BIM and The Role of a Construction Cost Estimator

Professional construction cost estimators are critical to any collaborative, transparent, and productive  BIM solution.   BIM, facilities life-cycle management supported by digital technology will create a high demand cost estimators with a thorough understanding of building systems and associated repair, renovation, sustainability and construction techniques, materials, equipment, and labor.   Experienced cost estimators who appropriately leverage technology and embrace collaboration will excel.  Navigating the current AEC sector-wide paradigm shift from antagonistic ad-hoc processes such as design-bid-build, excessive change-orders, and even modest attempts at improvement such as design-build, to collaborative, efficient project delivery methods such as integrated project delivery – IPD, and job order contracting – JOC will be a challenge for some, but a willing change for most.

A team approach, support by technologies such as domain-specific cloud-computing solutions (cost estimating, capital planning, maintenance/repair, …)  integrated with 3D visualization tools..aka Revit will become commonplace.  Owners, AEs, Contractors, Sub-Contractors, Oversight Groups, Business Product Manufacturers- BPMs, and the Community will all gain higher visibility into life-cycle needs and impacts of the built environment.

All who collaborate openly to exceed client’s expectations, and produce efficient, quality construction, renovation, repair, and sustainability on-time, and on-budget will thrive, while non-participants will fall by the wayside.

The AECOO’s (architecture, engineering, construction, owner, operations) legacy of fragmented, unproductive approaches,  ad hoc practices, and associated lack of trust will crumble, to be replaced by OPEN, transparent, and collaborative PROCESSES supported by robust technology.

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2010 – Defining High Performance Buildings – An O & M Strategy – A Systems-based Approach

via http://www.4clicks.com – premier cost estimating and project management software for facility repair, renovation, sustainability, and minor new construction.

A great read, important to anyone involved in, or affected by facility management!  Misses a few key points, such as CPMS – Capital Planning and Management Systems, and Construction Delivery Methods (IPD, JOC) relative to requisite software components with associated embedded processes, but key points are spot on!  – blog author

“A  building  that  integrates  and  optimizes  on  a  lifecycle  basis  all  major  high  performance attributes, including energy [and water] conservation, environment, safety, security, durability, accessibility,    cost-benefit,    productivity,    sustainability,    functionality,    and    operational considerations” (Energy Independence and Security Act 2007 401 PL 110-140).

 

Defining a High Performance Building  Within  both  research  and  industry,  the  terms  high  performance  building,  green  building, sustainable buildings, and intelligent buildings are used.  Although many would argue that many of  these  terms  are  still  being  defined  or  refined,  this  paper  suggests  that  these  terms  are   interrelated.

(Source-IFMA Journal  Vol.1, No.2 – November 2010)

Defining High Performance Buildings for Operations and Maintenance Angela Lewis, David Riley, Abbas Elmualim

ABSTRACT Most  practicing  facility  managers,  engineers  and  building  owners,  as  well  as  academics  and researchers of the built environment have heard of the term high performance building.  Some may even be designing, constructing or working in or researching high performance buildings.  However, what a high performance building is, especially for operations and maintenance, is still being  debated  and  defined.    The  aim  of  this  research  paper  is  to  synthesize  current  literature about  high  performance  buildings,  with  a  specific  focus  on  operations  and  maintenance.    In doing  so,  the  paper  seeks  to  further  define  what  a  high  performance  building  is,  while  also hypothesizing   that   to   overcome   current   challenges   to   achieve   successful   operation   and maintenance  of  a  high  performance  building  will  require  practitioners  and  researchers  to collaborate  to  solve  the  challenges  necessary  to  successfully  operate  and  maintain  high performance  buildings.    The  paper  concludes  that  systems-thinking,  for  both  building  systems (heating,  ventilating  and  air-conditioning,  lighting  and  others)  and  organizational  systems,  is necessary to achieving successful high performance building operation.

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

BAS: Building automation system

BIM: Building information model

CAFM: Computer aided facility management system

CMMS: Computerized maintenance management system

FDD: Fault detection diagnostics

HPB: High performance building

HVAC: Heating, ventilating and air conditioning

IWMS: Integrated work management system

O&M: Operations and maintenance

INTRODUCTION The  operational  phase  of  a  commercial  building  is  significantly  longer  than  the  design  and construction phase of a project.  The lifecycle cost of the operational life of a building is about 60 to 85 percent of the total lifecycle cost, where as the design and construction is about five to ten percent. Acquisition, renewal and disposal costs are between five and 35 percent of the total life cycle cost (Christian and Pandeya 1997).  When employee salaries and benefits are included in the lifecycle cost, design and construction costs make up only one percent of the lifecycle cost.  Operations and maintenance make up 11 percent and employee salaries and benefits make up 88 percent of the lifecycle cost (NIBS 1998).     As  the  operational  phase  of  a  building  is  longer  and  more  cost  intensive,  the  focus  of  this research  paper  is  to  define  what  a  high  performance  building  is  for  the  operations  and maintenance  phase  of  commercial  buildings.    To  date,  much  of  the  research  work  within  high performance buildings has focused on design and construction.  In order to meet many energy efficiency and sustainability goals, there is a great need to define how current definitions apply to and  can  inform  operations  and  maintenance  of  commercial  buildings.    Within  this  paper, operations is defined as services necessary to keep equipment and systems operating as designed or  at  a  level  that  meets  the  operational  goals  of  the  facility  management  team.    Maintenance services are defined as services that help restore equipment or systems to design conditions or to conditions that have been determined to be sufficient for the given project scope.  The building systems and equipment focused on within this paper are heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, building automation systems (BAS), lighting, renewable energy technologies and  software  that  support  these  systems,  such  as  computerized  maintenance  management systems  (CMMS),  computer  aided  facility  management  systems  (CAFM)  and  energy  analytics software.  To operate a high performance building requires proactive management processes for energy and maintenance.    Within  the  United  States,  high  performance  buildings  are  a  topic  of  interest  to  industry, academics, the research community and government. The goal of this paper is to help synthesize current  literature  and  discussions  with  industry  members  and  researchers  from  the  fields  of engineering (HVAC and control systems) and facility management (maintenance management, energy  management  and  IT)  to  further  define  high  performance  building  operations  and maintenance.  The paper first seeks to further define what a high performance building is, and then discusses how to apply the definition through a discussion of technologies, processes and skills needed to operate and maintain high performance buildings.

The paper concludes with a discussion  of  systems  thinking,  a  strategy  which  the  authors  hypothesize  is  important  for successful high performance building operation and maintenance.

