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April 2, 2012: Building Operation and Maintenance Guideline Is Now Available

April 2, 2012
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ATLANTA — The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has announced a newly published guideline, ASHRAE Guideline 32-2012, Sustainable, High Performance Operation and Maintenance, that the organization says provides guidance on optimizing the operation and maintenance of buildings to achieve the lowest economic and environmental life cycle cost without sacrificing safety or functionality.

“The guideline will assist those who operate and maintain buildings to achieve high performance; safe, productive indoor environments; low economic life cycle cost; low energy, water and resource use; and low impacts on the environment,” said Michael Bobker, chair of the Guideline 32 committee. “The guideline applies to all buildings, not just new ones. We believe that all buildings can move toward sustainable high performance in their operations and maintenance.”

The guideline applies to the ongoing operational practices for buildings and systems with respect to energy efficiency, occupant comfort, indoor air quality, health, and safety. These systems include the building envelope, HVACR, plumbing, complementary energy systems, and utilities and electrical systems.

“Modern air conditioning systems protect the health, comfort, and productivity of building occupants,” said ASHRAE Presidential Member Bill Harrison, whose presidential theme focused on the need for operation and maintenance. “Unfortunately, they consume a lot of energy while providing these benefits. When these systems are not operated properly, the energy they use can increase by 50 percent or more. ASHRAE Guideline 32 helps building owners and managers evaluate and eliminate the wasted energy caused by poor operating procedures. The elimination of non-value producing energy helps protect our environment while saving the building owner money. Guideline 32 provides a no regrets path to improving energy efficiency in our buildings.”

The guideline contains recommendations for three levels of building oversight: senior managers, facility managers, and technicians. Checklists for tracking that appropriate steps are being taken to move toward high-performance operation and maintenance are included for each.

Among the items on the checklists are:

• Technicians
— Develop an HVAC system maintenance program using ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180, Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems.
— Maintain access and code required clearances to all HVAC and electrical equipment.

• Facility managers
— Develop and implement protocols for good facility/system documentation.
— Establish performance baselines and targets. Institute a system for regular reporting and evaluation.

• Senior managers
— Assess buildings, workforce, practices, management tools, and systems.
— Measure and report on building performance as part of regular business analytics.

The cost of ASHRAE Guideline 32, Sustainable, High-Performance Operations and Maintenance, is $69 ($59, ASHRAE members). To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Contact Center at 800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), fax 404-321-5478, or visit www.ashrae.org/bookstore.

Publication date: 04/02/2012

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