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ANSI-accredited Standards Developers Called to Participate in High Performance Building Initiative

New York  July 25, 2007


ANSI-accredited standards developing organizations (SDOs) are invited to participate in the High Performance Building Council (HPBC), launched under the auspices of the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS).

The HPBC has undertaken an assessment of current voluntary consensus standards and rating systems for high performance buildings, how they can be used, and what other standards are needed. By conserving, harvesting, and reusing nature’s resources, high performance buildings incorporate sustainable features to minimize strain on the environment and local infrastructure.

Facts and Figures
In the United States, buildings account for:
  • 39 % of total energy use
  • 68 % of total electricity use
  • 12 % of total water consumption
  • 38 % of carbon dioxide emissions

Increasingly, home buyers and apartment hunters are keeping green design in mind when looking for a new home. When complete in 2009, a new project in New York City’s Battery Park will become the first all-green neighborhood in the United States, boasting eight green residential high-rises and one commercial building.

The first of these projects, the Solaire, was recognized as the first green apartment building in the U.S. in 2003. The Solaire uses fifty percent less water than a similarly sized conventional building. The building stores rainwater below its 17th and 29th floors to nourish roof gardens above.

Among the HPBC’s goals is to present in early 2008 a report to Congress identifying and analyzing relevant existing and draft standards, as well as any gaps or areas where standards may be needed. The report is in line with Section 914 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which calls for an assessment of current voluntary consensus standards and rating systems.

The American National Standards Institute will provide the HPBC with information relating to current American National Standards and ANSI-accredited standards developers; however, to ensure that an SDO’s relevant standards will be considered for possible incorporation into the final report, ANSI-accredited standards developing organizations are encouraged join the HPBC in its endeavor.

HPBC committees are currently reviewing and reporting on aspects of specific standards relevant to high performance buildings. Based largely on NIBS’ Whole Building Design Guide, existing HPBC committees are titled:

  • Definition of High Performance Building
  • Cost Effective
  • Historic Preservation
  • Sustainable
  • Accessible
  • Safe/Secure
  • Productive
  • Functional
  • Aesthetic
“The scope of this activity is broad and ANSI-accredited standards developers have the opportunity to make a significant impact,” said Anne Caldas, ANSI director of standards and procedures administration. “If an organization is interested in ensuring that its relevant standards are substantively noted and considered, I strongly encourage developers to participate in the work of one or more of the HPBC’s committees.”

Interested parties may contact Helen English, executive director of the Sustainable Building Industry Council (henglish@sbicouncil.org).

Further details are available at www.nibs.org.

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