Book Aims to Provide Standard Building Performance Protocols

A new book from three building industry associations can provide a standardized set of protocols that can be applied consistently to the assessment of building performance.

The book, Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings, identifies what to measure, how to measure it and how often it is to be measured for inclusion in a building’s operations and maintenance plan.

“Although many buildings claim to be green or high performance, it’s rare that evidence or data is presented to verify these claims,” says Jeff Haberl, who chaired the committee that wrote the book. “If claims of high performance are to be credible, it is essential that a common set of measurements be used and that the results be reported against meaningful and consistent benchmarks. Reliable and reproducible protocols are also needed to give usable feedback to designers and operators when measured performance does not match design intent and expectations.”

The book was published by ASHRAE and developed in collaboration with the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Because energy efficiency should not compromise the services provided in the building, the protocols cover indoor environmental quality measures as well as energy and water use.

“The collaboration of CIBSE with ASHRAE and USGBC on this project demonstrates the importance of international engineering collaboration to deliver measurably green buildings, not just green promises,” says Hywel Davies, technical director of CIBSE and vice chair of the committee.

Protocols are developed at three levels for each of six performance categories: energy, water, thermal comfort, indoor air quality, lighting and acoustics. The three specification levels are:

• basic level, which outlines simple, low-cost measures that provide an initial insight into performance at the annual, whole-building level;
• intermediate level, which provides additional data on the building performance, typically at a monthly frequency and major system level; and
• advanced level, which offers a more detailed and comprehensive analysis for those building owners or managers wishing to gain deeper insights into the performance of a building, typically at a daily or weekly frequency at the system or equipment level.

The book costs $89 ($75 for ASHRAE members), and can be ordered by calling ASHRAE Customer Service at 1-800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), or by visiting

Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »

  posted on 6/4/2010   Article Use Policy

Related Topics: