phase, detailed design and construction documents, construction administration and, finally, the commissioning are all completed. Evaluation is critical to helping our industry determine the best return on the investment in the design, construction and operational elements, and apply those lessons to future buildings.

Here at Trane, we refer to “the journey of becoming a high performance building” because, as the article explains, optimizing energy use and occupant productivity do not happen overnight.

From the first day of operation, a building should rely on real-time data, continuous monitoring, and make the necessary adjustments along the way to maximize efficiencies.

Setting the best tools and technology in place is just the first step; the key to ensuring a successful HPB journey is being nimble to the realities you find and ultimately applying the lessons learned to the creation of an easier roadmap for the future.