Green Building Initiative Joins Chase for High-Performance Building Standard

The race to develop a code-based green building standard is on in full force and could have some important implications for state- and local-level green building programs and policies.

Almost a year ago, USGBC announced that it was developing a new building standard in cooperation with ASHRAE and IESNA. Standard 189P for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings remained open for public comment through the end of last July; the standard was supposed to be complete by the close of 2007 but it’s unclear exactly where those efforts stand. Though modeled on it, 189P is not the same thing as LEED. It’s intended to contain a series of performance-related criteria- including targets for energy and water efficiency- that buildings must satisfy in order for municipalities to issue a certificate of occupancy for new buildings or major renovation projects.

Two weeks ago, the Green Building Initiative announced that, it too, is in the process of developing a similar standard based on its Green Globes tool. In similar cooperation with a number of high-level stakeholders, the GBI spent nearly two years to develop its Proposed American National Standard 01-2008P: Green Building Assessment Protocol for Commercial Buildings, which is now open for public comment through June 9. 01-2008P includes life cycle credit and water consumption calculation requirements, as well as an energy requirement that’s based on a building’s carbon dioxide emissions rather than a projection of BTUs per square foot.

From a legislative perspective, it will be extremely instructive to see how municipalities respond to these efforts. Even as they work through the various iterations of LEED when drafting local legislation, USGBC continues to assemble its Version 3.0 LEED system (which is still supposed to be released at this year’s Greenbuild in Boston, though we’re still waiting for details). Both of the two new standards are intended to function within a local building code as a performance-driven requirement. Whether municipalities embrace them or continue to create local versions of LEED that are enforced by an arm of the building department will obviously go a long way towards shaping how legislators choose to implement green building policies moving forward.

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One Response to Green Building Initiative Joins Chase for High-Performance Building Standard

  1. Milan Monday, May 19, 2008 at 1:37 am #

    It will be interesting to see what happens to the green building marketplace if municipalities start mandating widespread compliance with these kind of standards. It could definitely be a boon to the industry, though it may also carry increased upfront costs to new construction.