“High performance buildings are designed and operated to meet specific standards for energy consumption, water use, system reliability and uptime, environmental performance, indoor air quality, noise levels, occupant health and comfort, and other mission essential factors”
Energy prices continue to rise. The economy is still sluggish. Organisations are focused on doing more with less, improving productivity, shrinking their environmental footprint and spending scarce capital budget dollars in ways that will provide the best return on investment.
Enterprises of all kinds are beginning to recognise the enormous opportunity that addressing underperforming buildings offers. After all, in India buildings account for 30 per cent of total energy consumption, according to the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC).
Using high performance building standards to design new buildings, improve existing buildings and operate all buildings is the best way to turn buildings into value-adding assets, rather than just expenses, and reduce their environmental impact. High performance buildings are energy and water efficient. They use durable and non-toxic materials that are high in recycled content. They preserve natural areas on their sites and restore damaged ones. They use non-polluting and renewable energy to the greatest extent possible.
The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) estimates that energy expenses amount to 29 per cent of the total operating costs for a typical commercial building. Building owners and operators can reduce their energy costs by 20-25 per cent per year by taking a high performance building approach, according to the USGBC. But cost savings only scratch the surface of the full potential of high performance buildings, which also improve the efficiency and productivity of their occupants and help enterprises achieve their primary missions.
High Performance Buildings Improve Organisational PerformanceHigh performance buildings are designed and operated to meet specific standards for energy consumption, water use, system reliability and uptime, environmental performance, indoor air quality, noise levels, occupant health and comfort, and other mission essential factors.
Operating standards are set, measured and continually validated to deliver established outcomes within specific tolerances. The standards vary depending on an organisation’s mission. For example, a hospital would likely set different acoustical and indoor air quality standards than a school, which would have different standards than an office building or factory.
For example, providing a productive environment for its employees is one of the goal of Godrej Bhavan, which recently completed a project to improve the performance of its building at Fort, Mumbai. With heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system upgrades, web-enabled building controls and other improvements implemented; the company created a better environment for employees while reducing annual energy costs. The building became the first in the city of Mumbai to earn Gold certification from USGBC in the existing building (EB) category. High performance buildings can also help organisations improve their image and attract and retain customers, employees, investors and tenants.
Service Innovations Enable High Performance for Life Efficient operation over a building’s decades-long occupied life is the linchpin of the high performance business approach and the best way to impact a building’s total cost. In fact, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) estimates that operating costs represent 60-85 per cent of a building’s total lifecycle costs, eclipsing the amount typically spent on design and construction.
Intelligent service approaches that are holistic, technology-enabled and knowledge-based are the engine of high performance buildings. They ensure that a building’s physical environment meets the mission requirements of the organisation that occupies the facility. Intelligent services technologies continuously monitor critical building systems and use sophisticated analytic and diagnostic tools to identify potential problems and enable building owners and operators to make informed, real-time decisions.
An effective service strategy helps organisations achieve best-in-class building performance. Improved efficiency reduces lifecycle costs so an organisation can invest in other priorities.
Achieving Superior Performance for LifeThe technologies that enable high performance buildings have advanced in recent years along with a sharper focus on total costs, energy efficiency and sustainability. Achieving the full potential of high performance buildings requires a whole building, whole lifecycle approach that recognises opportunities to reduce total costs of a building’s occupied life, rather than focusing only on first costs.
High performance buildings are energy-efficient, durable, environmentally responsible and much more. They are organisational assets that improve the comfort, productivity and efficiency of the people and organisations that occupy them. Ultimately, a high performance building becomes a strategic asset that helps an organisation achieve its primary mission and pays for itself many times during its occupied life.
Michel van Roozendaal, Vice President of Service, Controls, Turnkey and Aftermarket for the Climate Solutions Sector (Thermo King and Trane) in the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa Region, Ingersoll Rand