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[GreenYes] Fwd: High Performance Guidelines for NC Buildings
Triangle Collaborates on Designing High Performance Public Buildings

The new US Environmental Protection Agency building in Research Triangle Park is becoming a national model for saving tax dollars, reducing pollution and the use of natural resources, and providing healthy workspaces for occupants. Now the Triangle's local governments and school systems are joining the US EPA at the forefront of the nation's efforts to improve the design, construction, and operation of public buildings. 

Over 50 local professionals who create and manage public buildings in Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties have produced a 170-page document called "High Performance Guidelines: Triangle Region Public Facilities" to promote and measure cost-effective, efficient, durable, and environmentally sound structures. 

The guidelines describe specific measures to save energy and water, reduce the use of materials, reduce indoor pollutants, and achieve other goals. For approximately one-third of the 45 topics covered in the guidelines, an existing local building project is provided as an example. The document also includes a long list of resources to help professionals learn more.

"There is a remarkable local consensus that the Triangle should be at the head of the class when it comes to producing high performance public buildings," said Judy Kincaid, Solid Waste/Materials Resources Program Manager at Triangle J Council of Governments, who led the effort to develop the guidelines. "In a few other places in the country -- Minnesota and New York City, for example -- people have developed similar guidelines for public buildings," she added. "But the Triangle is the only place we know of where people are working across jurisdictional boundaries to write and adopt a uniform set of guidelines."

Mike Turner, Director of General Services for Durham County, claims that the new document will provide a great deal of help to the county as it plans and constructs its new county courthouse. "These guidelines bring together in one place a whole host of features we would like to strive for. We can choose among them based on what makes sense for this particular project." Turner added that many measures in the guidelines do not add to project costs and can be implemented within existing capital improvement budgets.

Jyoti Sharma, Director of Facility Planning for the Wake County Public School System, stated that studies have shown a reduction in absenteeism when building environments include good indoor air quality and daylighting. "Even a small reduction in teacher absenteeism has a big impact on the learning environment for students, improves student performance, and saves the school system money," she said. 

One of the inspirations for the new document was a national "green building" rating system produced by the US Green Building Council. Wake Forest architect Gail Lindsey served on the national committee that produced this rating system, and she was a leader in working with local professionals on the Triangle document. "One of the reasons the Triangle document is unique is that it includes local examples of good projects. We are fortunate to have many of these local examples, but not everybody knows about them. By pulling them together, we've created a document that will be very valuable to architects, engineers, builders, and other professionals."

One of the examples highlighted in the guidelines is ice storage to reduce energy use. Cherry Huffman Architects incorporated this technology in the design of Wakefield High School and the Wake County Social Services Center. Ice is manufactured and stored during the night and used during the day for cooling the building. This shifts electricity use to off-peak times and allows the use of smaller chiller equipment.

The specific measures in the guidelines are not designed to be mandatory. Instead, they are designed to be used where appropriate on a project by project basis. Each specific measure includes a point value to enable approximate calculation of how well goals of the high performance provisions have been met on a project. Although exact comparisons between projects are not appropriate due to the unique characteristics of every project, the point system provides a framework for discussion of continuous improvement and for on-going professional training.

Architect Jon Weiss recently worked with Heery International and Wake County to begin revising guidelines for Wake County construction projects. He provided leadership in working across jurisdictional lines to develop uniform standards for the region. "Public buildings should provide the best possible return on taxpayer investment over the long term," Weiss stated. "The measures we've written into these guidelines take us closer to the overall goal of what is often called sustainability, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."


The group of local professionals that developed the guidelines intends to reconvene a year from now to compare notes on how the guidelines have been used by local governments and school systems during the first twelve months of availability. The group anticipates future revisions of the document to improve its usefulness based on this first year of experience.

A smaller committee of some of those involved in writing the guidelines will continue to meet during the next year to develop strategies for providing funding for continuing education programs for design, construction, and facility management professionals regarding guideline implementation. 

The document can be downloaded at no cost from Triangle J Council of Governments' website -- http://www.tjcog.dst.nc.us -- and is designed to go in a three-ring notebook that can be periodically updated with new technology examples and case studies of model building projects.

