WASHINGTON - The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) have agreed to co-sponsor the development of a new ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA minimum standard for high-performance green building. The move is significant as this is the first time that ASHRAE has lent its support of green buildings concepts through an official standard.

Proposed Standard 189, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, will provide minimum requirements for the design of sustainable buildings to balance environmental responsibility, resource efficiency, occupant comfort and well-being, and community sensitivity. Using USGBC's Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, which addresses the top 25 percent of building practice, as a key resource, Standard 189 will provide a baseline that will drive green building into mainstream building practices. "This standard will establish a baseline for a high-performance, green building," said Lee Burgett ASHRAE president. "It will allow us to provide for the needs of the present without detracting from the ability to fulfill the needs of the future."

Scheduled for completion in 2007, the proposed standard will apply to new commercial buildings and major renovation projects, addressing sustainable sites, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, a building's impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Standard 189 will be an ANSI-accredited standard that can be incorporated into building code. It is intended that the standard will eventually become a prerequisite under LEED.

"We are proud to work with ASHRAE and IESNA to bring high performance green building practices to the mainstream," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. "USGBC's mission is market transformation, and we've long recognized the need to reach beyond the market leaders served by LEED to accomplish it."

Fedrizzi noted that concurrent with this initiative, USGBC will begin work on LEED v3.0, which will encompass significant advancements in building science and technology, such as LifeCycle Assessment and bioregional weighting.

Publication date: 03/06/2006