(e.g., different plug loads). An “actual use/as-built model” is best suited for use as a benchmark to assess whether the building performs as it should and to correct deficiencies in operation.

The difference between modeled energy or water use and actual energy or water use is important for facilities managers and other decision makers when communicating with other stakeholders. Using data from LEED, GBI, or ASHRAE design models in decision making or in communications can set unrealistically high expectations that cannot be met. Using data from an as-built model will provide more realistic performance data. However, conveying information based on measured energy or water use will provide the most realistic data for decision-making and will improve the credibility of facilities managers and decision makers with other stakeholders.

Finding 8. DOD has the opportunity to continue to take a leadership role in improving the knowledge base about high-performance buildings, improving decision-support tools, and improving building models by collecting data on measured energy, water, and other resource use for its portfolio of buildings and by collaborating with others.

The data currently available to support decision-making about investments in military construction and major renovation projects are inadequate. Under the Energy Performance Act of 2005, all federal buildings are required to be metered by FY2012. Metered data for energy and water use can be used to improve decision support tools and processes, establish baselines for conventional buildings, and measure the performance of high-performance or green buildings against those baselines. DOD could work with the Department of Energy (DOE) and others to improve the available knowledge and databases related to high-performance buildings to the benefit of the federal government and society.

Finding 9. Effective operation of high-performance buildings requires well-trained facilities managers.

High-performance or green buildings incorporate new building design processes, new technologies, and new materials. Effective operation of high-performance buildings requires well-trained facilities managers who understand the interrelationships among building technologies, occupant behavior, and overall building performance, as recognized through the enactment of the Federal Buildings Personnel Training Act of 2010.

The actual performance of green buildings also depends on the actions of building occupants, who can easily undermine effective building operations by bringing in additional appliances and equipment, by leaving computers and lights on, and similar practices. Facilities managers need to understand the human aspect of building performance as well as the engineering aspects.


Decisions about investments related to new construction and major renovations of buildings at DOD installations are not reducible to a single decision rule (such as benefit-cost maximization), nor are facilities managers responsible to a single stakeholder. In fact, facilities managers must assess the relative merits of facilities improvement projects against performance with respect to multiple decision criteria and justify recommendations to stakeholder groups and governing bodies that hold different, and sometimes conflicting, priorities. Trade-offs are required for most building projects: design and construction costs (i.e., first costs) versus operating and maintenance and deconstruction costs, resilience and flexibility factors versus worker productivity, and so forth.

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