BIRDS: The New Building Performance Tool

01/02/2015 |

Evaluate long-term cost, energy, and environmental performance

A new software tool lets FMs more easily gauge the tradeoffs between higher first costs and long-term savings.

When it comes to designing or renovating buildings, exceeding code requirements for energy efficiency can pay for itself – sometimes. But the uncertainty of whether the extra performance advantage is worth it can discourage any additional upfront investment in sustainability.

A new tool from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) could make the tradeoffs between long-term savings and upfront costs a little clearer.

Dubbed BIRDS (for Building Industry Reporting and Design for Sustainability), the new software gauges energy usage and materials sustainability, judges a dozen indicators of environmental performance (including carbon footprints), and determines costs over nine investment horizons. Users can assess their building’s estimated operating energy use against five building industry standards – four successive version of ASHRAE 90.1, as well as the 2009 ASHRAE standard for high-performance green buildings. This lets viewers easily determine whether the cost savings from exceeding code requirements are substantial enough to justify an investment in energy upgrades.

It can be used with NIST’s other popular tool, BEES (Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability), which measures the economic and environmental impacts of a wide range of building products.

The current version of BIRDS covers 11 building prototypes, NIST notes. Future versions will include energy retrofits for existing commercial buildings, as well as additional flexibility that lets users further customize the analysis to fit their specific needs.

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Surpass State Energy Requirements with Dual-Cooling Data Center CRAC Technology

See how professionals like you are taking advantage of the highest performing precision cooling system for their computer rooms and data centers, and why Data Aire is fast-becoming the number one choice for facility managers and building owners looking to decrease their energy consumption. 

Data Aire understands how digital technology and data gravity is rapidly impacting and transforming businesses. That’s why they developed ultra-efficient cooling technology to support the most modern (and not-so-modern) data centers.  Learn how One Wilshire in Los Angeles, one of the most advanced carrier hotels today, is surpassing California's strict energy efficiency requirements with Data Aire’s purpose-built system, which provide full-economization for 260 days – almost 72% of the year. That’s a measurable savings! Furthermore, the projected PUE on an annual basis for a full load is at or below 1.2.


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