ing buildings that conform to those versions of the standards. The only information available about the expected performance of buildings constructed to those versions of the standards was based on the same design models that were used in the development of the standards.

The NDAA also required an evaluation of the LEED Volume certification program. The LEED Volume certification program is a relatively new program developed for organizations that plan to certify at least 25 design and construction projects or existing buildings. The program is intended to reduce the time and costs involved with certifying 25 or more buildings by using streamlined processes. As with the ASHRAE standards, there is little experience with the program to date, which necessarily limited the committee’s evaluation.

Continuous Improvement of Building Standards and Green Building Certification Systems and Related Factors

Building standards and green building certification systems are regularly updated to take into account new objectives, techniques, knowledge, and technologies for buildings. As a result, multiple versions of each exist (such as ASHRAE standards 90.1-2001, 90.1-2004, and 90.1-2007 and LEED 1.0, 2.0, 2.2, and 3.0). Research studies that seek to analyze the performance of buildings constructed in accord with the standards or green building certification systems typically do not identify the specific versions of the standards and certification systems, but instead only refer to ASHRAE Standard 90.1 or LEED-certified buildings. Instead, the research typically compares buildings that are defined as green to a sample of conventional buildings. Studies related to LEED-certified buildings typically include buildings constructed under different versions of LEED and meeting a range of certification levels, so even these have great variability. Finally, the inclusion by reference of ASHRAE 90.1 into other building standards and green building certification systems is a confounding factor that makes it difficult to clearly distinguish which specific benefits and costs are attributable to a specific standard or certification system.

Quality, Quantity, and Scope of the Literature

In its review of the literature on high-performance and green buildings, the committee identified hundreds of publications ranging from well-designed, empirical studies to individual case studies to opinion editorials. In some studies, building performance data were based on predictions using simulation models, while other studies presented data on the performance of actual buildings based on utility bills and post-occupancy surveys. Although some of the empirical studies analyzed LEED-certified buildings, none of the empirical studies used Green Globes-certified buildings in the sample. The only data available on the actual performance of Green Globes-certified buildings were individual case studies.


The committee met as a group in Washington, D.C., on June 28 and 29, 2012, and again on September 17 and 18, 2012. At both meetings the committee scheduled presentations from and discussions with DOD staff, the DOD consultant, and representatives of ASHRAE, the USGBC, and the GBI. The audience included representatives from DOD, the military services, other federal agencies, and from nonprofit organizations. Webinars were run to allow staff from DOD and the military services to participate remotely. Public comment sessions were scheduled to allow other interested groups to address the committee and submit written materials. Appendix B contains the list of meetings, invited speakers, and other parties who spoke during the public comment sessions. Between and after its meetings the

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement