USGBC, ASHRAE, and IESNA Outline Scope for Development of Standard 189, Bringing Green Building Practices to the Mainstream

Feb. 8, 2007
New standard could be incorporated into local building codes some day

The committee established by 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) to develop a new green building standard announced the developments of its most recent meeting, held Jan. 29, 2007 in Dallas, TX. The three organizations are collaborating to develop Standard 189, a baseline green building standard that will bring green-building practices into mainstream building design and construction. The standard is being written so that it may be incorporated into local building codes in the future.

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 LEED® Green Building Rating System, which addresses the top 25 percent of building practice, as a key resource, Standard 189 will provide a baseline to drive green building into mainstream practice. Standard 189 will be ANSI-accredited, and it is intended to become a prerequisite for LEED certification. LEED will continue to serve market leaders and innovators by promoting the highest levels of building performance.

A major development resulting from the Jan. 29 meeting is the coordination of Standard 189 with national green building activities, including U.S. Federal agencies' "Memorandum of Understanding on Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings"; AIA (American Institute of Architects); climate change initiatives by the U.S. Conference of Mayors; and Architecture 2030. The committee also created an outline for Standard 189 and detailed the standard's scope, which will include sustainable sites, water use, energy efficiency, impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Compliance with mandatory provisions and either prescriptive or performance provisions was also decided on at the meeting. Standard 189 is anticipated to begin pilot testing in late 2007.

This information was provided by and reprinted with permission from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC is the nation’s leading coalition of corporations, builders, universities, federal and local agencies, and nonprofit organizations working together to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. To find out more about USGBC, visit

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