Email   Password


ASHRAE Membership

ASHRAE membership is open to any person associated with heating, ventilation, air conditioning or refrigeration. ASHRAE is unique because its membership is drawn from a wide range of disciplines relating to the HVAC&R field. Over 55,000 individuals from more than 100 nations belong to the Society.

Discounts on Publications

ASHRAE members earn 15% off publications. Hundreds of titles are available including the complete collection of ASHRAE Standards including 90.1, 62.1 and 189.1.
Click here for information on joining or to join ASHRAE

Develop Leadership Skills

When you join ASHRAE, you are making an investment in yourself. When you become active in the Society by giving your time and sharing your knowledge, you get even more out of that investment.

Network with Industry Professionals

Each month, all over the world, ASHRAE chapters convene for an informational program featuring a speaker or topic that is key to professionals in the industry. Meet with your peers and share ideas.
Need technical info? Search ASHRAE's Bookstore >
Resources & Publications

Measuring Commercial Building Performance


©2012 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 54, no. 7, July 2012.

By Bruce D. Hunn, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE; Jeff S. Haberl, Ph.D., Fellow ASHRAE; Hywel Davies, Ph.D., Member ASHRAE; and Brendan Owens, Member ASHRAE

About the Authors
Bruce D. Hunn, Ph.D., is retired director of technology, ASHRAE, and an energy consultant in Raleigh, N.C. Jeff S. Haberl, Ph.D., is a professor at Texas A&M in College Station, Texas. He is an ASHRAE certified Building Energy Modeling Professional (BEMP). Hywel Davies, Ph.D., is technical director at CIBSE in Bedford, U.K. Brendan Owens is vice president of LEED technical development and is an ASHRAE certified High Performance Building Design Professional (HPBD).

Although many buildings in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and elsewhere claim to be “green,” “low energy,” or “high performance,” it is rarely clear on what evidence or data these claims are based. Such claims cannot be credible without standardized performance measurement protocols that are applied consistently. If claims of superior building performance are to be believed, it is essential that a common set of measurements be used and the results reported against meaningful benchmarks. Such protocols are also needed to give usable feedback to building designers and operators when measured performance does not match design intent.

This article describes ASHRAE’s Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings (PMP), which provides a standardized, consistent set of protocols, for a range of cost/accuracy, to facilitate the appropriate comparison of measured energy, water, and indoor environmental quality (thermal comfort, indoor air quality [IAQ], lighting, and acoustics) performance of commercial buildings, while maintaining acceptable levels of building service for the occupants. Benchmarks are included in the protocols to facilitate comparison to peer buildings or for self-reference over time (often before and after retrofit). A recent article describing just the acoustic performance measurement protocols in the PMP has been published in the ASHRAE Journal.

The PMP is a collaborative effort of ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE). It began with a detailed evaluation of literature related to measured building performance that included databases, measurement techniques, M&V protocols, and available instrumentation. A project committee representing several ASHRAE Technical Committees (TCs 7.6, 7.9, 4.7, and others) developed the content.


Characteristics of the Protocols

The protocols identify what to measure, how it is to be measured (instrumentation and spatial resolution), and how often it is to be measured for inclusion in the building’s operation and maintenance plan. For each of the six measure categories (energy, water, thermal comfort, IAQ, lighting, and acoustics), protocols are developed at three levels: low, medium and high cost and accuracy, providing a range of choices for levels of effort, detail, and rigor to characterize the building stock, and comparison to appropriate benchmarks. These are summarized in Table 1.
For each measure category and each level, the following characteristics are described:

  • Objectives of the measurement.
  • Metrics to be used, including instrumentation and units of measure.
  • Performance evaluation and benchmarks. Estimates of initial and recurring costs are included.

In the PMP, first the six measure categories are addressed at the basic level. This is followed by a presentation of the intermediate level protocols and then the advanced level protocols. However, here we will primarily discuss the basic level protocols, with only a brief description of higher levels; details of the intermediate and advanced levels are described in the PMP.


Protocols for Energy, Water, and IEQ

Representative measures at each level were tested by applying them to the newly renovated ASHRAE Headquarters Building in Atlanta (facing page). Measurements were taken by the commissioning authority for the renovation during 2009 and 2010, after the renovated building was reoccupied and was undergoing post-occupancy commissioning. Occupant surveys were taken before and after the renovation to evaluate indoor environmental quality.


Citation: ASHRAE Journal, vol. 54, no. 7, July 2012

Read the Full Article