Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Is Open for Public Review

Changes to the purpose and scope that reflect advances in green buildings over the last 10 years are proposed for the high performance building standard from ASHRAE, the International Code Council (ICC), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

ASHRAE/IES/USGBC/ICC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings, contains minimum requirements for the siting, design and construction of high-performance green buildings in support of reducing building energy use, resource consumption and other environmental impacts while maintaining acceptable indoor environments.

Among them is addenda o, which proposes revisions to the existing purpose and scope of the standard to clarify its intended purposes and application, and to better reflect the revisions to the standard that are being considered by the committee.

Committee chair Andrew Persily notes that the current title, purpose and scope were approved in 2006 and that much has taken place in the world of green buildings in the past 10 years.

Under addenda o, the purpose of the standard has been rewritten to focus on goals vs. strategies. For example, rather than energy efficiency, the goal of reduced building emissions is proposed for inclusion in the purpose.

A new section of the purpose speaks to the alignment of Standard 189.1 with the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), noting specifically that the standard is intended to serve as the technical basis of mandatory buildings codes and regulations for high-performance buildings.

Standard 189.1 currently is a compliance option of the 2015 IgCC, published by the International Code Council, ASTM and the American Institute of Architects. The standard will serve as the technical content for the IgCC beginning in 2018.

Other addenda open for public review until May 8, 2016 are:

  • Addendum i reorganizes the roof heat island mitigation section and adds new provisions for vegetated terrace and roofing systems relative to plant selection, growing medium, roof membrane protection and clearances. In addition, provisions for the operation and maintenance of vegetated roofs are proposed for addition to Section 10.
  • Addendum n clarifies footnote b to Table 7.5.2A. This footnote provides a method to adjust the percent reduction for buildings with unregulated energy cost exceeding 35 percent of the total energy cost. This addendum clarifies that the adjustment is to be made on the basis of energy cost, not energy use.
  • Addendum p proposes to add requirements for water bottle filling stations, which are intended to improve water efficiency and sanitation of public drinking water and to reduce the environmental effects of plastic bottles.
  • Addendum r lowers the ductwork pressure testing threshold to include 3-inch pressure class ducts, which are common upstream of variable air volume (VAV) boxes.
  • Addendum t adds new requirements for reverse osmosis and onsite reclaimed water systems in order to reduce the likelihood of excessive water use because of poor design of water treatment and filter system.
  • Addendum u adds new requirements for water softeners to reduce water consumption given the impact of the design and efficiency of these systems on water discharge water rates.

Open for public review from April 8 until May 23, 2016 are:

  • Addendum q modifies Chapters 5, 7, 8 and 11, as well as Appendices A and E, to reflect the addition of Climate Zone 0 in ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 169-2013, Climatic Data for Building Design Standards.
  • Addendum s removes the performance option for water use and moves the prescriptive option into the mandatory section.

ASHRAE and IES Release Guidance on New Compliance Path for Standard 90.1

A newly published document from ASHRAE and IES gives users of their energy-efficiency standard immediate access to an optional third path for compliance, providing more flexibility for the industry.

Standard 90.1-2013 Appendix G: Performance Rating Method is an excerpt from ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1 (I-P), Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The document gives users immediate access to selected addenda slated to be published in the 2016 version of the standard. The majority of the document is comprised of addendum bm, which allows Appendix G to be used as a compliance path within the standard.

“This document is being provided at the request of users,” says Drake Erbe, chair of the Standard 90.1 committee. “This is the first time ASHRAE and IES have made available an interim clean publication of a portion of Standard 90.1, and we are doing so now because users have expressed a critical need for this guidance. Several entities have expressed interest in developing programs based on the revised appendix. This release also gives advanced notice to software developers that may be interested in automating the process of creating the Appendix G baseline.”

Erbe notes that the guidance in addendum bm had two significant impacts on Appendix G.

“Previously Appendix G was used only to rate ‘beyond code’ performance of buildings but could not be used to demonstrate compliance with the base 90.1 standard,” he says. “Now the standard provides that compliance path and gives credit for integrated design resulting in energy savings, such as efficient use of building mass, optimized building orientation, efficient HVAC&R system selection and right sizing of HVAC&R equipment.”

