ASHRAE Standard 189.1-2011 contains many mandatory provisions that have not yet been evaluated for their cost-effectiveness. The committee recommends that DOD conduct pilot studies on specific provisions of the standard to determine their cost-effectiveness and their practicality in the DOD operating environment before adopting ASHRAE 189.1-2011 in its entirety. As experience with the various provisions emerges, DOD can determine which provisions of the standard are cost-effective and support DOD’s mission and incorporate those provisions into DOD guidance documents when appropriate.
Recommended Approach 3. Put policies and resources in place to measure the actual performance of the Department of Defense’s high-performance, green, and conventional buildings to meet multiple objectives.
Not every individual high-performance or green building will have significant energy and water savings even if it is certified at a LEED-Silver or equivalent rating. The committee recommends for all new construction and major renovations that DOD measure actual performance for 3 years or longer after initial occupancy and use the resulting information and lessons learned to further modify its policies if appropriate. This can be done because DOD meters all of its buildings. Data for conventional buildings should also be gathered to establish baselines for performance measurement.
It will be necessary to continue to use building models in the design stage to support decision making among alternatives. Building models can be improved over time such that predicted results are more closely aligned with actual results, as detailed in Chapter 5. As DOD’s buildings are metered, DOD should gather data on the use of energy, water, and wastewater to establish baselines for conventional buildings and to determine how well high-performance or green buildings are performing in comparison to baselines and in comparison to predictions associated with design models.
DOD can continue to take a leadership role in improving the performance of all federal facilities, as well as all U.S. buildings, by collaborating with the Department of Energy, other federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, and others to improve national databases related to buildings and their performance and to improve the knowledge base related to the design, construction, and operation of high-performance facilities.
Recommended Approach 4. Use investment approaches that analyze the total cost of ownership, a full range of benefits and costs, and uncertain future conditions as part of the decision-making process.
The analytical approach developed by the DOD consultant could potentially be used by DOD to improve the basis for decisions about which investments will be most cost-effective across its portfolio of facilities. The proposed approach accounts for life-cycle costs, variations in geographic conditions, climate, type of building, and local cost factors. It also helps define upper and lower ranges of uncertainty for specific factors that are inherent with decision making about buildings that will be used for 30 years or longer. To use such an approach effectively, however, DOD will need to ensure that the data available for analysis are accurate and reliable.
Recommended Approach 5: Specify and fund training appropriate for facilities managers to ensure the effective operation of high-performance buildings.