Green Building Standard factors projects’ life cycle carbon, construction equipment idling-rooted diesel emissions

New requirements to further reduce energy and environmental impacts in buildings’ construction and operating phases—site vehicle idle time thresholds and stormwater management guidelines among them—are detailed in the 2014 version of the green building standard from ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council, and Illuminating Engineering Society.NS-GREENBUILDING-400

ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2014, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, addresses site sustainability; water-use efficiency; energy efficiency; indoor environmental quality; and, the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.

“Compliance with 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,” says Standard 189.1 Committee Chair Andrew Persily. Major changes in Standard 189.1-2014 from the 2011 version, he adds, include:

  • Construction and Plans for Operation. Updated requirements related to impacts associated with idling construction vehicles, plus new measures to reduce the entry of airborne contaminants associated with construction areas.
  • Site Sustainability. Prescriptive and performance options now designated mandatory requirements. Stormwater management requirements are enhanced, joined by vehicle and bicycle parking provisions.
  • Building Impacts on the Atmosphere, Materials, and Resources. Requirements are also updated for construction waste management and for life-cycle assessment. New requirements are added for multiple-attribute product declaration or certification. Requirements are updated for areas to store and collect recyclables.
  • Energy. Significant updates reflect publication of ASHRAE 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, including revised building envelope provisions. Fenestration orientation requirements are updated based on new research, as well as changes made to equipment efficiency tables, Energy Star references, and continuous air-barrier requirements.
  • Energy Performance, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Renewables. Changes and clarifications to reflect ASHRAE 90.1-2013, along with updates on CO2 emission factors for different energy sources.
  • Indoor Environmental Quality. 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.

ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2014, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings, Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings is available for $128 ($109, ASHRAE members) from the ASHRAE Customer Contact Center in Atlanta, 800/527-4723 or 404/636-8400; or through the society’s website,

The revised standard dovetails the 2015 International Green Construction Code. The 2014 edition incorporates 67 addenda, reflecting changes made through the public review process since the standard was last published in 2011. Appendix H gives brief descriptions and approval dates of the addenda included in this new edition.