USGBC to Collect LEED-Building Performance Data

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the creation of a data collection effort for LEED-certified buildings.

The Building Performance Initiative aims to provide feedback to building owners so they have better information with which to address any performance gaps between predicted building performance and actual performance. This initiative is in addition to the announcement earlier this year that USGBC will require ongoing performance data from buildings as part of their certification under the latest version of LEED and beyond.

“This initiative is about gathering knowledge about building performance in a way no one has ever done before,” said USGBC LEED Senior Vice President, Scot Horst. “The information that we collect from our certified projects is a workable, holistic approach for achieving better performing buildings.”

Horst noted that the LEED green building program was created to transform the way buildings traditionally have been designed and constructed with the goal of reducing the building’s impact on the environment by being more energy, water and resource efficient, but a building’s day-to-day operation has a dramatic impact on its performance. Without better information, an owner or facility manager won’t know where the gaps are and be able to act on them.

Numerous things affect the ability of a building to deliver high performance, including energy modeling tools, properly timed energy models, quality building commissioning, proper goal setting/benchmarking, and coordination between design and operation.

The biggest issue by far is how the people use the building day to day: Do they forget to turn out the lights when they leave the room? Leave the water running in the sink? Do the facility managers have protocols for checking automatic controls? Do they know when those controls are malfunctioning?

“Plenty of people are content to simply point to these longstanding issues without offering a constructive way to address them. We’re going to take them on and engage practitioners and thought leaders alike in establishing a national roadmap to optimize building performance,” continued Horst.

The USGBC will hold four Building Performance Initiative summits across the U.S. this September and October.

Participants will have a chance to preview USGBC’s data collection agenda and proposed analysis methodology and provide other feedback. “The local summits are a way to gather people’s input for our vision and also for them to share their performance stories, successes and challenges,” said Horst.

LEED Criticism

The LEED program has been criticized recently, after the General Services Administration found that the LEED-certified Federal Building in Youngstown, Ohio was not particularly energy efficient, having earned its certification through other green features like graywater recycling and native landscaping.

Read the New York Times report at the link below.

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