(Source: UMass Amherst)
“New recommendations by a National Research Council (NRC) expert panel on green and sustainable building performance could lead to a revolution in building science by creating the first large building performance database” – Paul Fisette, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
NRC panel members were asked to consider whether nearly 500,000 structures owned by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) worldwide are being operated as sustainably and as efficiently as possible according to a number of green building standards, including Green Globes, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). After a nine-month assessment of energy efficiency, water use and many other sustainability factors at about 300,000 of the DOD facilities, one of their top recommendations is that the department should start metering such variables as energy and water use, to collect information on how different facilities perform in many different environments.
What is lacking in building science has been this consistent set of data, really large samples over time.
One of the things learned from this study is that the Defense Department is the perfect organization to be able to provide ongoing data. The DOD is a “single” owner of a lot of property and they have control over how it’s operated, along with costs, uses and standards.
The DOD has the opportunity to continue to take a leadership role in improving the knowledge base about high-performance buildings, improving decision-support tools and improving building models by collecting data on measured energy, water and other resource use for its portfolio of buildings and by collaborating with others.
Central to any sustainability effort, however, is the ability to execute the numerous associated renovation, repair, and minor new construction projects. Proven collaborative, transparent, and productive construction delivery methods such as Job Order Contracting, JOC, are an important component of success.
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