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ASHRAE ’10: Conference highlight the release of Green Building Standard

ATLANTA – A standard set to be a game changer in the industry was introduced at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' (ASHRAE’s) 2010 Winter Conference, while work continued on other programs and standards that will help the Society build a more sustainable future.
       
Some 2,500 people attended the conference, held Jan. 23-27, in Orlando, Fla. Also taking place in conjunction with the meeting was the Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), which attracted nearly 45,000 registered visitors and exhibitor personnel.
       
“These are exciting times,” ASHRAE President Gordon Holness said. “The industry reaction to our Building Energy Quotient program has been very positive. We are happy to have such distinguished partners as the General Services Administration join with us in piloting the program. The long-awaited Standard 189, which was published at the Orlando conference, will have a tremendous impact on the industry. In my travels this year, there has been much excitement about moving forward toward greater energy efficiency. As U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu told us last year, ‘energy efficiency isn’t just low hanging fruit; it’s fruit laying on the ground.’ The time has come for truly sustainable buildings.”
               
The biggest buzz at the conference centered on publication of the green standard from ASHRAE, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and the U.S. Green Building Council. Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is the first code-intended commercial green building standard in North America. The standard provides a long-needed green building foundation for those who strive to design, build and operate green buildings. From site location to energy use to recycling, this standard will set the foundation for green buildings through its adoption into local codes. Learn more at www.ashrae.org/greenstandard.

The energy efficiency goal of Standard 189.1 is to provide significant energy reduction over that in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007. It offers a broader scope than Standard 90.1 and is intended to provide minimum requirements for the siting, design and construction of high performance, green buildings.
                    
“The far-reaching influence of the built environment necessitates action to reduce its impact,” said Holness. “Provisions in the standard can reduce negative environmental impacts through high-performance building design, construction and operations practices.  Ultimately, the aim is not just energy efficiency but a balance of environmental responsibility, resource efficiency, occupant comfort and well being and community sensitivity, all while supporting the goal of sustainable development.”    
             
Other conference highlights included the technical program, with its theme of Building Sustainability from the Inside Out, featuring more than 100 sessions. The most well-attended sessions were How to Assess the Performance of Sustainable Buildings, Standard 189.1 Overview, Enhanced Dehumidification Strategies with Energy Recovery in a Hot Humid Climate, High Performance HVAC Systems in LEED Platinum Projects: A Selected Showcase, Noise and the Mechanical System Design Process and High Density Cooling Issues Update. More than 400 people attended the technical plenary session addressing H1N1.
                
The two-part Standard 189.1 Overview seminar can be viewed for free at www.ashrae.org/greenstandard. The seminars are part of ASHRAE’s first-ever Virtual Conference, which provides access to more than 250 presentations and PDFs of posters. Register or access presentations at www.ashrae.org/OrlandoVirtual.
        
The Conference also served as the launch of ASHRAE’s newest certification program, the Building Energy Modeling Professional certification, with 62 candidates taking the exam. As building owners and developers become increasingly concerned about rising energy costs and potential obligations under climate change programs, building energy modeling helps provide a preview into a building’s likely energy use and allows decisions affecting energy use to be made before a shovel even hits the ground.  The new certification ensures that professionals modeling a building’s energy use have the skills necessary to produce an accurate model.
       
To order Standard 189.1, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at 1-800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or visit www.ashrae.org/bookstore.