Work Resumes on Nation’s First Standard on High-Performing Green Buildings

Jan. 26, 2009
The newly expanded committee tasked with writing the nation's first standard on high-performing green buildings has begun work again. The committee for proposed Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, held its first meeting at ASHRAE's 2009 Winter Conference in Chicago on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 8 a.m.

"The committee for Standard 189.1 is stronger than ever," says Kent Peterson, chair of the Standard 189.1 committee and ASHRAE Presidential Member. "The new committee roster brings a wide spectrum of green-building expertise to bear on the standard's content in keeping with ASHRAE's commitment to excellence in consensus standards development. ASHRAE and its partners look forward to working with the new committee to develop guidance that will minimize a building's impact on the environment."

The committee has been expanded to 34 voting members after a recent call for members to broaden the variety of industries, designers, and code officials participating.

Proposed Standard 189 is being developed by the Atlanta-based American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), in conjunction with the New York City-based Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) of Washington, D.C. This is the first such code-intended green-building standard in the United States.

Meant to provide minimum criteria for green-building practices, the standard is applicable to new commercial buildings and major renovation projects. When completed, it will address energy efficiency, a building's impact on the atmosphere, sustainable sites, water-use efficiency, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality, among other high-performance green-building issues.

"It is important to that we develop a strong green-building standard that has the most impact in improving sustainability affecting a wide variety of building sectors," says ASHRAE President Bill Harrison. "We are confident that the new standard will reduce a building's impact on the environment."

"In a move that is critical in today's economy, Standard 189 will bring green building practices to the mainstream," says Brendan Owens, vice president of LEED technical development, U.S. Green Building Council. "The key to a prosperous future is sustainability, and the triple bottom line - environmental responsibility, economic prosperity, and social equity - is imperative as we move forward."

"The expertise demonstrated in the make-up of the newly constituted committee will provide the necessary content knowledge to insure the development of a valuable standard," says Rita Harold, director of technology for IESNA.

The proposed standard has generated substantial public interest, with more than 900 comments received during each of two previous public reviews. It's anticipated that the standard will undergo a new full public review in the near future as technical guidance and input are offered by new committee members.

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