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Smart Organizations Transform Buildings from Burdensome Liabilities into Business-essential, High-performing Assets

July 20, 2012

Smart organizations transform buildings from burdensome liabilities into business-essential, high-performing assets. This statement might seem simple on its surface, but the idea gets at the heart of what the high performance buildings approach is all about. For building owners who grasp this concept, the reward is a building that reinforces, rather than detracts from, the organizational mission.

Typical buildings have occupied lives of 50 to 75 years or longer, and operating costs typically account for 60 to 85 percent of building lifecycle costs. With that in mind, building owners simply can't afford to ignore the performance of their building or let dwindling performance continue to slide and not expect it to negatively impact the bottom line as well as their organizational mission.

Creating a high performance building means employing technology and data-driven decision-making to help lower costs and avoid substantial lifecycle expenditures. Embracing predictive building maintenance strategies, establishing and maintaining sound operating metrics and adopting performance-based service concepts are some of the steps that building owners should take if they're serious about transforming their building's performance long-term.

For those owners who take it seriously, the high performance buildings approach will reduce lifecycle costs so companies can invest in other priorities and make buildings “assets” instead of “expenses.”

Ultimately, just as every organization has a unique mission, each building has unique characteristics that must be considered when mapping a course. Owners should work with experts to review potential energy conservation measures (ECMs) and assess their savings potential and commercial viability. Owners can then leverage this data and information for better decision making. Performance standards are then created, measured and continually validated to deliver the desired outcomes.

We sometimes refer to high performance buildings as a journey, because it is an ongoing process and a distinct way of thinking about a building, and not a final "destination." Owners and operators who take this high performance buildings journey and create, measure and validate performance standards that support business outcomes will not only achieve superior building performance, but will drive a smarter business and a stronger bottom line.