Defining a High Performance Building Within  both  research  and  industry,  the  terms  high  performance  building,  green  building, sustainable buildings, and intelligent buildings are used.  Although many would argue that many of  these  terms  are  still  being  defined  or  refined,  this  paper  suggests  that  these  terms  are   interrelated.    The  relationship  between  these  terms  is  very  important  to  defining  high performance building operations and maintenance.  To  demonstrate  the  interrelations  and  support  further  refinement  of  the  definitions  of  high performance,  green,  sustainable  and  intelligent  buildings  definitions  from  several  industry, government and research sources are synthesized below.  As  defined  by  the  United  States  Energy  Independence  and  Security  Act  2007,  a  high performance building is:  “A  building  that  integrates  and  optimizes  on  a  lifecycle  basis  all  major  high  performance attributes, including energy [and water] conservation, environment, safety, security, durability, accessibility,    cost-benefit,    productivity,    sustainability,    functionality,    and    operational considerations” (Energy Independence and Security Act 2007 401 PL 110-140).   The  definition  of  an  intelligent  building  is  similar  to  the  definition  of  a  high  performance building.  However, intelligent buildings emphasize the need for integration and application of technology.    As  stated  by  Elmualim  (2009)  there  is  a  myriad  of  definitions  for  intelligent buildings, none of which are scientific.  In an absence of such a scientific definition, six (ALwaer and  Clements-Croome  2010;  CABA  2008;  Elmualim  2009;  Finley  et  al  1991;  Himanen  2004; Robathan 1996) were compared and contrasted to define an intelligent building within this paper, resulting in the following definition: An intelligent building is a building that integrates people, process and technology in an efficient and sustainable manner through the use of high levels of integrated  technology,  including  but  not  limited  to  HVAC,  plumbing,  electrical,  renewable energy systems and sources, information technology, control systems and management software to provide a safe, healthy and productive environment for building occupants that adapts quickly to change at the lowest possible lifecycle cost.   Comparing  and  contrasting  the  three  definitions  for  green  buildings  (CABA  2008;  US  EPA 2010; LEED Reference Guide 2001), the definitions for green and intelligent buildings are more similar to each other than each is to the definition of a high performance building.  Synthesizing the definition from the three sources, a green building is a building that is designed, constructed and  operated  to  minimize  environmental  impacts  and  maximize  resource  efficiency  while  also balancing cultural and community sensitivity.    CABA  (2008)  suggest  that  the  concepts  of  intelligent  and  green  buildings  should  converge.  CABA suggests that the convergence of green and intelligent building concepts should be called bright  green.  Within  the  convergence,  topics  that  are  both  green  and  intelligent  (bright  green) include:   energy   management,   asset   management,   space   utilization,   integrated   design, sustainability,  renewable  energy,  indoor  environmental  quality  and  green  building  purchasing structures (CABA 2008).     As the term sustainability has also been used within many discussions of HPB, intelligent and green,  it  is  also  important  to  define  sustainability  here.    Many  built  environment  researchers, industry  practitioners  and  professional  organization  use  the  definition  or  a  variation  on  the definition commonly recognized as the Brundtland Report, Our Common Future (1987) as the definition  for  sustainability:  “development  that  meets  the  needs  of  the  present,  without  4  compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  As some may argue that this definition is more philosophical than practical, within industry this definition has often applied considering the triple bottom line, balancing environmental, economic and social goals (Hodges 2009; Lewis et al 2009).   Reviewing  the  definitions  of  high  performance,  intelligent,  sustainability  and  green  buildings, there  are  many  similarities.  The  authors  hypothesize  that  these  definitions  will  continue  to  be debated  and  refined  by  researchers  and  practitioners.  It  is  also  hypothesized  that  facility managers  and  building  owners  will  use  different  variations  on  the  definitions,  depending  on goals  and  priorities.    In  order  to  apply  definitions  and  theoretical  concepts,  it  is  important  to emphasize  that  successful  operations  and  maintenance  of  a  HPB  requires  integration  and knowledge  about  HPB  technologies,  processes  that  support  HPB  and  people  with  skills  to effectively utilize HPB technologies.  Thus, technologies, tools, processes and skills necessary for high performance building operation and maintenance are discussed below.

High Performance Building Technologies High performance buildings have more complex mechanical, lighting and control systems, many which are far from common place within the industry.  Some of the heating ventilating and air conditioning  systems  (HVAC)  within  HPB  include,  but  are  not  limited  to:  radiant  heating  and cooling, dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS), chilled beams and advanced control sequences programmed  in  building  automation  systems  (BAS).    Advanced  control  strategies  include,  but are  not  limited  to  morning  warm-up,  fault  detection  diagnostics,  the  use  of  thermal  mass  for heating or cooling and demand response.  Additionally, HPB are more likely have software to monitor  and  benchmark  energy  efficiency  and  operational  performance.    Thus,  the  number  of meters and sensors linked to BAS is often greater than a non-HPB.   Lighting systems often included within HPB include, but are not limited to automated lighting control,  such  as  motion  sensor  lighting,  integration  of  daylighting  and  electronic  lighting, automated shading, and light emitting diodes (LEDs).   Renewable energy technologies are also common to HPB, including solar, wind and geothermal systems.    Solar  systems  include  photovoltaic  arrays  and  solar  thermal  systems.    Photovoltaic arrays can be connected to inverters to invert direct current (DC) from the photovoltaic arrays to alternating current (AC), which is used for most commercial building applications.  Alternately, a less common application is to connect photovoltaic panels to a battery bank or devices that use DC current, such as LEDs or DC powered kitchen appliances.    Sophisticated  technologies  often  found  within  HPB  can  cause  some  challenges  to  building operators and facility managers.  Challenges can occur when building operators, technicians and facility managers have not had the opportunity to learn about HPB technologies, especially what makes HPB technologies unique.   •   There are many new technologies that design and consulting engineers, contractors and facility managers are not familiar with.  Often, it is challenging to find the time and/or  5  resources necessary to understand the benefits of the technologies, how they work and the cost of implementing them.  •   Many industry members seek out demonstration or pilot projects to determine the risk of designing, installing, operating or managing new technologies in an effort to reduce risk. Although  there  is  general  interest  to  support  many  new  technologies,  risk  is  often  a barrier, as most designers, contractors and owners generally do not want to be the first to design, install, manage or operate a new technology.   •   The  design,  installation  and  operation  of  many  HPBs  require  a  systems-thinking  and integrated  approach.    However,  neither  systems-thinking  nor  integration  are  currently standard industry practice (McCaffer 2010). •   The  industry  lacks  a  feedback  loop  for  facility  managers  and  building  operators  to communicate  what  systems  and  equipment  worked  as  designed  and  where  further improvement is necessary (McCaffer 2010; Arditi and Nawakorawit 1999).  A feedback loop for HPB is especially important as many HPB technologies are not standard practice and there are many, often conflicting opinions about what systems and equipment should be used in HPB.

