Buildings consume 40% of the world's energy resources. Depending on the historical references chosen, this has either not changed or has gotten worse over the past few hundred years. This consumption level is no longer tolerable. Revolutionary change is coming to the building industry: High Performance Buildings. Creating these buildings will require those of us who conceive, design, build and operate them to work much differently. This change in the way we work is the same as the changes required for the U.S. manufacturing industry when facing global competition for the first time. That same loss of tolerance for mediocre U.S. products compared to imports is now happening to the building industry as people demand that buildings perform better while consuming much less energy. Zero is the goal. This paper will explain the lessons learned from proven product development practices and what is now beginning to be effectively used in the building industry Specifically, it will focus on two best practices: breaking down the functional silos between architecture, engineering, and construction and accomplishing more with less through cross-functional teams. The other best practice allows these teams to learn what "High Performance" means to customers, the people who will work in and pay for the building; this practice helps teams transform that knowledge into measurable performance criteria they can commit to and focus on for success. Citing case histories of the application of state-of-the-art customer-focused needs gathering and "product development" methods, this paper will reveal how the building industry can transform itself into a high performance, customer-focused team.
Citation: ASHRAE Conference Papers, Las Vegas, NV