Outcome Based Functional Performance & Compliance in B&C

Posted on 4/17/2017 8:53:18 AM By Paul Bertram

This was a topic that I spoke to at ASC’s 2017 Annual Adhesive & Sealant Convention & EXPO in Atlanta this April.

Here are some highlights of that discussion and relative follow up to that session

First I defined:

Outcome Based Functional Performance as a two-stage process: verifying meeting owner requirements and measurement of actual building performance

Functional Performance meets Owners Requirements regarding building systems and engineering needs on spatial relationships in indoor and outdoor occupied and unoccupied spaces.

Compliance either meets or exceeds code

New influences in driving High Performance, “green” buildings

Several municipalities and states are advocating beyond code for Smart City Programs and have set beyond code performance goals. Most of these programs incorporate “Benchmarking” of existing building stock to identify where the best opportunities are to achieve specific high performance, “green” goals.

Why should an adhesive or sealant industry member care about cities setting above code initiatives? City high performance, “green” building policies are a new opportunity to build the business case for how important adhesives and sealants are integrating other building components in delivering systems/assemblies functional performance that deliver design intent.

Here are a few examples of these high performance, “green”, climate change initiatives:

Retrofit Chicago

One NYC Green Buildings & Energy Efficiency

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV)23% reduction in energy consumption of buildings from 2012 levels

C40 networks facilitate dialogue among global city officials, US cities include: Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC.

Orlando’s Greenworks 2012 Municipal Operations Sustainability Plan 

US Federal Programs include: the US Department of Energy programs:

Better Buildings/Plants 

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager®, an online tool you can use to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Of note: It is yet to be determined if the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) programs will be continued under the new administration budget considerations. Also of note is that much of the Energy Star program reporting is challenged because of accuracy based on calculation flaws within the tool. 

High Performance & value propositions for building owners

Incentives include:

  • Life Cycle Economical benefits
  • Performance-based value proposition
  • Market differentiation
  • New Finance mechanisms
  • Potential reduced liability
  • Green building considerations

These are all relative to the role of adhesives and sealants in delivering functional performance and design intent.

Material transparency; a distraction to functional performance and compliance

The topic of Material transparency was of great interest to the session attendees. Manufacturers and the supply chain have many issues to address including code compliance, testing, proper specifications and installation, regrettable substitutions and pricing before responding to material transparency. It also requires serious consideration on any legal concerns in publically putting this information out to the industry.

Another speaker, during this session, labeled response to material transparency reporting as “Sunk Funds” (money that does contribute to the bottom line). Unless material transparency involves continuous improvement, providing this information becomes more marketing differentiation.

Material transparency reporting is a real challenge, early participants jumped on board with this to position as “market leader” driven by big name owners and LEED requiring this type of information for material selection or deselection. This put a lot of pressure on manufacturers to respond and was part of the “green” movement strategy.

In my work, I have provided scenarios on being proactive or reactive to this demand for information. I also have advocated that material transparency may be a consideration in a “green” standard but it should not precede functional performance and compliance. Too many products are getting specified because they can meet material transparency reporting requests at the expense of functional performance.

One interesting positive note is that manufacturers and supply chains now have this topic on their radar screen and either have or are exploring their chemistry inventories, and continuous development processes.

Continuous improvement is where I believe manufacturers need to focus and that design teams need to really understand.

The question then becomes; how does a manufacturer and their supply chain respond to these information requests? My advice is to work with design teams on project specific requirments regarding their material transparency goals

I would also like to point out that most “specifiers” do not consider these EPDs, HPDs and other certifications other than what is required in Division 1. Under General requirements regarding “green” building criteria. Most of these requested reports are simply a check box exercise that are passed on from the specifier to the “green” program manager.

Antimicrobial Ingredients in Adhesives & Sealants

As an example of how manufacturers are being challenged is a recent paper on antimicrobial ingredients that puts manufacturers in a position where ideology is driving change in material content and directly impact sealants and adhesives. This is contrary to years of the use of antimicrobial ingredients in materials. To this discussion, Risk Assessment would be a warranted exercise. 

Hazard vs Exposure.

The paper discusses “Potential impacts to human and environmental health because of these additives may include antibiotic resistance, and the appearance of antimicrobial additives in ecosystems.” 

*Views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of ASC.