High Performance Building Processes The  installation  of  highly  energy  efficient  equipment  and  systems  is  only  the  foundation  for achieving  efficient  high  performance  operation.    The  processes  used  to  operate  and  maintain buildings  have  an  even  larger  cost  and  environmental  impact  than  the design and construction process.  In fact, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)  suggests  that  a  building  with  good  operations  and  maintenance  practices  that  is poorly  designed  will  often  out  perform  a  well-designed  building  with  poor  operations  and maintenance practices (ASHRAE 2009).  HPB processes should include, but are not limited to the  use  of  benchmarking  for  decision  making,  retro  and/or  re-commissioning,  the  use  of proactive maintenance techniques, the use of rating and certification systems, systems thinking and balancing comfort and energy efficiency.  Benchmarking is the process of comparing measurements against a standard, average or best in the   business   with   the   purpose   of   improvement   and   movement   towards   best   practices.  Benchmarking must be stakeholder driven and focus on improvement, rather than the status quo.  Benchmarking  can  be  done  once  or  continually  (Atkin  and  Brooks  2000;  Wireman  2004; Stapenhust 2009).  However, greater benefits are likely to result from continual benchmarking.  Although benchmarking is not a new practice to the facility management and building operations community, the use of benchmarking to set improvement goals is not currently standard industry practice.  Benchmarking can be used to help in decision making and meet sustainability goals. More specifically, benchmarking is beneficial because it can be used to (NREL 2003): •   Determine how well a building is performing •   Set targets for improvement •   Facilitate assessment of property value •   Gain recognition    6  Commissioning  is  the  process  of  verifying  that  a  building  and  its  systems  and  equipment  are operating according to the owner’s project requirements.  Retro-commissioning is the process of commissioning a facility that was not previously commissioned (ASHRAE Guideline 0 2005). Re-commissioning  is  the  process  of  commissioning  a  building  that  had  been  commissioned before  (ASHRAE  Guideline  0  2005)  .    Retro-commissioning  and  re-commissioning  are important in order to keep buildings operating efficiently.  Over time, building functions change, equipment  wears  and  sensors  drift  out  of  calibration.    The  benefits  of  retro-  and  re-commissioning  are  well  documented  in  both  the  research  and  trade  literature.    For  example, Claridge et al. (1996) finds that building energy consumption can be decreased by as much as 50 percent through retro-commissioning.  Mills et al. (2005) find that “commissioning is one of the most cost-effective means of improving energy efficiency in commercial buildings.”    Maintenance  is  the  day-to-day  activities  required  to  preserve,  retain  or  restore  equipment  and systems to the original condition or to a condition that the equipment can be effectively used for this  intended  purpose  (APPA  2002;  FMpedia  2010;  WBDG  2009;  Moubray  1997).    Proactive maintenance  includes  preventive,  predictive  and  reliability-centered  maintenance.    Preventive maintenance is a form of maintenance scheduled over time (Ring 2008; ASHRAE 2003).  The main function of preventive maintenance is to keep equipment running reliably and safely, not to increase  efficiency  (Ring  2008).  The  principal  objectives  of  preventive  maintenance  are durability, reliability, efficiency and safety (ASHRAE 1991).  Predictive maintenance is form of maintenance based on equipment condition. Predictive maintenance uses non-destructive testing, chemical analysis, vibration and noise monitoring and visual inspection to determine equipment conditions  and  access  when  maintenance  should  be  performed  (ASHRAE  1991).    The philosophy of reliability centered maintenance combines preventive and predictive maintenance by balancing cost and the impact of equipment downtime on the facility using relationships about equipment failure rates (Moubray 1997).   Maintenance is a very important, but often overlooked part of HPB.  For example, Wood (2005) claims that building maintenance is under researched.  Maintenance is needed to keep equipment operating efficiently.  Without maintenance, overtime belts begin to slip, filters are filled with particulates,  equipment  begins  to  vibrate  and  bearings  need  greasing  –  all  of  these  have  the potential  to  decrease  energy  efficiency,  while  increasing  utility  costs.    In  many  cases, maintenance is one of the first costs to be cut from a facility manager’s budget because building owners and financial decision makers often do not understand the benefits of maintenance (Pugh 2010).   Although basic economic theory states the value of a dollar (unit of currency) today is greater than  the  value  of  the  same  dollar  (unit  of  currency)  tomorrow,  there  can  be  significant  cost savings from investing in proactive maintenance.  Table 1 summarizes the annual cost savings (US dollars) for proactive maintenance practices in units of US dollars per horsepower.

7  Table   1:   Cost   Savings   for   Use   of   Proactive   Maintenance,   Compared   to   Reactive Maintenance (Piotrowski 2001)

Cost [$/HP]

Reactive  $18/HP

Preventive  $13/HP

Predictive  $9/HP

 

It is suggested that successful operation of a HPB requires proactive maintenance management practices.    To  date,  there  is  a  great  need  for  more  maintenance  related  research  to  advance proactive maintenance management practices.  For example, Wood (2005) claims that building maintenance is under-researched.    Building rating and certification systems for existing buildings, such as the United States Green Building  Council  (USGBC)  Leadership  in  Energy  and  Environmental  Design  for  Existing Buildings Operation and Maintenance (LEED –EBOM), Green Globes Continual Improvement Assessment  for  Existing  Buildings,  the  American  Society  of  Heating,  Refrigerating  and  Air-Conditioning  Engineers  (ASHRAE)  BuildingEQ  or  the  Building  Owners  and  Managers Association (BOMA) Building Environmental Standards (BOMA BESt) can also help to inform HPB  process  improvements.    Many  rating  and  certification  systems  have  a  checklist  or  set  of credits  or  points  that  can  be  used  to  help  set  goals.    Setting  goals  and  working  to  achieve  a certification  or  rating  can  help  to  hold  teams  accountable  to  meet  the  goals  set,  while  also providing opportunities for recognition.    Systems-thinking is a process of understanding how the parts of an organization or building fit together  to  make  a  whole.    Systems-thinking  at  the  organizational  level  is  the  integration  and understanding  of  the  people  that  make  up  the  organization,  as  well  as  the  values,  structure, processes,  policies,  regulations  and  supervision  within  an  organization  (El-Homsi  and  Slutsky 2010).    As  stated  by  El-Homsi  and  Slutsky  (2010),  systems-thinking  requires  goal  setting, development, incentives, communication, reviews, rewards and accountability.   Systems-  thinking,  when  applied  to  building  systems  is  the  understanding  of  how  all  the components  of  a  larger  system  interact  with  each  other  to  meet  the  needs  of  the  building occupant.  For example, using a systems thinking approach, when a technician is dispatched to respond to an occupant’s complaint that a room is too cold, the technician will consider how the adjustment made to the diffuser or damper within the terminal box will impact the entire cooling system, often including the chillers and the cooling towers.  As a second, more broad example, systems-thinking  is  also  necessary  during  major  equipment  and  system  replacements  and upgrades  –  if  more  efficient  lamps  are  installed  in  an  office  area,  the  cooling  load  will  be reduced, which will reduce the load on the chiller.  Depending on the operational parameters of the chiller, reduction of the amount of heat generated from the more efficient lamps and other factors,  the  chiller  controls  may  need  to  be  readjusted  so  that  the  chiller  operates  efficiently under new space conditions.    Finally, the function of the building, such as occupant comfort and providing a productive, safe and  healthy  indoor  environment  cannot  be  scarified  to  save  energy  or  achieve  sustainability  8  goals.    Tom  (2008)  finds  that  keeping  a  building  at  a  comfortable  temperature  and  relative humidity is important for occupant satisfaction.  To keep building occupants comfortable while operating  equipment  efficiently  requires  a  balance  between  energy  consumption  and  comfort.  Although many facility managers measure energy, it is often more difficult to measure comfort.  Comfort  is  difficult  to  measure  because  it  is  subjective  and  depends  on  individual  perceptions (Tom 2008).  To determine if building occupants are comfortable, two basic approaches can be used: •   Monitor  the  number  of  comfort  complaints  (hot/cold  calls)  logged  for  the  building  or certain areas of a building •   Perform a comfort survey of all building occupants   As shown, there are many different management processes that are used to keep a HPB operating efficiently.    Although  many  of  these  processes  are  documented  within  industry  and  research literature, implementing these and other HPB processes within an existing facility management organization can be challenging.  Some reasons process implementation is difficult include:  •   Facility management departments are often large and perform a diverse number of tasks to support the primary functions of the organization. •   If it is necessary to adopt a new or refine an existing policy or procedure, employees of an organization can be resistant to change, as there can be a mind-set of “we’ve always don  tit  this  way.”    Overcoming  the  challenge  requires  effective  change  management strategies and diplomacy.  Additionally, members of the facility management team must be educated about the reasons and value of the change.  •   Less research has been done within the areas of operations and maintenance of existing buildings,  compared  to  the  design  and  construction  of  buildings.    Therefore,  there  are fewer  industry  standards  that  facility  managers  can  use  as  a  foundation  to  create organizational specific standards and polices. •   Existing  job  functions  may  need  to  be  rewritten  to  accommodate  new  policies  and procedures.