Using this new version of Appendix G to show compliance with the 2016 version of the standard, the proposed building design needs to have a Performance Cost Index (PCI) less than that shown in Table 4.2.1.1 based on building type and climate zone.

The second change is that the baseline design is now fixed at a certain level of performance, the stringency of which is expected not to change with subsequent versions of the standard. By this, a building of any era can be rated using the same method with the same baseline of compliance. The intent is that any building energy code or beyond-code program can use this methodology and simply set the appropriate target for their needs analogous to those in the table. Therefore, a beyond-code program may wish to set a target less than is shown in the table (a target of 0 is a net zero building), while compliance with a previous version of the standard may wish to set a target above what is shown. Because unregulated loads are not included in the compliance target in Table 4.2.1.1, beyond-code programs that encourage improvement in unregulated loads may wish to modify the target to include those loads.

Other addenda included in the excerpt are:

  • Addendum k directs the modeler to use the default assemblies in Appendix A for baseline opaque envelope assemblies.
  • Addendum r establishes the hierarchy of the decision-making process for selecting baseline HVAC systems.
  • Addendum z provides detail on the simulation of base-line building heat pumps, including how auxiliary heat is used in conjunction with heat-pump heating.
  • Addendum aa provides direction regarding when it is appropriate to model a heating-only system in Appendix G.
  • Addendum ad clarifies when baseline HVAC systems should be modeled with preheat coils.
  • Addendum dx makes changes to the baseline lighting power allowances in Appendix G.

Erbe noted that while it is likely that the version of Appendix G published in the 2016 edition of the standard will include additional changes to Appendix G, it is not likely that they will be as extensive as those included in addendum bm. The primary focus is to make the new methodology with a fixed baseline available so users become familiar with it.

Eneref Institute Launches Natural Interior Daylight Initiative

Eneref Institute, an advocate for sustainable development, announces the launch of its Natural Interior Daylight (NID) initiative to encourage greater use of sunlight as a primary light source in homes and buildings.

Expert advisors to the Natural Interior Daylight initiative include three of the nation’s most influential lighting designers: Nancy Clanton, Jim Benya and Chip Israel.

The initiative launched a virtual campus featuring a repository of advocacy reports demonstrating successful applications of natural interior daylight in homes and buildings. Eneref advocacy reports draw on the expertise of advisors as well as testimonial interviews with end-user customers to provide a uniquely authentic, real-world perspective on a variety of technologies and solutions.

In addition, Eneref Institute published a report in LD+A, the journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society, outlining the current market obstacles to daylighting.

Increased human wellness and productivity benefits in spaces prioritizing daylight have been confirmed by three evidence-based Heschong Mahone studies—findings echoed in Eneref Institute advocacy reports.

“Daylighting should be considered in any high-performance building,” says Nancy Clanton, president of Clanton & Associates, a provider of sustainable lighting design.

The use of interior daylight such as energy-efficient windows and skylights—in place of or in conjunction with traditional electric lighting—can significantly reduce a building’s energy load. Lighting represents almost 20 percent of global electricity consumption.

“Whenever we work with clients, our team always encourages daylighting because it makes sense for both energy efficiency and the overall well-being of occupants,” explains Deborah Burnett, U.S. lighting designer and wellness SME principal of Benya Burnett Consultancy.

“We’re delighted to participate in Eneref Institute’s independent initiative because it will benefit our entire daylighting industry,” says John Lawton, electrical engineer and global product skylight manager for VELUX, the world’s largest manufacturer of residential skylights.

“Rooftop prismatic skylights offer facility owners an excellent, low-cost opportunity to enhance the quality of the interior lighting when coupled with proper installation and maintenance,” explains John Godwin, vice president of CentiMark, a commercial roofing and flooring contractor.

“Sustainability is just good design,” according to Chip Israel, an internationally recognized lighting designer and president of the Lighting Design Alliance.

The benefits of natural interior daylight outweigh the investment; as sustainable practices grow more common, its use in homes and buildings will continue to increase, according to Seth Warren Rose, founding director of Eneref Institute.

