Saturday, December 25, 2010

The New International Green Construction Code

From Today's Facility Manager

ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2009 for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings is the compliance path within the IGCC (International Green Construction Code). Which facility manager (fm) activities does the Standard impact? Everything and nothing. Everything because the Plans for Operation chapter gets into almost all of the day to day and long-term activities of facility operations and maintenance (O&M). Nothing because none of this is mandatory.

Like many guidelines from ASHRAE and others, 189.1 is a design standard. It is not a building operations standard. The same care that went into the design ought to go into the construction and operation. But the designer can think about the operational needs and be asked to develop a Plan for Operation—which is exactly what 189.1 requires.

Ideally, the designer and fm would discuss these design choices (including how the building will be operated) and will collaborate throughout the design, construction, and startup process. The Standard encourages, but cannot require—such collaboration; instead, it fosters the opportunity for an integrated design byproduct.

The facility manager of a building designed in accordance with 189.1 will receive the following:
• Systems manual: giving information about the installed systems;
• Final commissioning report: outlining the intent of the building and its systems and how well the completed building meets this intent;
• Service life plan: detailing the expected life of the building and its components and maintenance activities; and
• Transportation management plan: describing operational plans for encouraging efficient transportation of employees to the building.
189.1 requires verification of water and energy use. Daily profiles are recorded to show peaks in consumption. Data is then entered in the Energy Star Portfolio Manager (a U.S. EPA program), performance assessed after 12 to 18 months, and documents retained at least three years. (Today's Facility Manager, November, 2010)

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