Building Performance

Building Performance

High-performance buildings are a priority in green building rating systems and green building codes. Buildings that perform at peak efficiency reduce carbon emissions, ensure occupants are safe and comfortable, and generate energy savings over the life of the building. This includes all types of buildings from homes and schools to offices and manufacturing facilities.

Commissioning and Retro-Commissioning

Commissioning has become an increasingly popular and important piece of new commercial construction projects, especially green building projects. Commissioning is an intensive process whereby commissioning professionals ensure a building's systems perform in accordance with the original design and the owner's operational needs. Commissioning professionals, or "agents," document the process from the design phase through a year or more after construction is completed. They also make sure building staff are prepared to operate and maintain the building systems.

Retro-commissioning applies a similar process to existing buildings. The goal is to improve an existing building's operations and maintenance to enhance overall building performance.

Commissioning professionals can be found at architectural and engineering firms or may have their own consulting business.

The Energy Audit

Most green building professionals agree one of the first and most steps towards achieving higher efficiency in existing buildings--homes and businesses--is conducting a comprehensive energy audit. This includes an inspection of the building's shell, heating and cooling system, doors and windows, lighting and combustion appliances/equipment. 

Energy professionals or "auditors" use specialized equipment, including blower doors and thermal cameras, to identify energy efficiency and safety issues in a building. They usually provide a detailed report with their findings and recommendations for repairs. The goal is to help building owners make their buildings safe, comfortable and energy efficient.

Building owners interested in an energy audit should look for certified energy professionals (i.e., BPI, LEED, RESNET).

Look for green building professionals in the Member Directory.

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