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Below are all the brainstorming comments collected during the Symposium Round-Table breakout session. Please keep the conversation going and provide comments or questions to this list.

Topic: What are the local green initiatives municipalities (Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff) have embraced for building performance targets?

Comments:

  • Very few local programs
  • Utilities have some programs
  • State-funded projects require LEED Silver Min
  • Solar programs are not as prevalent
  • Electrification?
  • Advocacy Groups

Topic: Fear of the Unknown; How to overcome the challenge?

Comments:

  • Comments: First cost!
  • Technology/controls/knowledge base
  • Change/ cookie-cutter designs cheaper
  • Availability of resources – water and fossil fuels
  • ROR 2-3 years- extended time periods
  • Throw away culture/ allowed waste for retrofits
  • Staffing/ training technicians
  • Fear of challenge and compliant (title 24)
  • Innovation
  • Retro-fits/re-use/space utilization
  • Avoiding government policy – restriction
  • Economic downturn
  • Timelines – speed to market
  • Moving design criteria (environmental)
  • Does the technology exist? (economizers/energy recover)
  • Design acceptance/risk

Topic: Overcome the sub-trade evaluation process; i.e. mechanical vs. mechanical, electrical vs. electrical, concrete vs. concrete. The building should be evaluated as a whole for a true assessment of owner value.

Comments:

  • Pre-qualify and compensate sub-contractors during pre-construction
    • Provide to subs narratives, specs, and drawings at deliverables
      • The less detail given the less info they have to work with
    • Constructability reviews
  • Develop design team (engineers and architects) and contractor relations
  • Integrated project delivery in lieu of design/bid/build
  • Value engineering analysis
  • Early equipment procurement
  • Construction schedule analysis
  • Serviceability and maintainability analysis

Topic: Actual Operational Costs (Water, Energy, Utility Cost); Awareness of future weather trends vs. TMY3 data and potential for water shortages and other prospective operational costs.

Comments:

  • Utilities – electric, water, natural gas
    • Solar
    • Water cost is going up fast
  • Two biggest costs are utilities and labor
  • Maintenance labor is going up
    • Internal vs. external – understanding the cost/benefit of hiring internal vs hiring out
    • Material – everything from filters to paper towels
  • Preventative vs corrective
    • Target 80% preventative vs 20% corrective
      • How do we get there so we can build budgets?
      • Corrective is MUCH more expensive and also creates downtime
      • Predictive analysis is the tool to get us to the ratio we want
      • We don’t know what we don’t see and we have fewer eyes to look
    • Controllable vs non-controllable costs
      • Utility rates are basically non-controllable (this will get better)
      • We CAN control the consumption side!
      • Targeting preventative is another huge controllable target

Topic: CFO Awareness vs Sustainability Initiative. Education?

Comments:

  • Financial
    • Better rates offered on some loans
  • ESG
    • public awareness – potential for higher rents
  • Education
    • Latest innovations – architects
    • Cost impacts – GCs and subs
    • Decisions – owner-driven, financial partners

Topic: First Cost vs Life Cycle Costs, The Design Development Disconnect?

Comments:

  • Capital budget vs operational budget
  • Short-term ownership vs long term ownership
  • Validity of an ROI
  • Emerging technologies
  • Fear of change
  • Immature market pricing
  • Ease of information/training

Topic: Owner Operational Challenge; Validate return on investment through monitoring set point maintenance against energy consumed?

Comments:

  • Budget/scope expectations, avoid what to “cut” for sustainability budget
  • Involving operations in discussion
    • Aversion to maintaining new systems
  • Preface to owners and facilities, “this won’t be the building you’re used to.”
  • Addressing/changing comfort expectations
  • Build sustainability into the discussion early on in programming
  • Model all use scenarios
    • How late do lights need to be on
    • Off-season usage
  • Power of tracking/displaying data
  • Develop sound passive strategies in conjunction with advancing technology
    • Lower barrier to entry, fewer technical operation requirements
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