Ten Tips for Operating and Maintaining High Performance Buildings


Original article published in High Performance Buildings Magazine

By Laurie Gilmer, P.E., CFM, SFP, LEED AP O+M, CxA


"High performance is a journey, not a destination, and for most building operators and managers, it comes in incremental steps. The focus is often on energy performance, but the picture is much bigger. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 defines a high performance building as one that integrates and optimizes all major high-performance building attributes, including energy efficiency, durability, life-cycle performance and occupant productivity.

Whether you are at the beginning of your journey or well down the path, here are 10 tips to help you operate and maintain your high performance building."


Full article here:

Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution

Forwarded by Alamo ASHRAE member, Gerald Lamping. 

Original article can be found:

Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution

This report from the RCP and the RCPCH examines the impact of exposure to air pollution across the course of a lifetime.

Every breath we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution (full report)4.05 MB

The dangers of outdoor air pollution have been well documented, however the report highlights the often overlooked section of our environment – indoor space.

Factors such as kitchen products, faulty boilers, open fires, fly sprays and air fresheners, all of which can cause poor air quality in our homes, workspaces and schools.

According to the report indoor air pollution may have caused or contributed to 99,000 deaths annually in Europe.

Although government and the World Health Organization (WHO) set ‘acceptable’ limits for various pollutants in our air, the report states that there is in fact no level of exposure that can be seen to be safe, with any exposure carrying an associated risk. 

As a result, the report offers a number of major reform proposals setting out what must be done if we are to tackle the problem of air pollution.

These include:...

  • Local authorities need to act to protect public health when air pollution levels are high  When these limits are exceeded, local authorities must have the power to close or divert roads to reduce the volume of traffic, especially near schools.
  • Monitor air pollution effectively  Air pollution monitoring by central and local government must track exposure to harmful pollutants in major urban areas and near schools. These results should then be communicated proactively to the public in a clear way that everyone can understand.
  • Quantify the relationship between indoor air pollution and health – We must strengthen our understanding of the key risk factors and effects of poor air quality in our homes, schools and workplaces. A coordinated effort is required to develop and apply any necessary policy changes. 
  • Define the economic impact of air pollution  Air pollution damages not only our physical health, but also our economic wellbeing. We need further research into the economic benefits of well-designed policies to tackle it.
  • Lead by example within the NHS  The health service must no longer be a major polluter; it must lead by example and set the benchmark for clean air and safe workplaces.