To Achieve High Performance Building, Look To ASHRAE Guideline 32

  August 29, 2012

Today's tip from Building Operating Management: Facility managers seeking high performance buildings should check out ASHRAE Guideline 32-2012 For Sustainable, High-performance Operation and Maintenance.

The document offers "general guidance on how to move operating and maintenance procedures for any kind of building to high performance," says Mike Bobker of the CUNY Institute for Urban Systems, who chaired the committee that wrote the guideline. It is not just for new buildings, he says - it is "a compendium of techniques so that an organization can use its own pathway to get there."

The guideline is "friendly to starting wherever you are," Bobker says. "If you have an old furnace, you could tune it."

Many companies are now officially adopting green policies, and "somewhere along the line the light bulb goes on: our buildings matter in this," Bobker says. ASHRAE Standard 180, for HVAC maintenance, can be the starting point for a planned maintenance program, Bobker says.

Adam Hinge, vice-chair of the committee, says the new guideline was deliberately written to address the responsibilities of three levels - senior management, facility managers, and technicians.

A facility manager "probably is going to have the most detailed understanding" of the issues, Bobker says, "but he doesn’t have the power to do it unless there's support from the top."

"The edict should come from above the guy who has to do it," says Lindsay Audin, president of Energywiz. "If it's not from the vice-presidential level, chances are someone’s going to blow it off."

The guidelines can help improve the performance of existing buildings. But, says Audin, "It’s almost impossible to turn an older building into a high-performance building without major retrofits," such as all-new ductwork to meet today’s increased requirements for air circulation.

This has been a Building Operating Management Tip of the Day. Thanks for listening.


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