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Abdallah, M, El-Rayes, K and Liu, L (2013) Operational Performance of Sustainable Measures in Public Buildings. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 139(12).
- Type: Journal Article
- Keywords: Green buildings; Public buildings; Sustainable development; Measurement; Green building measures; Operational performance; Public buildings; User satisfaction; Ease of maintenance; Operational problems; Payback period; Cost and schedule;
- ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
- URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0000770
Buildings in the United States account for 40% of the national annual energy consumption, 39% of carbon footprint, and 13% of water consumption. To minimize these negative environmental impacts and improve life-cycle cost performance, an increasing number of public and private owners are requiring that their existing and new buildings incorporate more sustainable building measures. Despite the recent increase in the use of these sustainable building measures, there is a pressing need to explore their actual operational performance. This paper presents the findings of a recent study that evaluated the performance of sustainable measures in public buildings, such as rest areas, including energy efficient fluorescent and LED lights, solar photovoltaic systems and water heaters, daylight tubes, geothermal heat pumps, wind power technology, motion-activated lighting, double-pane glass, energy-efficient hand dryers, water-conserving fixtures, rain gardens, and graywater systems. The study conducted a comprehensive survey of state departments of transportation (DOTs) to gather and analyze personnel’s experiences in implementing various green measures in their buildings. A total of 30 state DOTs in the United States participated in the survey in addition to one response from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation in Canada. The primary contributions this research makes to the body of knowledge are the new knowledge it provides on the actual operational performance of various green building measures in state DOT buildings including the frequency of their use, user satisfaction, ease of maintenance, encountered problems, repair costs, reductions in electricity/water usage, and payback periods. While there are different ways of evaluating the performance of the green measures, this study concentrates on the feedback and experiences of the personnel who have actually implemented these green measures in their facilities. These important findings based on user experiences on the performance of building measures are useful to both researchers and professionals in the construction industry and will contribute to better selection and use of these measures toward improving building sustainability.