ASHRAE’s renovated headquarters in Atlanta earned several major awards: the EPA’s ENERGY STAR, LEED Platinum certification, and an A- rating from the Building Quotient program. The 34,500 square foot office building – originally built in 1965 – now acts as a showcase of energy efficiency and sustainability through its living lab and learning center. The facility has reduced energy use and carbon emissions by 35 percent each.
“In deciding to renovate our existing Headquarters building, ASHRAE followed its mission of ‘promoting a sustainable world,’” ASHRAE President Gordon Holness said. “The renovation gave us the opportunity to demonstrate that existing buildings can be upgraded to provide equal or better than new building performance.”
ASHRAE installed a cool, white reflective roof membrane to minimize heat island effects; eliminated the need for landscaping irrigation; retained more than 75 percent of the existing building structure as part of this renovation; and reduced its estimated overall annual water consumption by almost 50 percent with low-flow fixtures.
The building also demonstrates how PV arrays can generate clean power taking advantage of under-utilized space on building roofs. It is estimated that the installed array will provide more than 8 percent of the building’s total annual energy cost in the form of renewable energy (in addition to the energy savings measures already taken).
“Given that 75 to 80 percent of all existing buildings will still be around in 2030, our greatest opportunity for a sustainable future is through the upgrade and retrofit of these buildings,” says Holness.