Tools to Manage High Performance Building Processes Software is needed to manage the data and information necessary to make decisions about how to operate and maintain a high performance building. Software used and discussed within this paper  includes  computerized  maintenance  management  systems  (CMMS),  computer  aided facility   management   systems   (CAFM),   integrated   work   management   systems   (IWMS), enterprise  resource  systems  (ERP),  building  automation  systems  (BAS),  energy  information systems  and  energy  analytics  software.    Elmualim  (2009)  suggests  that  intelligent  building management  [software]  is  about  having  a  common  user  interface  and  integration.  A  common user  interface  and  integration  are  key  parts  of  HPB  software  because  they  support  systems-thinking.  As previously discussed, a HPB cannot be operated or maintained without considering both the impact of decisions on the entire organization and the impact on the technical systems.  A  common  interface  allows  data  from  multiple  sources  to  be  viewed  from  one  screen.  Interoperability is the process that supports the concept of viewing data from many sources from one interface.  The topic of interoperability will be discussed in later in the paper.    9  There are two platforms for O&M management software, local server-based and software as a service (SaaS).  Local server-based software requires that the software be located on servers at the  facility.  Local  server-based  software  provides  facility  managers  with  the  opportunity  to customize and configure the software to meet specific organizational needs.  It also requires in-house  staff  or  contracted  staff  to  maintain  the  software  and  perform  any  necessary  upgrades.  Software  as  a  service  can  eliminate  the  need  for  in-house  staff  to  maintain  and  upgrade  the software,  as  the  software  is  maintained  and  upgraded  by  the  service  provider.    However, opportunities  for  configuration  and  customization  may  be  less  available,  as  the  SaaS  model  is generally has a standardized Internet-based user interface.    Within  the  United  States  market,  there  are  three  basic  types  of  software  for  asset,  space  and maintenance management: computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), computer-aided  facility  management  (CAFM)  and  integrated  workplace  management  systems  (IWMS).    The core function of a computerized maintenance management system is to manage information related  to  maintenance,  including  but  not  limited  to  work  orders,  asset  histories,  parts inventories,  maintenance  personnel  management  and  the  calculation  of  maintenance  metrics.  The  core  function  of  a  computer-aided  facility  management  system  is  primarily  space management, used to identify and manage assets.  An integrated workplace management system combines  the  functionality  of  both  a  CAFM  and  a  CMMS,  and  sometimes  may  also  include functionality more commonly associated with an enterprise resource planning system (ERP).  An ERP  can  be  used  across  an  entire  organization  to  manage  all  types  of  information,  including human resources, procurement and the functions of CAFM and CMMS.     Although IWMS, CAFM and CMMS software are becoming more commonly used (Sapp 2008), successfully  implementing  these  systems  can  be  challenging.    Berger  (2009)  found  that  more than 50 percent of CMMS implementations fail – or are underutilized.  Lewis (2010) found that part of the reason for underutilization was a lack of understanding of the importance of accurate asset  inventories  and  maintenance  records.    As  a  result,  the  most  commonly  used  CMMS modules were those that did not require asset data to be populated into the system, including the work order generator, work order tracking and the storage of maintenance records.       A  building  automation  system  (BAS)  is  a  control  system  that  uses  digital  control  (analog  and binary  signals)  to  monitor,  control  and  manage  mechanical  (HVAC)  and  electrical  systems within  buildings.    The  core  function  of  a  BAS  is  to  maintain  indoor  environmental  conditions (temperature  and  relative  humidity)  within  a  building  during  specified  hours  of  operation.    A BAS  also  monitors  equipment  performance  and  failures,  and  can  provide  notifications  of unsatisfactory  operating  conditions  in  the  form  of  alarms  to  the  building  operator.    There  are several  other  acronyms  that  are  also  used  to  describe  and  define  a  BAS,  including  energy management system (EMS) and energy management and control system (EMCS). Although  not  the  primary  function,  a  BAS  can  also  be  used  to  monitor,  trend  and  benchmark building  energy  consumption.    In  order  for  a  BAS  to  be  used  as  an  energy  performance monitoring or benchmarking tool, sub-meters and equipment and system level sensors must be installed, a server to store trend data must be available and a report generator must be configured (Lewis 2010).       10  Three other products that can be used for energy performance monitoring and benchmarking are enterprise  resource  planning  (ERP)  systems,  energy  analytics  software  and  energy  information systems.  These three products are similar to each other as they all aggregate data from meters, sub-meters and sensors to quantify building energy consumption in units that are useful to the end user and often use a dashboard to displays the information electrically. Specific information to  include  and  how  to  display  the  information  on  the  dashboard  are  currently  being  debated (Shadpour 2010).  These products can range from free and publically available, such as Portfolio Manager  ENERGY  STAR  (Roskoski  et  al  2009)  to  very  complex  and  potentially  expensive, such as a customized application integrated with the ERP for the entire organization.

Interoperability and Integration Interoperability and integration are key needs for true implementation HPB O&M technologies and practices.  Interoperability is the ability to manage and communicate electronic data between different software products and systems (Gallaher et al 2004).  Integration is the synchronization of  two  or  more  electronic  products  or  systems.    The  lack  of  interoperability  and  integration within current software is illustrated by Gallaher et al (2004): $10.5 billion (US dollars) is lost annually due to inoperability of software within the operations phase of buildings.  The use of building   information   modeling   (BIM)   promises   to   part   of   the   solution   to   reducing interoperability  and  integration  challenges  for  facility  management.    Building  information modeling is a structured dataset that describes a building (NBIM 2007), the data within a BIM often includes a three-dimensional computer model and a database (Fallon 2008).   There  are  currently  many  efforts  underway  regarding  BIM  and  interoperability  that  show promise to help reduce the annual loss reported by Gallaher et al (2004).  A full review of these efforts is beyond the scope of this paper.  Readers interested in BIM are encouraged to view the buildingSMARTalliance website: http://www.buildingsmartalliance.org/.

People: Skills Needed to Operate and Maintain High Performance Buildings Trained facility managers, building operators and technicians are a critical part of HPB O&M.  Without properly trained staff, it will be difficult for the energy efficiency or HPB goals of any building  to  be  met.    Facility  managers  and  technicians  must  be  knowledgeable  of  the technologies and processes previously discussed.  From a management approach using systems-thinking,  facility  managers  must  understand  how  HPB  knowledge  aligns  with  the  core competencies  of  facility  management.    The  International  Facility  Management  Association (IFMA) currently defines nine facility management core competencies (IFMA 2010): •   Operations and maintenance •   Real estate •   Human and environmental factors  •   Planning and project management  •   Leadership and management •   Finance •   Quality assessment and innovation •   Communication •   Technology   11  The  most  recent  IFMA  Global  Job  Task  Analysis  determined  that  two  additional  core competencies  should  be  added:  environmental  stewardship  and  sustainability  and  human  and environmental emergency preparedness and business continuity.  From the list of competencies, there are many ways HPB O&M impact the daily responsibilities of facility managers.      The specific skill set of building operators and technicians is less clearly defined.  Similarly to facility managers, building operators and technicians are often required to have a very diverse skill set.  One example that summarizes this brief skill set of technicians is the North American Technician  Excellence  (NATE)  Knowledge  Areas  of  Technician  Excellence  (KATE)  (NATE 2010).  This list of knowledge areas was determined through a job task analysis and defines core installation  and  core  services  areas.    Core  installation  and  core  service  areas  are  generally categorized as air-side systems and fuel source (oil or gas) and refrigeration.    Two areas that are under defined within the NATE KATE is building automation system (BAS) and  systems-thinking  skills  for  operators  and  technicians,  especially  for  medium  and  large commercial  buildings.    A  recently  completed  National  Science  Foundation  (NSF)  report, “Current Situation and Trends in Buildings and Facility Operations” (Ehrlich et al 2010) finds that  there  are  few  formal  training  and  educational  opportunities  BAS  technicians.    Although  a few  programs  exist  through  community  colleges  and  trade  union  apprenticeship  programs,  the most common form of training for BAS technicians is on-the-job training.  On-the-job training is necessary, and an important part of all jobs.  However, as technologies in buildings become more automated, Ehrlich et al. conclude that on-the-job training will not be sufficient to meet the needs of  technicians  who  will  operate  and  maintain  HPB.    On-the-job  training  does  not  provide sufficient opportunity to gain an understanding of how systems work or general problem solving skills.

