ATLANTA - The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is studying renovation of its headquarters to showcase sustainability.

"The proposed renovation of our current headquarters would incorporate ASHRAE technology and demonstrate our strong commitment to sustainability," said Lee Burgett, P.E., ASHRAE president. "ASHRAE launched an engineering for sustainability movement this past year. The headquarters renovation is another example of ASHRAE's role as an engineering engine that drives sustainability."

ASHRAE moved to its current headquarters in Atlanta from New York in 1981. The 31,000-square-foot building houses some 100 employees. Recent inspections indicated that the building, constructed in 1965 and last renovated in 1991, needs substantial repairs. ASHRAE explored several options, including purchasing a new building or leasing.

"The potential beneficial environmental impact gained by refurbishing existing buildings to sustainability standards is far greater than new sustainable buildings," Burgett said. "Through this project ASHRAE proposes demonstrating that potential."

The Society's board of directors agreed at its 2006 Winter Meeting to study renovating the headquarters into a sustainable building.

ASHRAE would work toward the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification for existing buildings (LEED-EB), with a goal of a gold rating.

The Society also plans to demonstrate specific compliance with ASHRAE standards with respect to energy conservation and indoor air quality. Selected ASHRAE technical committees will be brought into the study to determine how the ASHRAE headquarters renovation can become a "living lab" regarding both energy conservation and indoor air quality.

The study is expected to begin by March 2006 with a final decision on renovation due by September 2006.

Publication date: 02/13/2006