The operation and maintenance of facilities is something our readers are dealing with every day. However, doing so in an efficient way that improves performance is another matter.

ASHRAE just released a new guideline offering facility managers and building operations staff guidance on building optimization to achieve “the lowest economic and environmental life cycle cost, without sacrificing safety or functionality.”

ASHRAE Guideline 32-2012, Sustainable, High Performance Operation and Maintenance (click here for more information) covers the following:

  • Energy efficiency;
  • Occupant comfort;
  • Indoor air quality; and
  • Health and safety.

Components covered include the building envelope, HVAC&R, plumbing, complementary energy systems, and utilities and electrical systems, and the guideline is written for three levels of staff, including senior managers, facility managers, and technicians.

On a side note, I’ve recently been preparing an article for our Spring 2012 issue of Healthcare Building Ideas, discussing the differences between energy efficiency and energy conservation, and why the need for healthcare facilties to consume less energy is just as imperative as operating systems efficiently.

I’m curious what tactics you’re taking—whether focused on energy or building operations in general. From pursuing cogeneration plants to remembering to unplug a pencil sharpener, you all have efforts you’re making every day.

And better yet, how is this being accomplished? Are energy audits being performed? Is commissioning coming into play on projects, or retro-commissioning on existing buildings?

Then there is the ever-present question of BIM. Recently I shared with you a session from ASHE PDC on 6-D models being used for ongoing facility management at MultiCare's Good Samaritan Hospital. Is this a unique example or are we as an industry in a place where efficiencies and operational performance can be managed with these models?

Feel free to share some of your tactics here, or shoot me an email.