Proposed American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Guideline 32P, Sustainable, High Performance Operation and Maintenance, will be open for public comment until July 4.

“This guideline outlines steps that can be applied to any building to move its operation-and-maintenance function toward high performance,” Michael Bobker, chair of the Guideline 32P committee, said. “Buildings can be designed to be high-performance, but if they are not operated well, that performance will not be delivered.”

The proposed guideline applies to ongoing operational practices for buildings and systems with respect to energy efficiency, occupant comfort, indoor-air quality, health, and safety. The systems include building envelope, HVACR, plumbing, and utility and electrical.

"ASHRAE’s Guideline 32 attacks wasted energy by helping people from the executive suite to the powerhouse understand how to efficiently manage the sophisticated systems that produce healthy comfort in today’s buildings," ASHRAE Presidential Member Bill Harrison said. "This is a giant step forward as we strive to use only the energy that produces value in our buildings.”

Studies and documented experience show that improved operational strategies could save 10 to 40 percent in energy.

“We must first upgrade and then maintain the capabilities of the operations staff, which is where Guideline 32 will help play a role,” Bobker said.

The guideline contains recommendations for three levels of building oversight: senior managers, facility managers, and technicians. Checklists for ensuring appropriate steps are being taken to move toward high-performance operation and maintenance are included for each.

Bobker said the proposed guideline offers direction beyond compliance with ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180, Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems, and provides concepts, methods, and details that meet the intent of the “minimum standards of care” under ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

For information on providing comments, click here.