ASHRAE, USGBC, IES consider biomass requirements in green building standard

The proposal would add biomass to approved renewables.

February 12, 2015 |
ASHRAE, USGBC, IES consider biomass requirements in green building standard

The proposal defines biomass as organic material, such as wood and crop waste, that can be burned to generate thermal energy. Photo: Kapilbutani via Wikimedia Commons

ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Illuminating Engineering Society are exploring the development of biomass requirements for inclusion in their co-sponsored green building standard.

ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings, contains requirements for the use of renewable energy systems such as solar, wind, and geothermal. The Standard 189.1 Committee recently considered a proposal to add biomass to the definition of renewable energy systems.

The proposal defines biomass as organic material, such as wood and crop waste, that can be burned to generate thermal energy. At ASHRAE’s recently held 2015 Winter Conference, the committee voted not to accept the proposal to simply add the word biomass to this definition. But the committee said that it intends to work on a definition of biomass as well as requirements on the use of biomass.

The standard currently has no restrictions on biomass as an energy source. However, it does not allow it to be used to meet the renewable energy requirements.

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