Standards of performance are needed to operate buildings efficiently. A standard of performance is by definition measurable and quantifiable. Some examples of standards of performance for school buildings are:
- Desirable space temperature for heating
- Desirable domestic hot water tank temperature
- Minimum light level in a hallway
- Maximum CO2 level in classroom spaces
- Desirable mixed air temperature for an air handler
- Energy use target for a utility like water/gas/electricity
Definition of the standards of performance are not arbitrary. The standards must reflect building code requirements, good O&M practices and the building occupant needs. The standards developed for school buildings are typically related to the HVAC systems. Standards for lighting and building security needs will form a more complete set of operation guides for building efficiency.
Why have Standards of Performance?
Efficient building operation must be defined in order to be managed and measured. If we cannot quantify standards for efficient operation, we will not be able to measure operation and maintenance effectiveness. We also risk having significant operation failures if we do not monitor and correct operational problems.
School Boards must define accountability for O&M in each building. Accountability has two parts: responsibility and authority. If we are responsible for building operation, but we have no authority to take corrective action, we cannot be held accountable. Operation and Maintenance is now a shared accountability within schools. Primary accountability rests with the Facilities department of the School Board. School building operation is usually a shared responsibility, since teachers and Principal must also play a role.
Standards of Performance must be defined for each school.
Responsibility and Authority must be understood for each Standard.
Finally, Standards of Performance must become part of School O&M documentation.