Green Building Design Standard Unveiled


Building envelope technologies and construction site contaminants are among the topics addressed in a recently updated design standard.

Standard 189.1-2014, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, from ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Illuminating Engineering Society has been updated for the first time since 2011.  

The 2014 edition addresses general areas of site sustainability; indoor air quality, energy efficiency; water-use efficiency; construction operation; materials and resources; and the building’s impact on the atmosphere.

It includes 67 addenda, reflecting changes made through the public review process since the standard was last published.

Latest Information

"The new standard updates all of its sections to reflect the latest information available to the committee," said Andrew Persily, chair of the Standard 189.1 committee.

"Compliance with these updated provisions will help further reduce energy and environmental impacts through high performance building design, construction and operation while providing indoor environments that support the activities of building occupants."

Important Changes

According to ASHRAE, the major changes in the 2014 edition include:

  • Energy: Significant updates are included to reflect the publication of Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, including revised building envelope provisions. Fenestration orientation requirements were updated based on new research, as well as changes and updates made to equipment efficiency tables, ENERGYSTAR references and continuous air-barrier requirements.
  • Energy Performance, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Renewables: Changes and clarifications are included to reflect changes to Standard 90.1. Carbon dioxide emission factors for different energy sources are updated.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality: Lighting quality is added to the scope of this section, and requirements are added for lighting controls in specific space types. Requirements for air sealing of filtration and air-cleaning equipment are clarified, and new requirements for preoccupancy ventilation and building envelope moisture management are added.
  • Site Sustainability: All site requirements are now mandatory, with prescriptive and performance options moved to the mandatory requirements. Requirements for stormwater management are enhanced, and new requirements added for bicycle parking and for preferred parking for low-emission, hybrid and electric vehicles. New requirements are added for predesign assessment of native and invasive plants.
  • Water: More stringent water use requirements are included for toilets, clothes washers, dishwashers and green roofs.
  • Building Impacts on the Atmosphere, Materials, and Resources: Requirements are updated for areas to store and collect recyclables, including batteries and electronics. Requirements also are updated for construction waste management and for life-cycle assessment. New requirements are added for multiple-attribute product declaration or certification and for maximum mercury content levels of certain types of electric lamps.
  • Construction and Plans for Operation: Requirements related to environmental impacts associated with idling construction vehicles are updated. New requirements are added to reduce the entry of airborne contaminants associated with construction areas.

The cost of the standard is $128 ($109 for ASHRAE members) and is available for immediate download and printed versions.


Tagged categories: Air barriers; ASHRAE; Building design; Building Envelope; Building envelope; Certifications and standards; Energy codes; Energy efficiency; Green building; Indoor air quality; North America; U.S. Green Building Council

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