Defining a Systems-Thinking Approach to HPB To  truly  operate  and  maintain  a  high  performance  building  requires  the  synthesis  of  people, process  and  technology  using  a  systems-thinking  approach.    As  demonstrated  from  the discussion  above,  this  requires  the  extraction  of  knowledge  from  multiple  areas  of  expertise, including but not limited to HVAC and control systems, energy and maintenance management, software and IT systems and competencies of managers and technicians.  In order to achieve the goals set by both government and private organizations, it will be necessary to transition from commonly  used  silo-thinking  to  systems-thinking.    This  will  require  both  researchers  and industry  practitioners  to  use  non-traditional  communication  paths.    For  researchers,  especially academic researchers, this may mean an increased breadth of a research project to use a more holistic  approach  that  includes  analysis  of  the  impacts  of  the  technicians  on  the  people  and processes – not just the technologies.  For industry practitioners, this may mean a more diverse understanding  foundational  knowledge  of  multiple  subsets  within  his/her  discipline  and/or determining how to more effectively share industry challenges with researchers who often have the skills necessary to solve complex problems and time to focus on research projects.

Conclusions The purpose of this article was to define and synthesize what a HPB is for O&M.  In order for HPB technologies to truly be high performance requires the implementation proactive practices, especially for energy and maintenance management.  Finally, maintaining and operating a HPB requires   properly   trained   personnel,   including   facility   managers,   building   operators   and technicians.    In  doing  so,  the  authors  sought  to  provide  insight  about  interdependencies  and relationships  between  technologies,  processes  and  people  necessary  for  high  performance building  operations  and  maintenance.    In  order  to  operate  and  maintain  a  HPB  will  require systems-thinking.  Systems-thinking must be applied to building systems (HVAC, lighting, etc) and  to  organizational  processes  (such  as  maintenance  management,  technician  training  and strategic planning).    It  is  through  an  integrated,  systems-thinking  approach  that  lifecycle  costs  of  operation  and maintenance and environmental emissions will be reduced and resource consumption as a result of  building  operation  decreases.    As  the  result  of  the  synthesis  completed  for  this  paper,  the following areas of future research are recommended:

•   Data management and metric standardization for energy performance and benchmarking

•   Maintenance management process development and data management strategies •   Interoperability schemas and use cases for building information modeling

•   Effective training methods for HPB technologies and processes

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Paul Ehrlich and Jeffery Seewald of the Building Intelligence Group for helping to inform the thinking  that  helped  develop  the  foundation  for  this  article.    This  article  is  part  of  a  larger research  project,  A  Framework  for  Improving  Building  Operating  Decisions.    Funding  that supported the foundational stages the research was provided from a National Science Foundation Graduate  Research  Fellowship,  an  ASHRAE  Graduate  Student  Grant-In  Aid  Award  and  the Partnership for Achieving Construction Excellence at The Pennsylvania State University.

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University Park, PA June 9 -11, 2010.   Moubray,  J.  (1997),  Reliability-centered  maintenance.  Second  edition.  Industrial  Press,  Inc., New York.   NATE  (2010).  North  American  Technician  Excellence,  Knowledge  Areas  of  Technician Excellence,  available  at:  www.natex.org/HVAC_HVACR/cert_kates.html  (Accessed  July  11, 2010).   NREL,  (2003),  High  Performance  Commercial  Building  Systems  –  PIER  Building  Energy Performance Program, Final Program Presentation.   NBIM, (2007), National BIM Standard, National Institute of Building Sciences.   NIBS, (1998), Excellence in Facility Management. National Institute of Building Sciences, Facility Maintenance and Operations Committee, 5350-1.  15   Piotrowski,  J.,  (2001),  Pro-Active  Maintenance  for  Pumps,  Archives,  February  2001,  Pump-Zone.com http://www.maintenanceworld.com (Accessed August 21, 2008).  Pugh,  R.  (2010),  Operations,  Maintenance  and  Commissioning.    First  Thursdays  Seminar, Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP), Webinar July 1, 2010.   Robathan,  P.  (1996).  Building  Performance.  Facilities  Management  Theory  and  Practice.  K. Alexander. London, E & FN Spon.   Ring,  P.  (2008),  “Maintenance  in  Moderation  is  the  Most  Efficient  Method.”  Tradeline  Inc. (January).  Roskoski,  M.;  L.  Gilmer;  G.  Hughel.  (2009),  IFMA  Foundation  Sustainability  How-To  Guide Series,  EPA’s  ENERGY  STAR  Portfolio  Manager, www.ifmafoundation.org/programs/sustain_wp.cfm.   Sapp,  D.  (2008),  “Computerized  Maintenance  Management  Systems  (CMMS),”  available  at www.wbdg.org/om/cmms.php (accessed August 29, 2008).   Shadpour, F., (2010), Facilities Dashboards: What Do You Want to See?, Forum #6.  ASHRAE Annual Conference, June 26- 30, 2010, Albuquerque, NM.   Stapenhust, T., (2009), The Benchmarking Book, Oxford Butterworth-Heinemann.  Tom, S., (2008), “Managing Energy and Comfort.” ASHRAE Journal 50(6): 18-20,22,24,26.  US    EPA,    (2010),    Basic    Information,    Definition    of    Green    Building,    available    at:   www.epa.gov/greenbuilding/pubs/about.htm   Wireman,  T.,  (2004),  Benchmarking  Best  Practices  in  Maintenance  Management.  New  York, Industrial Press   WBDG, (2009), Whole Building Design Guide, Facilities Operations & Maintenance, available at: http://www.wbdg.org/om/om.php (accessed February 18, 2010).   Wood,  B.,  (2005).    “Innovative  building  maintenance.”  Conference  Proceedings  of  The Queensland University of Technology Research Week International Conference, 4-8 July 2005 Brisbane, Australia, pp 601-7.       16  About the Authors Angela Lewis, PE, LEED AP, is a PhD Candidate at the University of Reading within the Department of Construction Management and Engineering.  Lewis is also a Facility Management Consultant/High Performance Buildings Engineer with the Building Intelligence Group. David is an Associate Professor at Penn State in the Department of Architectural Engineering specializing in green building methods and sustainable technologies.  David earned his PhD in Architectural Engineering from Penn State.  David currently leads a research program focused on the integration of mechanical and electrical energy systems with distributed renewable energy sources.  His research areas include the integration of green building technologies and high performance design process modeling.  As the Director of Penn State Center for Sustainability, he develops programs that engage students in the pursuit of sustainability challenges on the Penn State campus as well as external communities. Abbas is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Reading and Coordinator of the Sustainable Design, Construction and FM research group.  He has a PhD in Sustainability and Renewable Energy from the University of Reading.  Currently Dr. Elmualim leads several industry funded collaborative projects.  Abbas’s research focuses on the development of integrative approaches to design, construction and facilities management. He is particularly interested in sustainability and digital technologies from a broad socio-technical systems perspective. The research approach seeks to combine engineering research methodologies with those derived from the social sciences.

