The development of a simple multi-nodal tool to identify performance issues in existing commercial buildings
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Copyright © 2013 The Authors
Australia’s building stock includes many older commercial buildings with numerous factors that impact energy performance and indoor environment quality. The built environment industry has generally focused heavily on improving physical building design elements for greater energy efficiency (such as retrofits and environmental upgrades), however there are noticeable ‘upper limits’ to performance improvements in these areas. To achieve a stepchange improvement in building performance, the authors propose that additional components need to be addressed in a whole of building approach, including the way building design elements are managed and the level of stakeholder engagement between owners, tenants and building managers. This paper focuses on the opportunities provided by this whole-of-building approach, presenting the findings of a research project undertaken through the Sustainable Built Environment National Research Centre (SBEnrc) in Australia. Researchers worked with a number of industry partners over two years to investigate issues facing stakeholders at base building and tenancy levels, and the barriers to improving building performance. Through a mixed-method, industry-led research approach, five ‘nodes’ were identified in whole-of-building performance evaluation, each with interlinking and overlapping complexities that can influence performance. The nodes cover building management, occupant experience, indoor environment quality, agreements and culture, and design elements. This paper outlines the development and testing of these nodes and their interactions, and the resultant multi-nodal tool, called the ‘Performance Nexus’ tool. The tool is intended to be of most benefit in evaluating opportunities for performance improvement in the vast number of existing low-performing building stock.
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