Biomass Requirements for Green Building Standard

Feb. 25, 2015

Standard 189.1 seeks to expand renewable energy definition.

Biomass, which is organic material such as wood or crop waste that can be burned to generate thermal energy, may soon be a part of the renewable energy portion of ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1 Standard for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings. While the standard includes solar, wind, and geothermal as possible renewable energy sources, the Standard 189.1 Committee considered a proposal to add biomass to the requirements.

At the 2015 ASHRAE Winter Conference, the committee voted against simply adding the word “biomass” to the definition, ultimately rejecting the current proposal. However, they stated that they intend to develop a definition for the term as well as add it to the renewable energy portion of the standard. Committee Chair Andy Persily also notes that while biomass cannot currently be used to meet the renewable energy requirements, the standard also has no restrictions on its use either.

Wondering if biomass could be a good choice for your facility? Take a look at some of the GSA’s findings about the benefits of this renewable energy source.

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