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High-Performance Building Standard Provides Foundation for Green Building Codes

A proposed high performance building standard and a stronger version of Standard 90.1 are both being released next year, providing a total green resource for local and state governments looking to set building code requirements to reduce energy use.

Proposed Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, which is being developed by ASHRAE, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), and USGBC, is slated to be the first code-intended commercial green building standard in the United States when it is published in early 2010. It covers key areas generally included in green building rating systems, such as site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials, and resources.

Additionally, ASHRAE and IES are working to strengthen the requirements in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The standard, which provides minimum requirements for energy-efficient design of buildings except low-rise residential buildings, will result in 25 to 30 percent greater energy savings compared to the 2004 version when it is released in mid-2010.

“Both standards are written in mandatory language to allow for adoption with building codes,” says Gordon Holness, ASHRAE president. “They are being developed using the widely respected American National Standards Institute consensus procedures. As such, their strength comes from the volunteer committee of experts from all facets of the building industry. In addition, the requirements of the draft standard were strengthened through the public review process with input from a variety of building industry professionals.”

Proposed Standard 189.1P has been written by experts representing all areas of the building industry, and has undergone four public reviews, meaning anyone could comment on its proposed requirements. An update on the development of the standard was given this week at a USGBC Greenbuild Expo press conference.

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