High Performance Public Buildings
Report Type Final Report 
Date Published June 2011 
Publication Number 11-7 
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The Legislature enacted ESSB 5509 in 2005. This legislation requires state agencies and higher education institutions, school districts receiving state construction funds, and certain grant recipients to construct and renovate major facilities using high performance standards, with the goal of saving money, improving school performance, and making workers more productive. The legislation directs JLARC to conduct a performance audit of the high performance public buildings program created by the legislation. JLARC’s review finds that meeting high performance standards has added between 1 and 3 percent in reported construction costs. The impact of these standards on energy use is mixed, with some buildings meeting expectations while others do not. However, many show some improvement in energy performance over time. The impact on student performance and worker productivity is not clear. Many projects are newly completed with limited operating experience and incomplete data. As a result, the performance observed to date should be considered preliminary.

Mark Fleming, Analyst
David Dean, Project Supervisor


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Number of Pages 41 
Keywords higher education, energy, construction 
Category Education