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Sustainability
The Drive for High Performance Buildings
Four Part Series of White Papers
Today’s workplaces are expanding beyond the four walls of an office. As technology continues to evolve, employees are looking for new and alternative work spaces to inspire creativity and increase productivity. This includes taking their work to outdoor spaces. Take a look at some of the ways you can use permanent power to enhance your outdoor spaces.

Buildings are a key component of our nation’s critical infrastructure.

Buildings perform a vital function in our social and economic life and represent a critical component of our nation’s infrastructure. In addition to providing shelter and protection for a myriad of activities, the building sector itself a major contributor to the U.S. economy, driving demand for design and construction services, building materials and operating equipment, which in turn support millions of jobs. As such, buildings must be built and operated in accordance with the economic and social objectives of their owners, the functional expectations of their occupants, and with due consideration to the communities and environments in which they are situated.

In a world faced with an evolving array of challenges – economic, environmental, security, and social – the bar for building performance is rising even further. A host of factors are driving a “paradigm shift” in expectations within the built environment. Key drivers of this shift include:

  • Market & Economic Forces. In recent years, institutional investors and building owners have sought out energy and other efficiencies in building portfolios to reduce risk and improve asset value.
  • Homeland Security and Natural Disasters. Today’s buildings are faced with a more diverse and rising number of man-made and natural threats – ranging from terrorism to flooding and earthquakes.
  • Energy Security and Climate Change. In the United States, buildings consume nearly 40 percent of all U.S energy and significant amounts of natural resources, putting the sector under increasing pressure to become more energy and resource efficient.
  • Social Equity. The aging of the American population and the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act are driving building owners and managers to redefine and redirect the traditional understanding of design for accessibility.
  • Changes in Building Design, Delivery, and Management. New information management and modeling tools, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM), have created the ability to stimulate and manage building performance across a wide array of attributes.
  • Information Technology. The Internet, with all its associated devices and applications, is changing the functioning of the building and the activities of its occupants, creating demand for new levels of embedded intelligence communications and interoperability of systems and products.
  • Codes and Standards. A new generation of building codes and standards’ are a reflection of new market expectations, and they have become a driving force for higher levels of building performance.

Download the full document here.