“You don’t need a degree in illuminating engineering to know that a room with a view—one with windows that lets in natural light—is what people want. Inherently, we just know,” explains Rose.

For more information about the daylighting market, see the Eneref Institute report “Seven Market Obstacles of Natural Interior Daylight.”

ICC and ASHRAE Outline Roles for Development of International Green Construction Code

In a deal nearly two years in the making, the International Code Council (ICC) and ASHRAE have signed the final agreement that outlines each organization’s role in the development and maintenance of the new version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), ASHRAE, ICC, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The code, scheduled to be released in 2018, will be powered by ANSI/ASHRAE/ICC/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings developed using the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approved ASHRAE consensus process. The joint Standing Standards Project Committee 189.1 (SSPC) will serve as the consensus body that will work to ensure the standard is consistent and coordinated with the ICC Family of Codes.

The ICC will be responsible for Chapter 1, Scope and Administration. For the 2018 IgCC, ICC will coordinate the technical provisions developed by ASHRAE with the provisions in Chapter 1 of the 2015 IgCC. As a result, the 2016 Group B Cycle will not include Chapter 1 of the IgCC for code changes. With ASHRAE developing technical provisions, ICC’s 2017 Group C cycle to develop the 2018 IgCC has been cancelled. Part of the development process for the 2018 technical provisions will include the SSPC review of the 2015 IgCC and consideration of content for inclusion in 189.1-2017 along with changes generated by the committee and proposals submitted by stakeholders. Following the completion of the 2018 IgCC, Chapter 1 of the IgCC will be developed by ICC using its consensus code development process.

“Our goal in this partnership all along has been to share resources to increase use of the IgCC and make it simpler for code officials, designers and contractors to build environmentally efficient structures that will lessen energy and water consumption and reduce the carbon footprint,” said ICC Board President Guy Tomberlin, CBO. “We are now situated to do just that. We thank our partners, ICC Members and all who will contribute to the development of the IgCC powered by 189.1.”

The Executive Steering Committee for the effort to align 189.1, the IgCC and LEED consists of representatives of ICC, ASHRAE, USGBC, AIA and IES, and the SSPC Chair.

“The full integration of Standard 189.1 to serve as the technical content of the IgCC will leverage ASHRAE’s technical expertise and increase the standard’s influence on sustainable buildings,” notes ASHRAE President David Underwood. “We look forward to continuing to engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders in development of Standard 189.1 following the ANSI consensus standards development process. The result will be a comprehensive compliance tool that can be used by jurisdictions worldwide that are committed to a more sustainable built environment.”

The new publication also will align the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) rating system program to ensure a streamlined, effective set of regulatory and above-code options. The green building certification program recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification, building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification

“This joint initiative will forge the fundamental regulatory building blocks of green construction on which future green building leadership initiatives can grow,” says Brendan Owens, chief of engineering at USGBC. “It takes courage to think differently and to commit to a new model, and for that we thank the leadership of the partner organizations behind the IgCC powered by 189.1.”

“Our combined membership, consisting of practicing design professionals, code officials, and the building industry representatives, supports the development of codes and standards that protect the health, safety and welfare of the public at large,” says AIA CEO Robert Ivy, FAIA. “Through this significant agreement, both the AIA and the ICC agree to work more closely to achieve our common goals.”

In 2010, ASHRAE and ICC joined forces by making 189.1 an alternative compliance path for the IgCC. The new agreement between ASHRAE and ICC furthers the effort these organizations initiated in 2010 by providing the market with a single code that is coordinated with the International Family of Codes.

“IES looks forward to continuing to partner with ASHRAE in developing technical content for Standard 189.1,” according to Rita Harrold, IES representative. “And to participating with the other organizations in this unique collaborative opportunity to satisfy the goals for the new version of IgCC.”

The agreement creates a comprehensive framework for jurisdictions looking to implement and adopt green building regulations and codes. The unprecedented collaboration leverages the unique organizational expertise of the partners participating in this evolution of green building codes and brings AIA, ASHRAE, ICC, IES and USGBC into strategic and tactical alignment on the relationship between 189.1 and the IgCC. Other organizations that support this vision and would like to join the effort are invited to contact Dominic Sims or Jeff Littleton.