news – March 2021
Measuring Energy Performance
The AIA offers valuable lessons about how to improve the energy performance of any given project portfolio.
ENERGY EFFICIENT DESIGN IS THE CORNERSTONE OF THE AIA 2030 COMMITMENT. While architecture firms are participating and improving their energy performance targets, more needs to be done downstream at the production home build sector to bring greater energy savings to the masses of residential homeowners.
The AIA offers valuable lessons about how to improve the energy performance of any given project portfolio. Designers must continue to improve and refine the design process to meet future targets and builders must also examine and measure their own contribution to reducing waste and ensuring that energy performance metrics continue to improve.
An example of how the builders’ associations and trade groups can bring greater awareness to energy performance is to connect performance to design excellence. Any evaluation of a design-build should be predicated on performance as a major criteria for design excellence. Awards are great, but let’s make it clear that you can’t achieve outstanding design without outstanding environmental performance.
Additionally, leadership must make energy and environmental performance a priority, with firm goals and expectations. Likewise, you must give your team the systems and tools to set targets, share information, and measure results, cultivating a sense of sustainability within your organization.
Finally, those in leadership need to support an integrated design-build process, bringing together various disciplines early in the process to foster dialogue and a shared sense of responsibility. Homeowners are critical to the dialogue and should be engaged early in the design decision-making process.
Climate change is real and today’s home buyer is savvy enough to understand and appreciate those design and build firms who are taking energy performance seriously. The only way to improve performance is to measure it and make it a mandate from leadership that the issue be taken seriously.