Seven need-to-know building performance strategies (USGBC Wisconsin)
USGBC Wisconsin MLAB member Doug Pearson shares tips on building performance strategies.
What goes into measuring and improving building performance? Building performance strategies can cover a wide range of topics. Each strategy is important, yet each is just one aspect of what it takes to achieve a successful project.
- Accessibility: This should go beyond the minimum as defined under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to address universal design, equal access and flexibility.
- Aesthetics: The building aesthetic needs to consider design elements that fit into the community or campus, and represent the desired architectural style.
- Cost-effectiveness: The need to be cost-effective will suggest the building materials, but also use life-cycle costing and consider nonmonetary benefits such as aesthetic, historic preservation, safety, security, flexibility, resiliency and sustainability.
- Functionality: Make sure to account for the needs of the owner, ensure appropriate product and systems integration and meet the performance objectives.
- Productivity: This involves integrating technology, creating audio/visual systems, promoting health and well-being of the occupants, providing comfortable environments for the intended tasks and assuring reliable systems and spaces.
- Safety and security: Address fire safety, indoor air quality, natural hazard mitigation and security for the occupants and assets.
- Sustainability: Optimize energy use, conserve water, use the site's full potential, control long-term maintenance costs and reduce the impact on the environment through environmentally friendly building materials.
Identify project goals early on, and coordinate the interdependencies of all building systems concurrently with the planning and programming phase. Following a defined building performance strategy can result in such performance changes as 25 percent less energy, 19 percent lower operating costs, 27 percent higher occupant satisfaction, and 36 percent fewer CO2 emissions.
Using USGBC’s LEED standards can help you implement these strategies.