This article presents a guide to meeting the high-performance and sustainable building (HPSB) design criteria that apply to Military construction/DoD (Department of Defense) projects.

High-Performance and Sustainable Building (HPSB)

design criteria

What are UFC documents?

As stated by WBDG, Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) documents are prescribed by MIL-STD 3007 and provide planning, design, construction criteria. They apply to military departments, defense agencies, and DoD (Department of Defense) activities. UFC 1-200-02 High Performance And Sustainable Building specifically provides the minimum requirements and guidance to achieve high performance and sustainable facilities, that comply with the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, EO 13693, and the implementation requirements found in “Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings and Associated Instructions” (HPSB Guiding Principles).

What is HPSB?

In 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that committed the Agency to follow the Guiding Principles for Sustainable Federal Buildings, earlier named as the Guiding Principles for Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings (HPSB). Thus, federal agencies are required to target and report annual progress toward HPSB Guiding Principles compliance, with the ultimate goal of 15% compliance of the existing building inventory by 2025.

UFC 1-200-02 High Performance And Sustainable Building Requirements

The requirements for Building Design and Construction are as follows:

  1. Employ integrated design principles

  2. Optimize energy performance

  3. Protect and conserve water

  4. Enhance indoor environmental quality

  5. Reduce the environmental impact of materials

  6. Address climate change risks

How cove.tool can assist project teams to meet these requirements?

There are 6 main categories (further divided into subcategories) laid down by the UFC 1-200-02, cove.tool can assist in the following ways.

1. Employ integrated design principles

Being an early-stage performance evaluation tool, the web application allows project teams to set their performance goals at an early stage. The Manage Teams Feature also provides an opportunity for professionals from various disciplines to collaborate on a single project, and contribute in the area of their expertise.

In addition, the software can be used to demonstrate the climate analysis that includes diagrams on relative temperature, relative humidity, solar exposure, beneficial radiation, a psychrometric chart with passive strategy breakdown, and monthly wind analysis. The project report comes with a complete climate profile of the location.

2. Optimize energy performance

Although the web app cannot be directly used for compliance level modeling for HPSB, it can help by calculating the energy baseline. Using the ISO 13790 Heat Balance Engine, prescriptive inputs from the selected energy code (including ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Path A, Appendix G), industry-standard assumptions based on your building type selection, and the most local and recent climate data (weather file), the app calculates the Baseline EUI and EUI breakdown. It is a great approach to quickly generate feedback about energy, water, carbon, and daylight performance for your design.

Further, the software can optimize the energy consumption for each mechanical system and product selection, to determine a better performing alternative and help achieve the energy consumption percentage reduction, as required by UFC 1-200-02.

3. Protect and conserve water

The water tool can help to compare the consumption for the assessed building against a baseline performance. Users can utilize the indoor water use calculator to assign performance values and also assess the improvement from baseline values for each component. UFC 1-200-02 requires demonstration (by metered data or modeling) of about 20% reduction for both indoor as well as outdoor water consumption.

4. Enhance indoor environmental quality

Daylight:

The automated process for a full floor daylight analysis helps understand the impact of various design decisions on the spatial daylight autonomy (sDA) of the space. This can assist in maximizing daylight wherever appropriate and feasible, as recommended in the UFC document. One can also assess the impact of adding complete or partial daylight sensors.

Quality Views:

Another useful analysis is the quality views assessment. Building occupants who can visually connect with outdoor environments while performing everyday tasks experience greater satisfaction, attentiveness, and productivity which can further contribute to occupant health and wellness. This feature offers 4 view categories that help identify what percentage of the floor area has views to the exterior or atria within 25 ft. (7.6 m) from a window.

Ventilation:

A naturally ventilated or a mixed mode building can be analyzed as well, in order to comply with the requirements, UFC 3- 410-01 has all the details. for the same.

5. Reduce the environmental impact of materials

The process for selecting building products includes consideration for embodied carbon using the open-source EC3 database. Professionals can find, assess, compare, benchmark, and reduce the amount of embodied carbon used in construction by using the Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool, which is an open-source industry-leading sustainability platform.

6. Address climate change risks

The web application can help in the following ways:

  • Site: Site and climate analysis at an early stage can help identify passive design strategies, orientation, and other design solutions. The key factors in the climate are dry bulb temperature, relative humidity, and solar angles.

  • Energy and carbon footprint: The impact of energy and its cost is a good indicator of the carbon impact of an element. Some useful tips to reduce the project EUI are here.

  • Optimization: The optimization feature helps users parametrically explore building component combinations to make cost-conscious and performance-driven decisions as quickly and often as possible.

  • Automated report: The automatically generated report compiles all the results and performance diagrams into a shareable PDF report. It also suggests passive strategies that are applicable to the project and its location. This is useful in studying the inferences, identifying design solutions, and for documentation purposes.

Further guidance can be obtained by referring to UFC 1-200-02 and Tri-Services Sustainability Program.

Happy Modelling!

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