###

Judy Kincaid
Solid Waste Planning Director
Triangle J Council of Governments
P.O. Box 12276
Research Triangle Park NC 27709
Phone:  919-558-9343
Fax:  919-549-9390
E-mail:  jkincaid@tjcog.org 
Website:  www.tjcog.dst.nc.us 


 

February 5, 2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Judy Kincaid (919) 558-9343

 

Triangle Collaborates on Designing High Performance Public Buildings

 

The new US Environmental Protection Agency building in Research Triangle Park is becoming a national model for saving tax dollars, reducing pollution and the use of natural resources, and providing healthy workspaces for occupants. Now the Triangle's local governments and school systems are joining the US EPA at the forefront of the nation's efforts to improve the design, construction, and operation of public buildings.

Over 50 local professionals who create and manage public buildings in Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties have produced a 170-page document called "High Performance Guidelines: Triangle Region Public Facilities" to promote and measure cost-effective, efficient, durable, and environmentally sound structures.

The guidelines describe specific measures to save energy and water, reduce the use of materials, reduce indoor pollutants, and achieve other goals. For approximately one-third of the 45 topics covered in the guidelines, an existing local building project is provided as an example. The document also includes a long list of resources to help professionals learn more.

"There is a remarkable local consensus that the Triangle should be at the head of the class when it comes to producing high performance public buildings," said Judy Kincaid, Solid Waste/Materials Resources Program Manager at Triangle J Council of Governments, who led the effort to develop the guidelines. "In a few other places in the country -- Minnesota and New York City, for example -- people have developed similar guidelines for public buildings," she added. "But the Triangle is the only place we know of where people are working across jurisdictional boundaries to write and adopt a uniform set of guidelines."

Mike Turner, Director of General Services for Durham County, claims that the new document will provide a great deal of help to the county as it plans and constructs its new county courthouse. "These guidelines bring together in one place a whole host of features we would like to strive for. We can choose among them based on what makes sense for this particular project." Turner added that many measures in the guidelines do not add to project costs and can be implemented within existing capital improvement budgets.

Jyoti Sharma, Director of Facility Planning for the Wake County Public School System, stated that studies have shown a reduction in absenteeism when building environments include good indoor air quality and daylighting. "Even a small reduction in teacher absenteeism has a big impact on the learning environment for students, improves student performance, and saves the school system money," she said.

One of the inspirations for the new document was a national "green building" rating system produced by the US Green Building Council. Wake Forest architect Gail Lindsey served on the national committee that produced this rating system, and she was a leader in working with local professionals on the Triangle document. "One of the reasons the Triangle document is unique is that it includes local examples of good projects. We are fortunate to have many of these local examples, but not everybody knows about them. By pulling them together, we've created a document that will be very valuable to architects, engineers, builders, and other professionals."

One of the examples highlighted in the guidelines is ice storage to reduce energy use. Cherry Huffman Architects incorporated this technology in the design of Wakefield High School and the Wake County Social Services Center. Ice is manufactured and stored during the night and used during the day for cooling the building. This shifts electricity use to off-peak times and allows the use of smaller chiller equipment.

The specific measures in the guidelines are not designed to be mandatory. Instead, they are designed to be used where appropriate on a project by project basis. Each specific measure includes a point value to enable approximate calculation of how well goals of the high performance provisions have been met on a project. Although exact comparisons between projects are not appropriate due to the unique characteristics of every project, the point system provides a framework for discussion of continuous improvement and for on-going professional training.

Architect Jon Weiss recently worked with Heery International and Wake County to begin revising guidelines for Wake County construction projects. He provided leadership in working across jurisdictional lines to develop uniform standards for the region. "Public buildings should provide the best possible return on taxpayer investment over the long term," Weiss stated. "The measures we've written into these guidelines take us closer to the overall goal of what is often called sustainability, meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The group of local professionals that developed the guidelines intends to reconvene a year from now to compare notes on how the guidelines have been used by local governments and school systems during the first twelve months of availability. The group anticipates future revisions of the document to improve its usefulness based on this first year of experience.

A smaller committee of some of those involved in writing the guidelines will continue to meet during the next year to develop strategies for providing funding for continuing education programs for design, construction, and facility management professionals regarding guideline implementation.

The document can be downloaded at no cost from Triangle J Council of Governments' website -- http://www.tjcog.dst.nc.us -- and is designed to go in a three-ring notebook that can be periodically updated with new technology examples and case studies of model building projects.

###

Judy Kincaid
Solid Waste Planning Director
Triangle J Council of Governments
P.O. Box 12276
Research Triangle Park NC 27709
Phone:  919-558-9343
Fax:  919-549-9390
E-mail:  jkincaid@tjcog.org
Website:  www.tjcog.dst.nc.us
 
 



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