High Performance Buildings: Avoiding Problems

Use the phrase "high-performance building" and many owners and facility managers will immediately think, "paperwork-intensive, LEED-certified building" or "complex, high-tech building with a steep operating learning curve." 

Say "energy modeling," and they may recall a building that just didn't live up to the energy-savings projections under conditions of actual use. Maybe it wasn't constructed as designed. Maybe water or cold air leaked into the building through windows, walls or somewhere else. Or maybe the building systems were a nightmare to operate and maintain. 

All too often, these concerns are justified. But it doesn't have to be that way. 

A high-performance building can be designed for both performance and practicality. It can be constructed to specifications and the results verified through building-envelope commissioning to make sure it is water- and air-tight. 

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