February 2013
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ATLANTA – Tools and techniques for measuring, managing and improving the performance of a facility as demonstrated by its energy and water use and indoor environmental quality, are contained in a new guide.

“This is the book that facility managers, building operators, technicians, consultants, commissioning authorities, architects and design engineers need to ensure that their buildings are green, energy efficient, highly productive, healthy and attractive to others,” Jim Bochat, chair of the project committee that wrote the book, said. “This Guide gives building owners and their consultants the practical performance measurement guidance to meet market demands for keeping operating costs down without sacrificing the health, comfort and productivity of their highest cost component—the building’s occupants.”

“Performance Measurement Procedures for Commercial Buildings: Best Practices Guide” serves as the how-to guide for continuously evaluating and improving the performance of commercial buildings throughout their service life.

Published by ASHRAE and funded in part through a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the book provides specific best practices in the areas of energy use, water use and four elements of indoor environmental quality (IEQ): thermal comfort, indoor air quality (IAQ), lighting/daylighting and acoustics. Using this guidance, owners can be proactive on an ongoing basis to reduce costs through measurement and verification of their buildings’ environments.

The book is a companion to the 2010 publication, “Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings,” which identifies what to measure, how to measure it and how often it is to be measured for inclusion in buildings’ operation and maintenance plan.

The Guide presents step-by-step procedures at three process levels of performance, which are intended to match the level of cost and intensity of effort for a range of types and sizes of facilities. An accompanying CD contains a report template and standardized forms, worksheets and checklists for use by the building in implementing the procedures.

For example, the three process levels of performance for energy are:

•    The Basic Evaluation level reduces energy consumption and cost through the elimination of wasted energy and the improvement of system and equipment operation. Measurement focuses on energy bill analysis and a facility walk-through inspection (ASHRAE Level I energy audit) to identify obvious energy waste and low-cost or no-cost improvements; no additional measurement is conducted. This level does not require an outside specialist or professional.
•    In Diagnostic Measurement, energy performance measurements include sub-metering of major end uses and specific components, along with the equivalent of an ASHRAE Level II energy audit. The audit task requires the use of physical measurement and instruments, augmented by calculations, by a person experienced in energy use and cost analysis measures. Energy efficiency measures having a simple payback of three to five years are identified.
•    At the Advanced Analysis level, evaluation focuses in-depth on specific systems and equipment so as to determine the location and cause of energy use problems. The approach is to compare detailed interval data to self-reference benchmarks that indicate how the systems and equipment should be operating, in the specific application or operational context.  The first step is to engage a consultant to identify which systems are to be monitored and how.

Other examples of performance measurement protocols are:

Water Assessment
An Advanced Analysis water assessment involves detailed water use readings and advanced usage analysis, normally employing a specialist or consultant. Sub-meters are used for cooling towers and boiler make-up water, process water, cleaning water and recycled and/or harvested rainwater. Recommendations for water use improvement are developed.

Thermal Comfort
Basic Evaluation activities for thermal comfort provide a non-specialist with tools for determining whether perceived thermal comfort is adequate or whether there are deficiencies that can be corrected without the need for physical measurements. Evaluation activities include occupant surveys and field observations gathered by building walk-throughs.

Indoor Air Quality
For Diagnostic Measurement, building data are gathered to identify the location and cause of problems, as they have been identified by occupant surveys or complaints; measurements are not conducted at this level. If IAQ problems are confirmed but cannot be remedied by simple measures, users are referred to the Advanced Analysis phase where an expert is retained to investigate. Outside air rates should be measured for each ventilation system. Room humidity, exhaust airflow direction and filter pressure drop are tested.

At the Advanced Analysis level recommended activities require the services of a professional with lighting/daylighting expertise.  Performance measurement consists of surveying the building occupants regarding satisfaction with lighting/daylighting and using the walk-through checklist in Appendix A. Issues related to lighting and control, daylighting methods and controls, visual activity, methods of measurement and energy use are addressed.

Diagnostic Measurements are taken to diagnose the extent of dissatisfaction identified in the Basic Evaluation. Building operators without personnel skilled in sound level measurements should proceed to the Advanced Analysis level and seek outside professional services. Dissatisfaction related to background and intruding noise typically requires A-weighed, equivalent sound pressure level measurements.

The cost of “Performance Measurement Procedures for Commercial Buildings: Best Practices Guide” is $99 ($84 ASHRAE members).

To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Contact Center at 1-800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), fax : 678-539-2129, or visit www.ashrae.org/bookstore.

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is a building technology society with more than 50,000 members worldwide. The Society and its members focus on building systems, energy efficiency, indoor air quality, refrigeration and sustainability within the industry. Through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education, ASHRAE shapes tomorrow’s built environment today.


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