This Blog Explores: Understanding the basics of Value and making the case that understanding Value as it pertains to Building is a key to push building into a brighter future. 



PB +Q = V 

Performance, Business Markets, Quality = Value 

The realization that “Building” does not yet have a reliable way to define, measure, and track these characteristics is a key driver for why the CDE and Optimized Buildings need to come to market. 

They are necessary to bring clarity to the variables that must be accounted for, measured, and then organized into a properly weighted algorithm to derive a meaningful definition for “Performance,” “Business Markets,” “Quality,” and “Value”.  

Currently, there is NO agreed upon definition for the terms Performance (P), Quality (Q), Business markets (B), and value (V) when applied to buildings. In theory, however, we should be able to evolve an algorithm such as: 

PB + Q = V  

There is still a lot of work to do. Various initiatives like LEEDS, Well Certified and Greenbuild have defined various aspects of Quality (i.e., health and sustainability), but a broader understanding of the concept needs to be developed and incorporated into the building process, so it is not merely another layer of bureaucratic oversight and cost. 

Bringing clarity to building data is key. Step #1 is defining the attributes and characteristics of the building process that can easily be tracked. Step #2 is developing low cost, easily accessible analysis tracking, and comparing hypothetical BIM performance to actual building performance. . With the Standards, Templates, and Workflows in place to support these two processes, much can be learned just working with the low hanging fruit that is easily available. 

The next step is to identify and implement measurement, tracking, and metric techniques to define less available data, and begin science-based research into what the algorithm described above might look like. This knowledge will significantly improve ongoing building operations and future building designs and construction. 

The development of a useful algorithm will require a building which the relevant data is recorded and organized by a BCE that has effective Standards, Templates, and Workflows. 

The formula of (Performance) * (Business Markets) + (Quality) = Value.  (PB+Q=V) appears to be simple but in practice is a highly complex algorithm.  

Quality and Performance are both comprised of many elements.  Items being measured include:   

  1. Building elements 
  1. Building Construction Assembly Modules 
  1. Building Systems 
  1. Building interior and exterior environments 
  1. Sustainability  
  1. Environmental Impact 
  1. Health and Wellness 
  1. Site and local community 
  1. Energy and other utilities that connect to or operate the building systems   

The list above is a high-level look at a long and impressive array of factors. Additionally, these factors can be arranged in multiple ways. The number of permutations that need to be considered to calculate values for performance and quality can be impressive and intimidating.  

Establishing methods of measurement and then developing proper weighting functions are key to developing, an algorithm that provides a practical understanding of both the beneficial and detrimental consequences that the built environments may have on the environment, community and the activities and people that are impacted.  

This is an important and large-scale endeavor that will require basic research and coordination between Building related Associations, Universities, Manufacturers, and Building Project team members. 

A simple overview of each of the variable being considered is provided below.

Performance is solely comprised of metrics that can be measured and quantified. These would include items such as: 

10. Parametric attributes of the building and site (dimensions, volumes, sizes, etc.) 

11. Energy usage 

12. Utility usage 

Quality has two types of elements:  

13. Attributes that can be measured and quantified. 

14. Attributes that are assessed by human perception and awareness. We do not have a single measurement that applies to everyone. In fact, this is a highly subjective component that requires a method of measurement they may be akin to the system used in healthcare for assessing pain by asking every patient to define their current pain level by assigning a number 1-10.  

Building Markets are fluid and change depending on: 

15. Geographic location 

16. Access to core natural materials 

17. Manufactured goods 

18. Demographics and local customs 

19. Geology and weather conditions  

These are a few of many attributes that comprise the Building Markets. Building market makers have many and varied priorities. A company that is  developing and selling a building within one to two years will define and organize the features that comprise value very differently than an Owner/Operator who plans to maintain and operate the building throughout its life cycle.   


Once each component within “Performance”, “Building Markets,” and “Quality” is defined and measured, creating the correct relative weighting relationship will be a tricky business. It will require much trial and error to arrive at an algorithm in which each element within (P), (B), and (Q) is properly weighted, and that provides results that align with our real-life experience of the built environment. And, by extension, allow us to use this understanding to accurately project how future projects will be experienced. 


Similar to weighting above, the functions that make up the algorithm will need to be assessed and tested against real-life experience to arrive at a meaningful formulation. 

It is crystal clear that the development of PB+Q=V will evolve over an extended period of time. The initial goals for BUSA, PI, BCE, and the initial “Optimized “building will be to establish parameters describing: 

20. What issues need to be considered?  

21. How, what, why, where, and when will these issues be quantified or defined within the BCE data structure? 

22. What items can be measured and quantified? How will this be done? Is it immediately affordable, or to be implemented in the future? 

23. What items are assessed by Human Perception and Awareness (HP&A)?  What will be the means of establishing a meaningful scale? How will they be included within a QPV algorithm? 

24. How will variables be initially weighted and assessed? 

25. What variables can be defined and implemented immediately? Either through an exclusion specification (i.e., such and such materials cannot be utilized) or an inclusionary specification (i.e., such and such materials must be utilized). 

These assessments and parameters will guide the development of BUSA, PI, BCE, and the initial “Optimized” Ambulatory Building.  

To define a clear definition for Value (and its constituent parts) within the world of Building is a highly sophisticated endeavor. Obviously, the work will evolve over time, but these data structures are currently under active development. 

The work involves countless data components created in multiple software environments across many years of a building’s life cycle.  The goal of the PB+Q=V initiative is NOT to tell the marketplace that this question will be resolved with certainty in the near future.  The current work is focused on developing the ecosystem, tools, and functionality that will allow a shared understanding of Value to evolve over time and be constructively implemented by the building markets.  A more rigorous definition and application of the concept of Value will increase profitability and usher in an era of long-term value for “Optimized Building.”