ANSI Updates Standard for High Performance Green Buildings

WASHINGTON — A newly revised American National Standard has raised its benchmarks for evaluating the energy efficiency of high-performance commercial green buildings.

The revision updates the standard introduced in 2009, the first code-intended commercial green building standard in the U.S.

Standard 189.1-2011, which applies to the design of high-performance, non-residential green buildings, covers criteria including a building’s site sustainability, water use, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials and resource use, and overall environmental impact on the site and community. The standard fits codes for ANSI, ASHRAE, USGBC and the IES.

"Compliance with these updated provisions will result in further improvements to indoor environmental quality, while further reducing energy use and environmental impact through high-performance building design, construction, and operation," said Dennis Stanke, chair of the committee that developed the standard.

The most significant change in energy-related provisions is the set of updated requirements in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

A U.S. Department of Energy ruling found that the 2010 version of Standard 90.1 bears “significant energy savings over the 2007 standard,” and that energy savings achieved through Standard 90.1-2010 comply with Standard 189.1.

The newly revised standard sets requirements for preparing for onsite renewable energy and producing prescribed levels of renewable energy.

Under the revised standard, buildings that meet the prescriptive requirement for renewable energy production are also considered compliant with the mandatory requirement for renewable energy site preparation.

Other changes in the 2011 standard include more stringent lighting-power density allowances, required automatic controls for lit signs visible during daytime hours to reduce lighting power, and provisions to help mitigate the heat island effect.

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