 

Existing Buildings – Sustainability Resources – Meeting 2030 Guidelines

Online Resources:

Advanced Buildings

Advanced Buildings was developed by the New Buildings Institute.  It is a collection of technical resources and training opportunities useful to the design and operation of high performance buildings.  Resources include a database of high performance buildings that use less than 50% of the energy of conventional buildings http://www.advancedbuildings.net/

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)

The ACEEE has promoted energy efficiency practices and policies for nearly 30 years. Titles of its numerous technical papers and conference proceedings, including their semi-annual Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings are all listed on the site along with purchasing information. http://www.aceee.org  American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) ASHRAE is a professional organization dedicated to the creation and promotion of quality-based standard practices in the HVAC&R industry.  Members have access to ASHRAE technical articles and conference papers.  Anyone can browse abstracts of ASHRAE’s numerous books, journal articles and other technical publications that are available for purchase.      http://www.ashrae.org

Architecture 2030 Challenge

This initiative has established performance standards for buildings to achieve by the year 2030.  The standards include significant reductions in green house gases, energy consumption, and the use of fossil fuel.  Guidelines for Implementation of these standards are provided here.  http://www.architecture2030.org/2030_challenge/index.html

ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guides

ASHRAE developed design guides for six building types; healthcare, offices, lodging, schools, retail, and warehouses.  The goal of these guides is to provide users with the tools to achieve building energy savings that are 30% above the savings of buildings that meet the minimum requirements of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 1999.  http://www.ashrae.org/publications/page/1604

Assessment of the Technical Potential for Achieving Net Zero-Energy Buildings in the Commercial Sector

This National Renewable Energy Laboratory paper reports on the findings from their research to assess the potential for zero-energy building technologies and practices to reduce energy consumption in the commercial building sector. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy08osti/41957.pdf

Energy Efficiency Class Resources

Buildings Energy Data Book, 2009 The Department of Energy’s Buildings Energy Data Book is updated annually.  This publication contains statistics on residential and commercial building energy consumption in the US.  The Data Book also includes characteristics and efficiencies of common commercial equipment.  http://buildingsdatabook.eere.energy.gov/

BuildingGreen

BuildingGreen is a good resource for information on environmentally friendly products, building design and operation practices.  This site provides abstracts of all articles from Environmental Building News, plus full text of selected articles, product reviews, GreenSpec® product information service, and resource lists on green building topics. http://www.buildinggreen.com

California Energy Commission.  Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards

The CEC’s web site provides access to the new Title 24 Standards, Residential and Nonresidential Compliance Manuals, Alternative Calculation Manuals, and the 2008 Reference Appendices.  Links are also provided for information about Computer Compliance Software and HERS regulations. http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/

Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS)

CBECS is a sample survey of U.S. commercial buildings’ energy characteristics that is published every 4 years by the Energy Information Administration.  The survey includes data on buildings’ energy consumption, energy expenditures, end-use equipment, and energy sources. http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cbecs/

Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE)

CEE promotes the manufacture and acquisition of energy efficient products and services for homes and businesses.  Topics include lighting, HVAC, and refrigeration equipment.  Efficiency specifications, product information, qualifying equipment lists, and FAQs on commercial equipment are available on this site. http://www.cee1.org

DOE Zero Energy Buildings Database

This database features profiles of eight zero energy commercial buildings.  Each profile contains an overview and information about the process, financing, land use, site, energy use, materials, indoor environment, ratings, and lessons learned. http://zeb.buildinggreen.com/

ENERGY STAR.

Benchmarking The EPA’s energy performance rating system has tools and resources for benchmarking the energy performance of buildings.  Tools include Portfolio Manager and the Benchmarking Starter Kit. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=eeps_guidebook.eeps_guidebook-2-benchmarking

ENERGY STAR Building Upgrade Manual

This manual is a guide to planning and implementing energy saving building upgrades.  Individual chapters cover heating and cooling, lighting, air distribution, load reduction and retrocommissioning.  http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfmc=business.bus_upgrade_manual  Flex Your Power.

Commercial Sector: Upgrade Your Facility

The Commercial Sector of this site includes steps and tools for upgrading your facility, plus a Best Practices Guide for improving the energy efficiency of office buildings and lowering operating costs.  The guide also includes case studies. http://www.fypower.org/com/upgrade.html

Energy Efficiency Class Resources

Green Building Research Center (GBRC).  University of California, Berkeley The GBRC was created to promote sustainable building design and operation on the Berkeley campus.  The Best Practices case studies feature the top design and retrofit performers in energy efficiency, sustainability, innovation, and cost-effectiveness throughout the UC/CSU/CCC community.  http://www.greenbuildings.berkeley.edu/index.htm

LEED for Existing Buildings

Operations & Maintenance LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System helps building owners and operators measure their existing operations and improvements to their practices.  This system includes Operations & Maintenance Rating System, Checklist, and Reference Guide.  These publications can be downloaded from this site. http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CMSPageID=221

LEED® Green Building Rating System

This newest version of LEED launched in April 2009.  Learn about the components of this updated building rating system for new construction and major renovations, opportunities for LEED training, webcasts, and LEED credentials here.  The LEED Reference Guides can be downloaded or ordered in hard copy from this USGBC site.  Project Profiles and Case Studies can be found under the Resources navigation tab.  http://www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspxCMSPageID=1970

Commissioning and Retrocommissioning  California Commissioning Collaborative

The California Commissioning Collaborative is a group of government, utility, and building service professionals organized to develop and promote commissioning practices in the California.  The CCC site includes over 40 case studies, and has recently added a Library to its Resources that contains articles, white papers, guides, and sample commissioning documents. http://www.cacx.org

Cost-Effectiveness of Commercial-Buildings Commissioning.

Evan Mills et al. This December 2004 paper is a comprehensive compilation and analysis of commissioning data from over 200 commercial buildings throughout the United States.  The paper examines commissioning data from both existing and new buildings.  http://eetd.lbl.gov/emills/PUBS/Cx-Costs-Benefits.html  Green California.

Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning Buildings

California’s initiative for green buildings includes the commissioning and retrocommissioning process.  This section describes the commissioning and retrocommissioning process and provides access to many useful guidelines, reports, and tools.  Links to related Green California sites are also provided. http://www.green.ca.gov/CommissioningGuidelines/default.htm

A Practical Guide for Commissioning Existing Buildings

Prepared by the staffs of Portland Energy Conservation, Inc. and Oakridge National Laboratory, this guide covers the benefits and methodologies of retrocommissioning projects.  http://www.osti.gov/bridge/product.biblio.jsposti_id=15043

Incentives  Commercial Building Tax Deduction Coalition

This coalition presents an overview of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and provides answers to some frequently asked questions.  Links to related rules and legislative updates are also available on this site.  http://www.efficientbuildings.org

Energy Efficiency Class Resources

Commercial Lighting Tax Deduction Find details on the tax deductions available for lighting upgrades here.  A Guide to the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction, resources to assist with implementing the deduction, information about lighting technologies, ASHRAE 90.1, and case studies are provided.  http://www.lightingtaxdeduction.org/

DSIRE

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency DSIRE provides information about financial incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects throughout the United States.  Information is provided on state, local, utility, and federal programs and is organized by state.  Click on the state of California to view information about available incentives.  http://www.dsireusa.org

Energy Star® for Business Improvement.

