Standard 189.1

14 04 2010

Message from the Standard 189.1 Chair

There are many ways people define a green building. Energy-saving measures, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials and building orientation all play a role, but it is the way that all of these—and more—come together to make a productive, safe and efficient building that makes it truly high performing.

In recognition of this, ASHRAE, along with the U.S. Green Building Council and the Illuminating Engineering Society, has published a new standard that defines the minimum requirements for a high-performance green building. Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, recently became a jurisdictional compliance option in the Public Version 1.0 of the International Green Construction Code published by the International Code Council. The IgCC regulates construction of new and remodeled commercial buildings, and Standard 189.1 serves as strong technical backbone of that document.

The environmental impact of the building design, construction and operations industry is enormous. Development frequently alters land from natural, biologically diverse habitats to hardscape that is impervious and devoid of biodiversity. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of CO2 emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption, 13 percent water consumption and 15 percent of GDP per year, making green building a source of significant environmental opportunity.

The far-reaching influence of the built environment necessitates action to reduce its impact. To meet our responsibility, ASHRAE, USGBC and IES undertook an extensive process to obtain input from all segments of the building industry and the public.  Provisions in the standard can reduce negative environmental impacts through high-performance building design, construction and operations practices.

The standard addresses site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality (IEQ), and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources. These five key subject areas, as well as plans for construction and high-performance operation, are each addressed in separate sections.

Building environmental awareness continues to grow in communities around the world, making it even more important for the building community to get on board with and learn about this new high-performance green building standard. We hope you find this Web page useful in this regard.

Kent Peterson, P.E., MCIBSE, LEED-AP
Presidential Fellow Member
Chair of the Standard 189.1 Committee


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