Energy use is often double what some energy modelers estimated at the start, according to a new report by the National Institute for Building Science (NIBS) and the New Buildings Institute (NBI).

The report outlines some of the reasons for this, including barriers to achieving energy goals:

Occupants are not consistently engaged to share responsibility and achieve efficiency. Building operators are not engaged as part of the project team and often aren’t compensated in alignment with the important work they do. Design-bid-build is still favored over integrative process, leaving efficiencies unrealized. Benchmarking data and methods are both out of date; the authors argue that a more fluid system that can be updated easily and frequently would make more sense for benchmarking real-time performance.

The building institutes agree that “design and construction must be linked with operations and maintenance,” and they emphasize that “focus must be on two key areas: codes and policies, and industry practice.”

With these barriers and goals in mind, NIBS and NBI intend to outline tools and resources for policymakers and industry, develop a new method for collecting and storing building performance data, and then create pilot projects to test their ideas.

“The next step will be getting others in the building industry to begin preparing for outcome-performance as the new norm,” Ryan Colker, director of NIBS, states. One way that the group plans to achieve this is through successful case studies that will reveal the necessity of post-occupancy testing to accurately measure building performance.