GreenYes Archives
[GreenYes Archives] - [Thread Index] - [Date Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]

[GreenYes] High Performance Bldg.Guidelines
Hey Folks-- Every community needs smart buildings -- public or private!
Please share this info with anyone building or contemplating building.

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 -- -- 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

[GreenYes Archives] - [Date Index] - [Thread Index]
[Date Prev] - [Date Next] - [Thread Prev] - [Thread Next]