ATLANTA — A newly published guideline from ASHRAE grants facility managers and building operating staff a foundation on which to improve performance of all buildings.

ASHRAE Guideline 32-2012, “Sustainable, High Performance Operation, and Maintenance,” provides guidance on optimizing 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 costs; 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, utilities, and electrical systems.

“Modern air conditioning systems protect the health, comfort, and productivity of building occupants,” said ASHRAE presidential member Bill Harrison. “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 wasted energy caused by poor operating procedures. The elimination of non-value producing energy helps protect our environment while saving the building owner money.”

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.

ASHRAE Guideline 32 is available for $69. To order, contact ASHRAE at 800-527-4723 or visit

Publication date: 05/07/2012