An article in this month’s Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences (on page 36) discusses its National Performance Based Design Guide for Buildings (NPBDG). The NPBDG was created to help owners make choices to achieve better-performing buildings and aid them in communicating their goals to the designers and builders of the projects. Traditionally, achieving a better-performing building has begun with the unstructured statement of need by an owner. This guide seeks to add a structure to the owner’s needs. The NPBDG focuses on performance-based outcome, and allows the owner to assess trade-offs between different levels of performance, represented by baselines (lowest permissible level) and higher “tiers” of performance ability. The NPBDG strives not only to help owners, but also to help the design and construction team implement the best strategy to achieve the owner’s goals. The logic is that if the owner is able to focus on how a building should perform, rather than just what function it should serve, the outcome of the project should be improved. The NPBDG should encourage dialogue between the owner and the design team, and enable the owner to clearly see how specified performances will be achieved.
The NPBDG can be found on the Whole Building Design Guide website.