Tools and Resources This is the Energy Star program’s gateway to documents and software for measuring, managing, and improving business energy usage and financial performance. Energy Star also provides a directory for locating Energy Star labeled energy efficient products and services. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfmc=tools_resources.bus_energy_management_tools_resources  ENERGY STAR.

Tax Deductions for Commercial Buildings.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 provides tax deductions to building owners and designers for energy saving measures included in new or existing commercial buildings.  This site provides links to resources that provide details about these deductions.  http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfmc=tax_credits.tx_comm_buildings

Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP)

TIAP provides tax incentive information to homeowners, businesses, builders and manufacturers.  Some of the information provided includes an overview of tax incentives, credit amounts, and descriptions of eligible projects. http://www.energytaxincentives.org

PG&E Resources:  Business Tools

PG&E Business Tools include Energy Usage, Billing History and Rate Comparison Tools. http://www.pge.com/mybusiness/myaccount/analysis/

Demand Response Program

Information on the various Demand Response programs offered by PG&E can be found here. http://www.pge.com/mybusiness/energysavingsrebates/demandresponse/

Large Business Energy Management Solutions

Here you will find information about cash rebates and incentives for replacing existing equipment with new energy efficient technologies or purchasing new equipment.  Design assistance for a new facility and system process is also available.  http://www.pge.com/mybusiness/energysavingsrebates/incentivesbyindustry/

Small and Medium Businesses Energy Management Solutions

Information about rebates, incentives, and resources available for your retrofit or new construction project can be found here.  http://www.pge.com/mybusiness/energysavingsrebates/smallmediumbusiness/

 

ASHRAE GreenGuide: The Design, Construction, and Operation of Sustainable Buildings, 2 nd  ed.  ASHRAE, 2006 ‰

Energy Standard for Buildings except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.  ASHRAE/ANSI Standard 90.1-2007 ‰

Heating, Cooling, Lighting: Sustainable Design Methods for Architects.  Norbert Lechner.  Wiley, 2008 ‰

LEED for Existing Buildings. Version 2.0.  Reference Guide.  USGBC, 2006 ‰

Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings, 10 th  ed. Benjamin Stein, ed.  Wiley, 2006 ‰

Retrocommissioining:  Program Strategies to Capture Energy Savings in Existing Buildings.  Jennifer Thorne.  ACEEE, 2003

Journals  ‰

Building and Environment ‰

Consulting-Specifying Engineer ‰

Energy and Buildings ‰

Environmental Design + Construction (ED +C) Magazine ‰

High Performance Buildings ‰

HPAC Engineering Magazine

Other Print Resources:  ‰

Energy Conservation in Existing Buildings.  ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 100-2006.  ASHRAE, 2006 ‰

Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings: The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers.  ASHRAE, 2009

The Right Way to Invest in Infrastructure

Below is from the McKinsey Quarterly:

In the current debate about how to build a durable economic recovery, it’s welcome news that infrastructure spending is gaining attention. In a December 8 speech on jobs and economic growth, President Obama called for a boost in public investment in infrastructure—beyond what his earlier stimulus package included—to modernize the US transportation and communications networks.

The president’s proposal reflects a consensus among economists that investment in infrastructure is one of the most effective ways to use government spending to promote economic activity. The bad news is that when it comes to implementation, many of the methods revolve largely around the kind of short-term stimulus and Congressional earmarking that are making citizens increasingly impatient and distrustful. If America is really interested in fixing both its unemployment and infrastructure messes over the long term, then it should invest in infrastructure in a different way.

Infrastructure investment is an often-overlooked but crucial way to generate growth and jobs in the United States, even in a global economy with overcapacity in conventional manufacturing. Investing in infrastructure is the ideal way to shift resources and labor from the bubble sectors of housing, finance, and luxury services and into areas that have the potential to boost the long-run rate of American economic growth.

Public investment in infrastructure “crowds in” private investment: every dollar spent on infrastructure has a multiplier effect of $1.59, according to a widely-accepted estimate by Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com. In addition, businesses in general benefit from reduced costs for transportation, communications, and reliable energy and water services. And while some inputs can be imported, most infrastructure activity can be performed only in the United States—creating jobs and strengthening industries at a time when the country and its politicians are struggling to find solutions.

Wisely chosen infrastructure projects that generate benefits to the economy over decades and generations represent the best uses of borrowed money, but the political attention they get usually takes the wrong shape. Much of the public discussion on infrastructure has focused on passenger mass-transit investments that are intended to reduce urban congestion costs, make American cities more pedestrian friendly, and decrease greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. But if the goal is contributing to long-term economic growth, the focus of infrastructure spending should be on the movement of freight and on information technology, not commuters.

Along with advanced telecommunications, the low cost and reliability of freight transportation in the United States have been critical to the country’s economic success. But America’s failure to modernize its overloaded freight transportation infrastructure—chiefly the railroad network and highways used by trucks, but also inland waterways, ports, and airports—is imposing costs on American efficiency. As a result of congestion (highway delays, for instance), the penalty on American growth exacted by logistics costs rose from 8.6 percent of GDP in 2003 to 10.1 percent in 2007, even before the crisis. Meanwhile, emerging economic powers in Asia, such as China, are devoting vast resources to creating world-class transportation and information infrastructures.

To keep up, the United States needs to invest in new infrastructure of all kinds, from universal high-speed broadband to the modernization of transportation and energy systems. And it needs to make existing infrastructure far more efficient by using information technology to create “smart” grids and highways. We should think of different kinds of infrastructure as parts of a coherent system—synergies among different transportation modes, such as rail, trucking, and water, should be exploited, and rights-of-way for roads and rail should be used for new communications and power grids.

And even as infrastructure-related industries rebuild America for a new era of economic growth, they can contribute to rebuilding America’s exports. In the next half century, the poorest nations in the world will add between two billion and three billion people, who will need roads, utilities, and communications grids that could be built by US-based multinationals, with materials and technology sourced partly from the United States. Even larger foreign markets for US infrastructure industries might be found in developing giants such as Brazil, China, and India as these countries shift from a one-sided export promotion strategy to greater investments in growth led by domestic demand.

But to support such an infrastructure modernization in the United States and to strengthen its infrastructure industries enough that they might ultimately generate revenue beyond its borders, funding needs to be not only substantial but also sustainable. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the United States needs to spend at least $2.2 trillion over five years for deferred maintenance of existing infrastructure and investment in new infrastructure. Infrastructure is the kind of public capital asset—with high up-front costs and long-term, continuing benefits—that justifies public borrowing within the limits of a capital budget distinct from ordinary appropriations. For this reason, Congress’s short-term investment proposals deflate the important role infrastructure could play in a long-term recovery. The more effective solution would be to establish a national infrastructure bank, modeled on the European Investment Bank and some state-level economic-development banks.

