The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) have completed formation of the committee charged with the development of Standard 189P, the ASHRAE/USGBC/IESNA minimum standard for high performance green building. The proposed green building standard is being developed by the three organizations to help drive green building into mainstream building practices and is scheduled for completion in 2007.

"We expect the new baseline standard to set a higher floor for all building practices and really bring green to the mainstream, " John Hogan, chair of the committee writing the standard, said. "The benefits of green building -- clean indoor air, thermal comfort and resource efficiency ˆ are benefits that are owed to everyone and as an ANSI-accredited standards developer, we‚re confident the process we‚re following to develop this standard will make it well-received in the building community. "

The proposed standard will apply to new commercial buildings and major renovation projects. It will address sustainable sites, water use, energy efficiency, a building's impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. The goal of Standard 189P is to eventually get the language written into building code.

USGBC‚s President, CEO & Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi notes that USGBC's mission is market transformation and "Standard 189P is a significant step in that direction ; the combined expertise of ASHRAE, IESNA, and USGBC will raise the floor for building practices nationwide."

"IESNA welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with ASHRAE and USGBC in multidisciplinary sharing of innovative solutions to create environments that are sustainable, efficient, healthy and productive,‰ according to Kevin Flynn, AIA, President, Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

Using USGBC's LEED green building rating system, which addresses the top 25% of building practice, as a key resource, Standard 189 will provide a baseline that will drive green building into mainstream building practices. Concurrent with this initiative, USGBC will begin work on LEED version 3.0, which will encompass major advancements in building science and technology, such as LifeCycle Assessment and bioregional weighting. Standard 189 will be designed to serve the entire building market whereas LEED will continue to evolve and serve the innovators and market leaders.

The newly formed committee met in Seattle in August to outline next steps, including two development meetings before the end of the year.

"ASHRAE looks forward to continuing its work with USGBC and IESNA in providing guidance to help professionals design, build and operate the best buildings we possibly can," said Terry Townsend, P.E., ASHRAE president.