Kevin Smith, P.E., C.E.M.
In the past two decades we have seen a significant shift in our industry to a focus on energy efficiency and sustainability. In order to properly gauge whether this shift has had a quantifiable impact, terms such as Energy Use Intensity (EUI), Power Use Effectiveness (PUE), and Gallons/Day have become commonplace. These simplified metrics are useful tools in tracking resource consumption, but they have limits. For example, in a college campus setting, an attractive building may be occupied and used more intensively than other buildings that are not as appealing to students. The resulting higher energy use per square foot would be a mark of success rather than a failure of building performance. What opportunities for more insightful measurement to influence design and development are being missed? This presentation will explore a range of common performance metrics covering all facets of the built environment including energy, water, waste, human factors, and more. The focus will then be switched to where these metrics do and don’t work, and how project teams can tailor metrics to their projects and define building performance in a way that benefits the overall impact of the building. Finally, scale will be introduced to explore how jumping from building-scale to district-scale, or even city-scale, should impact the way we measure and evaluate performance.
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