Interoperable, Life-Cycle Tools for Assuring Building Performance: An Overview of a Commercial Building Initiative
A key impediment to improving the energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of buildings is the complexity and cost of managing information over the life cycle of a building. A surprisingly large fraction of the total cost of buildings is embodied in the decision making and information management process due to the structure of the building industry, the numerous people and companies involved in the process, the current nature of the building acquisition process, and the long time periods over which buildings operate once design and construction are completed. We suggest that new interoperable software tools could greatly facilitate and rationalize this complex process, thereby reducing time and cost, and greatly improving the habitability and environmental impact of these buildings. We describe a series of projects in which we are building and testing several prototype toolkits as part of a building life-cycle information system that will allow interoperable software tools to function more effectively throughout the design, construction, commissioning, and operations phases.