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June 17, 2008: ASHRAE to Brief Congress on High-Performance Buildings

June 17, 2008
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ATLANTA - A new assessment report to the U.S. Congress and a new Congressional caucus, both addressing high-performance buildings, will be unveiled this week at a briefing with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as the lead sponsor.

The briefing for Congressional staff takes place from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on June 18 in room 2325 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Scheduled to take part are Rep. Judy Bigger (R-Ill.) and Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), co-chairs of a newly formed High Performance Building Congressional Caucus.

“Rising energy costs and the increased global awareness of the potential impact of climate change continue to drive home the need for low-energy, environmentally responsible, high-performance buildings,” said Kent Peterson, P.E., ASHRAE president. “As such, we need to be more determined to deliver buildings that perform. I am encouraged by the efforts I am seeing in the recommendations contained in this report and formation of the caucus to encourage design, operation, and maintenance of high-performance buildings.”

Congress drafted Section 914 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to address not just more energy efficient buildings but rather high-performance buildings that combine the objectives of reducing resource energy consumption and improving the comfort and productivity of building occupants. Congress maintains that achieving both these goals would have a positive economic and societal impact.

Former ASHRAE president Bill Coad served as chair of the committee that wrote the assessment report to the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Department of Energy on high performance buildings. Overseen by the National Institute for Building Sciences, the report contains seven recommendations to assist in encouraging the creation and operation of high-performance buildings. Coad is scheduled to speak at the briefing, along with Get Moy, current chair of the High Performance Building Council.

In addition, the recent formation of the High Performance Building Congressional Caucus will be announced. The caucus was formed in part to address the recommendations outlined in the assessment report. The caucus will work to heighten awareness and inform policymakers about the major impact buildings have on health, safety, and welfare. ASHRAE is one of 14 organizations that form the caucus.

Publication date: 06/16/2008

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