A national infrastructure bank would serve two purposes. First, it would remove decisions about federally funded infrastructure projects from the pork barrel politics of congressional earmarking—a process that currently inhibits the United States from developing transparent, economically effective infrastructure priorities. Second, a federal infrastructure bank would be able to fund infrastructure in a massive and sustainable way by issuing federal debt, within limits, to fund infrastructure projects of national significance. By contributing to a higher rate of economic growth, infrastructure investment financed by government borrowing could make it easier to reduce the national debt and deficit over time. It would also spur long-term job creation in industries such as manufacturing and construction, currently two of the worst hit by unemployment.

But the hard facts in favor of a national infrastructure bank have led to an even harder political reality. Although President Obama indicated support for such a bank during his campaign, Congress so far has been unwilling to relinquish control of decision making over individual infrastructure projects to an independent agency—and isn’t going to do so anytime soon. And the creation of an infrastructure bank that would be a mere pass-through vehicle for Congressional appropriations would be pointless. So in the absence of firm plans for a national infrastructure bank, we must at least proceed with alternate forms of infrastructure investment.

One important vehicle for greater investment is the multiyear highway-spending bill that Congress is likely to pass in 2010. Other sources of spending are state and local infrastructure bonds that receive favorable tax treatment. As part of the stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act earlier this year included a new class of federally subsidized state and local tax-credit bonds called Build America Bonds, which should generate as much as $50 billion of new infrastructure spending this year. While an important start, programs like these remain a second-best alternative to federal funding and federal choice of projects of regional and national significance.

From the earliest years of the republic, the United States has undertaken massive infrastructure projects—in canals, in railroads, in interstate highways, and in electric grids—that have accelerated economic growth even as they created new industries and new communities. At a time when the country is looking to rebuild business and tackle the highest unemployment figures in decades, we have to turn to public infrastructure investment as one solid solution. Like previous generations, today’s Americans in the aftermath of the bubble economy must lay a foundation for sustained prosperity by creating the infrastructure a 21st-century economy needs.

RSMEANS Free Educational Webinar – JOB ORDER CONTRACTING JOC , THE STIMULUS (& SUSTAINABILITY) READY DELIVERY METHOD

Register

RS Means JOC Educational Seminar

Facility owners know that changes in occupancy, project requests and building lifecycle and infrastructure needs sometimes arrive quite suddenly with tight completion timelines—-spurring the need for quick and professional construction services to accommodate end user requirements.

Potential solution:  Already have a JOC program in place!

Job Order Contracting (JOC) is a construction project delivery method used by facility owners to access quick and professional contractor performance without compromising pricing predictability. It works
especially well for facility owners who might have high volume and/or backlog of smaller projects (mostly under $1M each), such as those found in educational, medical, municipal and federal facilities.

JOC involves indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) services—-which is basically an on-going construction services contract for projects yet to be determined by the owner. The method allows for mutually beneficial long-term relationships between facility owners and JOC contractors for construction services.

Therefore, a unique partnering approach to JOC contract management should be considered. This presentation will address what partnering actions owners can take to promote the successful use of JOC at their facilities.

In addition, this presentation will provide an overview of typical JOC contractor- submitted project proposal content as well as basic tips for the owner regarding JOC proposal review.

SPEAKERS
Mark E. Bailey
President and CEO, Centennial Contractors Enterprises, Inc.
Mark Bailey provides vision and direction to employees in over 40 offices across the country, focusing on Job Order Contracting and IDIQ contracts. Mark gained a wealth of field and office experience with a diverse 24 years of construction industry experience, ranging from superintendent and estimator to heavy civil contractor and project manager. He has authored an article about Job Order Contracting for ENR and is a member of the National and Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, Society of American Military Engineers, Design-Build Institute of America and Center for Job Order Contracting Excellence.
Allen L. Henderson
Consultant, Author, Former Facility Manager, Texas State University
Allen Henderson has 35 years of construction industry experience, including over 25 years at Texas State University-San Marcos. A long-time proponent of the JOC method of construction project delivery, Allen is author of Job Order Contracting—Expediting Construction Project Delivery, published by RSMeans, and has given numerous presentations on the subject. He is currently a board member for the Center for Job Order Contracting Excellence.
John R. Murray
Director, State of Missouri Division of Facilities Management
John Murray is the Missouri State Director of Contract Services for the Division of Facilities Management, Design and Construction. John additionally serves as Vice Chairman of the Planning & Zoning Committee for the Village of Wardsville, Mo and as AIA-CEC-MO Liaison Committee member.
MODERATOR
Robert F. Gair
Principal, RSMeans Business Solutions
Robert F. Gair has over 20 years of construction industry experience in cost modeling and job order contracting and is currently responsible for the fastest growing sector of RSMeans businesses. A business analyst with extensive computer technology experience, Bob provides property management solutions to federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, Department of Labor, and State Department. He was also the 2009 Industry Chair for the Center for Job Order Contracting Excellence.

What makes a good construction estimate?

Clear identification of task

Estimator must be provided with the project description, ground rules, assumptions, technical and performance characteristics. The estimate’s constraints and conditions must be clearly identified to ensure the preparation of a well-documented estimate.

Broad participation in preparing estimates

All players / constituencies should be involved in deciding needs and requirements and in defining parameters and other characteristics.

Availability of valid data

Multiple sources of suitable, relevant, and available data should be used.  Data should be independently verified for accuracy, completeness, and reliability. Relevant, historical data should be used from similar systems to project costs of new systems. The historical data should be directly related to the requirements.

Standardized structure for the estimate

A standard work breakdown structure, as detailed as possible, should be used, refining it as the cost estimate matures and the system becomes more defined.  The standardized structure helps ensure that no portions of the estimate are omitted and makes it easier to make comparisons to similar project.

Provision for program uncertainties

Uncertainties should be identified and allowance developed to cover the cost effect.  Known costs should be included and unknown costs should be allowed for.

Recognition of inflation

The estimator should ensure that economic changes, such as inflation, are properly and realistically reflected in the life-cycle cost estimate.

Recognition of excluded costs

All costs associated with a system should be included; if any cost has been excluded, it should be disclosed and given a rationale.

Independent review of estimates

Conducting an independent review of an estimate is crucial to establishing confidence in the estimate. The independent reviewer should verify, modify, and correct an estimate to ensure realism, completeness, and consistency.

Revision of estimates for significant program

Estimates should be updated to reflect changes in a system’s design requirements. Large changes that affect costs can significantly influence program decisions.

Adapted from GAO Cost Assessment Guide, 2007

JOC – BIM – Facility Management – Capital Planning

4d-5d BIM will support facility management and associated construction projects, however, more efficient construction project delivery methods MUST be linked to your BIM strategy.

Integrated with 4D,5d BIM or stand alone, Job Order Contracting – JOC / SABER – sets the performance “bar” for facility renovation, repair, and sustainability construction project control and transparency.

Whether your in higher education, k-12, state/local government, DOD, or healthcare, the need to increase construction project efficiency has never been greater.    JOC reduces costs and increases quality by fostering collaboration, rewarding performance, and cutting through the archaic, ad-hoc processes associated with traditional DBB (design build build) and provides additional benefits vs. design build.

From concept, through close-out, proven software (see http://www.4clicks.com if interested) is available to embed and assure the JOC process and it is populated with an exclusive 400,000 line item extension of the RSMeans cost database.

Features and benefits included in the JOC software technology deliver robust performance and “real-time” visibility for managing construction projects, programs, and contracts including JOC, SABER, IDIQ, SATOC, MATOC, MACC, POCA, and BOA.  Also…. collaboration, cost control, automated technical evaluation, document management and full reporting capabilities.

see more at: http://www.4clicks.com