New Standard to Drive High-Performance Building Practices to the Mainstream

Feb. 17, 2006
Three organizations partner to develop new standard

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) announced today that the three organizations have agreed to co-sponsor the development of a new ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA minimum standard for high-performance green buildings.

Proposed 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 wellbeing, 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 189P will provide a baseline that will drive green building into mainstream building practices.

Scheduled for completion in 2007, the proposed standard will apply to new commercial buildings and major renovation projects; addressing sustainable sites; water-use efficiency; energy efficiency; a building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials, and resources; and indoor environmental quality.

Standard 189P will be an ANSI-accredited standard that can be incorporated into building code. It is intended that the standard will eventually become a prerequisite under LEED.

“This standard will establish a baseline for a high-performance green building,” ASHRAE President Lee Burgett says. “It will allow us to provide for the needs of the present without detracting from the ability to fulfill the needs of the future. 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. We also are pleased to partner again with IESNA, building on the earlier efforts of our two societies in creating design guidance for more energy efficient buildings.”

“We are proud to work with ASHRAE and IESNA to bring high-performance green building practices to the mainstream,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair, USGBC. “USGBC’s mission is market transformation, and we’ve long recognized the need to reach beyond the market leaders served by LEED to accomplish it. Given ASHRAE’s integrity and long history of leadership in energy efficiency and [the] indoor environment, and IESNA’s technical strength in lighting, they’re the ideal partners in the effort. We’re confident that the baseline standard we’ll develop together will raise the entirety of the commercial building marketplace to a new level of resource efficiency.”

Fedrizzi notes that, concurrent with this initiative, the USGBC will begin work on LEED v3.0, which will encompass major advancements in building science and technology, such as life-cycle assessment and bioregional weighting.

“Sustainability is the next natural progression in the evolution of standards for building design, allowing us to weigh system solutions against the impact on the environment while ensuring that buildings meet the needs of those who must work or live in them,” says Dr. Alan Lewis, president, IESNA. “Sustainable design is a collaborative approach to architecture and construction, and IESNA is pleased to be in partnership with ASHRAE and USGBC.”

ASHRAE’s technical resources provide the engineering basis for sustainable buildings. Through the Society’s Roadmap for Sustainability, ASHRAE advocates a sustainable built environment via the use of advanced technologies and develops and maintains productive relationships with other organizations in the sustainability field.

This information was reprinted from the ASHRAE website ( ASHRAE is an international organization; Its sole objective is to advance through research, standards writing, publishing, and continuing education the arts and sciences of HVAC&R to serve the evolving needs of the public. The USGBC ( iis the nation’s leading nonprofit organization working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable, and healthy places to live and work. IESNA ( is the recognized technical authority on illumination; Its objective has been to communicate information on all aspects of good lighting practice to its members, to the lighting community, and to consumers, through a variety of programs, publications, and services.

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