With new standard, industry groups hope to take high-performance building practices mainstream

March 01, 2006 |

A new minimum standard for high-performance buildings is in development for 2007. Co-sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council; the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America; and the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Standard 189P will address the entirety of the building industry—with the exception of low-rise residential buildings—bringing green building into the mainstream.

The new standard differs from USGBC's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system in two significant ways. Most notably, Standard 189P is not a rating system but an ANSI-accredited standard that can be incorporated into building codes. Eventually the standard, which borrows ideas from LEED, would become a prerequisite under LEED.

The other significant difference is the target audience. LEED addresses the top 25% of building practices—the market leaders. Standard 189P will target the remaining 75% of the commercial building marketplace, setting a baseline for green building.

ASHRAE approached USGBC about the new standard, which is being developed over a 12-month period. It will apply to new commercial buildings and major renovation projects, addressing sustainable sites, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and a building's impact on the atmosphere.

"Our partnership with USGBC to develop the proposed standard draws on their extensive experience in the green building market and assures that the needs of those who create sustainable buildings are met," said ASHRAE president Lee Burgett, PE. Burgett said ASHRAE's partnership with IESNA continues previous efforts of the two organizations to develop design guidance for the creation of more energy efficient buildings.

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