High-Performance Building Standard Provides the Foundation for Green Building Codes

Nov. 12, 2009
A proposed high-performance building standard and a stronger version of Standard 90.1, both being released next year.

ATLANTA – A proposed high-performance building standard and a stronger version of Standard 90.1, both being released next year, together will provide a total green resource for local and state governments looking to set building code requirements to reduce energy use.

Proposed Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is being developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in conjunction with the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The standard is slated to be the first code-intended commercial green building standard in the United States when published early in 2010.

It covers key topic areas typically included in green building rating systems: site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy ef¬ficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.

ASHRAE and IES also are working to strengthen the requirements in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, which provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of buildings except low-rise residential buildings. It is estimated that the 2010 standard will result in 25 to 30 percent energy savings over the 2004 version. The 2010 standard is expected to be released in mid-2010.

An update on the development of Standard 189.1P will be given this week at the USGBC GreenBuild Expo at a press conference on Thursday.

“Both standards are written in mandatory language to allow for adoption with building codes,” Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president, said. “They are being developed using the widely respected American National Standards Institute consensus procedures. As such, their strength comes from the volunteer committee of experts from all facets of the building industry. In addition, the requirements in the draft standard were strengthened through the public review process with input from a variety of building industry professional.”

Proposed Standard 189.1P has been written by experts representing all areas of the building industry, including engineers, lighting designers, sustainability experts, building owners, designers, architects, code and compliance officials, utilities, materials experts and equipment manufacturers. These volunteer experts have contributed tens of thousands of man hours valued at millions of dollars.

The technical requirements in the standard also are supported by input from the building industry during the public review process. The standard recently completed a fourth public review, in which 109 comments were received. The comments are being reviewed by working groups of the committee developing the standard. The full committee meets this week in conjunction with the GreenBuild Expo to act on the suggested comments.

The standard has undergone four public reviews, meaning anyone could comment on its proposed requirements. Some 2,500 comments were received during the review periods.

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