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U.S. Army adopts ASHRAE standard

ASHRAE leaders recently met with U.S. Army officials regarding a new sustainable design and development policy that incorporates requirements of the green building standard developed by ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

December 21, 2010  By  Craig Pearson

The U.S. Army has made it a matter of policy to promote sustainability and improve green building standards for its facilities. On October 27, 2010, Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for installations, energy and the environment (IE&E), issued a policy memorandum that incorporates ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2009, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

The Army’s policy sets a new approach to the design and construction of efficient military construction projects and major renovations by using Standard 189.1 as the baseline. The policy requires that facility construction projects follow specified requirements and guidance in the standard. These requirements address siting, energy efficiency, cool roofs, metering, storm water management, and indoor and outdoor water consumption.

“After nearly four years of peer review and collaboration with various members of industry, we are extremely pleased that the Army has taken up the initiative to incorporate the standard into its day-to-day practices,” said Lynn G. Bellenger, ASHRAE President. “The Army is clearly committed to taking the lead within the military to incorporate innovative practices proven by the private sector. Their willingness to adopt this standard speaks volumes about its value and efficacy.”  

The net effect of the Army’s sustainable design initiative is likely to be immense, according to ASHRAE. The policy applies to all construction and renovation of new buildings and structures in the U.S. territories, permanent overseas Active Army installations, Army Reserve Centers, Army National Guard facilities and Armed Forces Reserve Centers. The footprint of the existing Army buildings and structures worldwide covers more than 954 million sq.ft.

“We are committed to sustainable design and development, but our commitment extends far beyond construction and renovation savings,” Hammack said. “We are on a path to integrating energy and sustainability considerations into our fundamental way of thinking as we progress toward net-zero energy, water and waste in buildings and installations.”

ASHRAE leadership and Army officials discussed how the Society could continue development and stringency of Standard 189.1 to provide guidance toward net-zero buildings. Additionally discussed was how ASHRAE can help fulfill the Army’s training needs regarding the standard and how 189.1 fits in to Army’s long-term plans to make their facilities more sustainable

Standard 189.1, published earlier this year by ASHRAE in conjunction with the IES of North America and the USGBC, provides a long-needed green building foundation for those who strive to design, build and operate green buildings, says the Society.

Standard 189.1 also serves as jurisdictional compliance option to the International Green Construction Code authored by the International Code Council, ASTM International and the American Institute of Architects.  

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