Who is your Owner’s Performance Advocate?
It is well documented that existing buildings are among the largest contributors to greenhouse-gas emissions (GHGs). Data from the US Energy Information Administration shows that buildings are responsible for almost half (48 percent) of all greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions annually. Further, sixty-six percent of all electricity generated by US power plants goes to supply the building sector. Clearly, poor building performance resulting in worsening climate change conditions is a problem worthy of finding a solution. But, building owner’s will not, nor should they, invest in building performance that is not empirically tied to expected results. Those of us working in the built environment can name more than a few projects that had noble goals but few, if any, were realized. We seem satisfied to justify over-investment as some kind of required, expensive learning curve.
The good news is we now have financial, social and environmental evidence that justifies investments in high performance buildings. We, along with many other sustainability and environmental advocates agree that the efforts of governments and sustainability certification programs are not enough to achieve climate change goals. But, to reach aspirations like Zero Energy or 2030 Goals, the industry must incorporate Owner’s Performance Advocacy for Whole-Building Performance into the construction delivery process.
In our vernacular, Owner’s Performance Advocacy is an activity by an individual or group that aligns design, construction and commissioning activities to performance-based metrics, which are expected to be realized and measured in operations.
In our recently released book, “The Power of Existing Buildings—Save Money, Improve Health and Reduce Environmental Impacts,” we teach enlightened owners how to utilize technology to build and/or renovate the highest-performing building(s) at the lowest possible costs. We advocate for using building science and the Natural Order of Sustainability to ensure that decision making is done in a proper and logical sequence. Such an approach is the secret to providing building owners with the tools and confidence to radically change building performance. For our purposes, when we refer to building performance, we are always referring to significant reduction of energy consumption and the dramatic improvement of indoor environmental quality. Using our approach, we know that building owners never have to sacrifice energy conservation to get indoor environmental quality or indoor environmental quality to get energy conservation.
When we engage as Owner’s Performance Advocates, we provide owners with the empirical data they need at various stages of a project to prioritize investments in new and existing buildings. We create enough data that owners can see the impact an individual decision or groups of decisions will have on building performance metrics, first (construction) costs and long-term operating costs.
At AUROS Group, The Owner’s Performance Advocate™, our mission is to align all project team members to building performance metrics that owners will measure in operations. Our job is to advocate for our owners to ensure they realize the building performance for which they paid.