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Jan. 3, 2012: Report Released on Data Needs for Achieving High-Performance Buildings

WASHINGTON — The National Institute of Building Sciences High-Performance Building Data Collection Initiative has released a report addressing data needs of the building industry now that the Commercial Building Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) is no longer scheduled for release by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The Initiative issued the report, Data Needs for Achieving High-Performance Buildings, during the 2011 National Institute of Building Sciences Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with Ecobuild America at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Members of the Initiative also discussed recommendations and potential next steps following the report’s release.

“The lack of updated energy data from the CBECS has left a void that the building industry will need to fill in order to have the metrics to achieve the numerous high-performance building goals set before us,” said Institute President Henry L. Green, Hon. AIA, “We at the Institute are pleased to be able to facilitate the bringing together of industry stakeholders to streamline the collection, correlation, and dissemination of data to achieve these goals. This report, developed through the expertise of Institute staff and industry representatives, is the first step to ensuring that high-performance buildings become the norm across America.”

The Institute established the High-Performance Building Data Collection Initiative on May 3, 2011, following the EIA announcements on future availability of commercial building energy use data through the CBECS. The Initiative is focused on identifying a path forward for collecting and disseminating data on all high-performance building attributes, not just energy use. Over the past several years, the building industry has increasingly expressed a need for additional building benchmark data on other high-performance building attributes, including safety and security, accessibility, cost effectiveness, water use, and indoor environmental quality. The Initiative included these considerations in its report.

More than 30 witnesses provided testimony at an Institute hearing to assess building data needs. The report incorporates this input and identifies current data needs, relevant data users, existing data and its use, additional collection opportunities and tools to support data use.

Recommendations focus on short- and long-term needs for the development and maintenance of a comprehensive dataset of high-performance building attributes. The New Buildings Institute (NBI) and the National Environmental Balancing Bureau (NEBB) both supported the hearing and the report.

Three Institute representatives presided over the hearing proceedings: Gordon Holness, a current member of the Institute board of directors, is past president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); Ron Skaggs, a past chairman of the Institute board, is past president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA); and Henry L. Green, current president of the Institute, is past president of the International Code Council.

The report is available on the High-Performance Building Data Collection Initiative’s web page at www.nibs.org/index.php/newsevents/HPBData/.

Publication date: 01/02/2012

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