A UL study predicts disruption in the building market over the next five to 10 years as owners, operators and investors of buildings increasingly recognize the potential of innovation in building energy consumption, water usage and indoor air quality to positively impact their bottom lines.
In the white paper, The Dawn of the Building Performance Era, UL chief economist Erin Grossi describes the transition that is happening in the market from design-driven approaches to achieving sustainability goals to a greater focus on the actual performance of buildings on the operations side of the house.
“Access to more information about how efficiently buildings are being run can significantly reduce costs and slash consumption of resources for building owners.”
Grossi also addresses the issue of indoor air quality, which she refers to as a “sleeper issue” in the US. She finds a major cause of poor indoor air quality is the growing amount of chemicals in buildings, which can emanate from technology hardware, construction materials, furniture and furnishings, and cleaning products.
According to UL’s air quality scientists there are 80,000 chemicals in international commerce today with only 3 percent fully evaluated for health benefits.
“UL’s air quality scientists estimate we are easily within five years of having effective air quality detectors available for commercial use in buildings,” Grossi says.
Last month ASHRAE and the Indoor Air Quality Association announced a consolidation between the two organizations to improve indoor air quality in the built environment.