Building performance

The building performance of a building or built environment, its impact on natural environment, its environment and its users. It is achieved through architectural, architectural design, efficient energy use and sustainability.

Although many buildings in the US, Canada, UK, and elsewhere claim to be “green,” “low energy,” or “high performance,” it is rarely clear on what evidence or claims. Such claims may not be credible without standardized performance measurements that are applied consistently. If claims of superior building performance are considered, it is essential that a common set of measurements be used and the results reported against meaningful benchmarks. Such protocols are also needed to give feedback to build designers and operators when measured performance does not match design intent. This article describes ASHRAE’s Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings (PMPs), which provides a standardized, consistent set of protocols. to facilitate the comparison of measured energy, water, and indoor environmental quality, performance of commercial buildings, while maintaining acceptable levels of occupancy. Benchmarks are included in the protocols to facilitate comparison with peer review (often before and after retrofit). A recent article describing just the acoustic performance measurement protocols in the PMP has been published in the ASHRAE Journal. The PMP is a collaborative effort of ASHRAE, the US Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE). It began with a detailed evaluation of literature related to measured performance technical measurements, M & V protocols, and available instrumentation. A project committee representing several ASHRAE Technical Committees (TC 7.6, 7.9, 4.7, and others) developed the content. Characteristics of the Protocols The protocols identify what to measure, how it is to be measured (instrumentation and spatial resolution), and how often it is measured for inclusion in the building’s operation and maintenance plan. For each of the six measure categories (energy, water, thermal comfort, IAQ, lighting, and acoustics), low and high frequency , and rigor to characterize the building stock, and comparison to relevant benchmarks. For this purpose, the following characteristics are described: ASHRAE Headquarters Building in Atlanta (facing page), Protocols for Energy, Water, and IEQ. Measurements were taken by the commissioning authority for the renovation during 2009 and 2010, after the renovated building was reoccupied and was undergoing post-occupancy commissioning. Occupant surveys were taken before and after the renovation to evaluate indoor environmental quality.