committee members communicated with each other by e-mail and conference calls in order to complete their report.
The committee focused on the main purposes of the statement of task but did not have time to conduct extensive additional investigations. Thus, the committee’s report does not evaluate building standards or certification systems that were not specified in the statement of task, describe the various debates about the use of green building certification systems, acknowledge the full array of initiatives underway at DOD, or assess how DOD is complying with various mandates. The committee is aware that federal agencies are using other ASTM building standards and possibly other green building certification systems, such as the Living Building Challenge. DOD’s Sustainability Performance Plan for FY2011 (DOD, 2010) describes the many approaches that DOD and the military services have initiated to reduce their use of energy, water, and fossil fuels and to reduce their production of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as research and development of technologies and the testing of new technologies. The committee is also aware of the public dialog regarding whether it is more effective to have buildings certified by third parties or if self-certification is sufficient and also the controversies related to different materials and products allowed by the LEED and Green Globes green building certification systems. However, many of these issues were outside the scope of the committee’s statement of task and, therefore, are not discussed in any detail in this report.
For the literature review, the committee established the following criteria related to time frame, robustness, and relevancy to determine which publications it would review in detail:
• Time frame. The committee relied on studies published in 2004 or later because the first studies evaluating the incremental costs to design and construct LEED-certified buildings were published in 2004. The first evaluations of a sample of at least six high-performance or green buildings in the United States were published in 2006.
• Robustness. The committee focused on studies with clearly stated objectives, a clearly defined methodology, findings based on empirical data, and a sample size of at least six buildings. The committee relied more heavily on those studies that reported measured results for energy (utility bills) or other factors (post-occupancy evaluations) than on studies that reported modeled or predicted results. A discussion of issues related to the use of measured data, as opposed to modeled data, is contained in Chapter 3.
The committee also relied more heavily on studies based on larger sample sizes and excluded individual case studies. Larger sample sizes can help to eliminate some factors of bias, error, and chance that are prevalent in individual case studies, although those factors may still be present.
• Relevancy to the DOD operating environment. The committee focused on those studies that were most relevant to the DOD operating environment. The research on high-performance or green buildings includes a number of reports that analyze the market and price effects of green versus conventional buildings in terms of rental rates, vacancy rates, turnover ratios, appraised value, and other factors. Those studies have value, particularly to private-sector owners and developers and to federal agencies such as the GSA, which acquires commercial building space for the use of other federal agencies. However, the committee chose not to review those studies in detail because market-related factors are not directly related to DOD, which typically owns and operates buildings for its own use for 30 years or longer.
To evaluate the DOD consultant’s report, the committee reviewed a paper outlining the consultant’s proposed methodology prior to its first meeting. On June 28, 2012, the consultant discussed the proposed methodology with the committee in greater detail. The committee also heard from representatives of ASHRAE, the USGBC, and GBI, who were invited to express concerns that they had about the methodology (they had been provided the same paper as the committee prior to the meeting). On June 29,