The building profession is increasingly becoming more demanding with respect to building environmental performance. Intentions are to provide best practices into our buildings. In part, this is a response due to the Australian government and other independent organisations that have developed policy on rating tools and performance ranking measures, all with the intention of accomplishing environmentally sustainable buildings.
With rating systems endorsing innovative environmental design solutions, it could be asked: Are our buildings really operating as rated? Do we know whether our designs are in compliance with what was calculated or simulated? Is there a feedback loop informing the design process on successes or failures in our designs or mechanical services?
While ratings continue to focus on ‘by design’ or ‘as built’ rewards, few tools acknowledge perhaps the more crucial bottom line: ‘as performing’. With the exception of an AGBR (Australian Green Building Rating) scheme on actual annual energy consumption, there appears to be no ‘as performing’ assessment. Furthermore, practically every building is a prototype (a one-off) and requires commissioning, programming and scheduling of its services. It would certainly appear that as stakeholders (the procurers, owners, facilities managers and users) of the newly built environment, that what we really want to know is actual on-site confirmation of performance. It is the objective of the Mobile Architecture and Built Environment Laboratory (MABEL), to provide such a service.