By Steve Rizer
ConstructionPro Week (CPW) has profiled 18 books, reports, and other documents that various organizations have published so far this year to promote greener buildings across America. Among the publishers are the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), National Technical Information Service (NTIS), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
New publications include the following:
- Moving Forward: Findings and Recommendations for the Consultative Council -- This eight-page report, released last week, outlines NIBS’ recommendations to President Obama for optimizing building performance nationwide. The report includes findings and suggestions in five “key” areas: “the building workforce,” “guidance on the use of non-potable water,” “understanding the energy/water nexus,” “supporting the existing state and local building regulatory infrastructure,” and “developing the business case for private-sector investment in hazard mitigation.” Among other things, NIBS recommended that the National Institute of Standards and Technology “develop water and energy industry-accepted evaluation, measurement, and verification protocols that standards developers can utilize to help make determinations on provisions where water and energy tradeoffs exist.” The report can be accessed at http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.nibs.org/resource/resmgr/CC/NIBS_2013_CCReport.pdf.
- Behavioral Strategies to Bridge the Gap Between Potential and Actual Savings in Commercial Buildings -- This NTIS report focuses on how building operators approach energy use and conservation in their work, viewing the building as a “social system.” The report is based on interviews, a workshop, surveys, and case studies involving operators, facilities staff, researchers, policymakers, and occupants. “We found two clusters of obstacles to lowered energy use,” the report authors wrote. “First, while building operators have the technical means to reduce energy use, social, organizational, and technical constraints limit ability and motivation. These include low status, customer service practices, poor feedback on occupant environment, little energy data, and technology shortcomings. A second cluster of obstacles rests on the fact that current combinations of buildings, management, and expectations leave many occupants dissatisfied with their indoor environments.” One of the suggested remedies is to shift the focus of energy use reduction strategies to garner increased input from building operators, who are considered to be in an ideal position to shape and vet solutions. For additional information about the publication, visit http://www.ntis.gov/search/product.aspx?ABBR=PB2014105049.
- The Promise and the Potential of Comprehensive Commercial Building Retrofit Programs -- “While many utility programs offer incentives for comprehensive retrofits, the participation in such programs has been limited,” according to the report. The publication reviews more than 25 programs from across the nation and recommends pathways that program administrators can adopt to increase their market penetration and improve program outcomes.” The report summarizes ACEEE’s “key” findings along the program life cycle, from prospecting and outreach to design and implementation to monitoring and verification of savings. “Leading programs in this space have innovatively designed incentives that encourage deeper savings. We find that advances in measuring real-time energy-use data and advanced analytical capabilities are creating new opportunities for whole-building assessments, identification of comprehensive savings, and automated monitoring and tracking of energy-systems performance.” For additional information, visit http://www.aceee.org/research-report/a1402.
- A Graphical Approach to Evaluating High-Performing Buildings: Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Energy, Water, and Waste -- This paper presents a graphical approach to illustrating the performance of high-performing buildings. “Our approach enables building designers, owners, operators, and occupants to evaluate the performance of a building as designed and as operated with respect to four key attributes of high-performing buildings: indoor air quality, energy use, water consumption, and waste generation. Drawing upon both simulated and measured data, graphical representations of different buildings are presented that enable comparisons among these four attributes. Special attention is given to indoor concentrations of potential concern, onsite energy generation, water reuse, and the reduction of waste generated during construction.” For additional information, visit http://www.nist.gov/publication-portal.cfm.
The ConstructionPro Network member version of this article includes summaries of 14 more recently released green building publications.