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World Green Building Week: Standardization Boosts Sustainable, Energy-Efficient Structures


New York, Sep 26, 2014

This week marks the fifth-annual celebration of World Green Building Week, highlighting the important work being done to protect the environment and bolster sustainability through the design, construction, maintenance, and renovation of green buildings around the world. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and its Federation of members are proud to support these important goals through standards and conformance.

As the field evolves, collaboration has played an increasingly important role in the development of voluntary consensus standards associated with green buildings and sustainable construction. Earlier this year, ANSI members ASHRAE and the International Code Council (ICC) announced plans to collaborate with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) on the development of the proposed 2015 revision of ANSI/ICC 700, National Green Building Standard [see related story]. This document, which became an American National Standard in 2009, covers green residential construction, development, and remodeling.

ICC and ASHRAE also collaborated on the development of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) [see related story], in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and ANSI members ASTM International, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This model code contains sustainability measures for the entirety of a given construction project and its site, making it easier to cut down on waste, bolster related health and safety, and increase the efficiency of newly constructed buildings.

While there is increasing interest in sustainability and energy efficiency, lack of awareness about the needed and existing standards and codes in this area has the potential to slow down progress and result in unnecessary or duplicative work. ANSI established its Energy Efficiency Standardization Coordination Collaborative (EESCC) to help assess the landscape of energy efficiency standardization in the built environment, and to provide guidance regarding standards gaps and other needs. In June 2014, the collaborative released its landmark EESCC Standardization Roadmap, which sets down 125 recommendations with the goal of supporting opportunities to realize energy, water, and cost savings in the built environment. The roadmap is available for free download online from www.ansi.org/eescc. In addition, the supplemental EESCC Inventory Database, an online source of information on relevant standards, codes, guidelines, and conformity assessment programs, is also available as a free resource.

Following the release of the roadmap, the EESCC has begun a new phase of activity focused seeking action on the roadmap’s recommendations [see related story]. To join EESCC Phase Two and to support efforts in the important area, fill out the participation response form and email it to eescc@ansi.org. Groups working or intending to carry out standardization activities to close a standardization gap identified in the roadmap are asked to notify the EESCC by completing the online EESCC Standardization Action Form.

While new buildings tend to get a lot of attention in the green building field, there’s a lot that can be done to help make older structures more sustainable and environmentally friendly. To support increased energy performance through energy management activities, ANSI and the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board are recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) as the third-party accreditors for certification bodies that conduct SEP audits under the DOE’s Superior Energy Performance (SEP) program. This program provides existing industrial facilities from a broad range of industries that are ISO 50001:2011 certified with a roadmap for achieving ongoing energy performance gains without sacrificing financial competitiveness. For more information about ANSI Accreditation Services, visit www.ansi.org/accreditation.

The increase in urbanization, climate change impacts, and aging infrastructure, combined with the ready availability of new capabilities to use urban data, have given rise to a flurry of standardization activities at the national, regional, and international levels in relation to smart and sustainable cities. To improve information sharing and coordination, ANSI recently established the ANSI Network on Smart and Sustainable Cities (ANSSC) [see related story]. The network gathers input from local governments and stakeholder organizations on the issues that cities face, while also promoting discussion and awareness of standardization needs and efforts in this essential sector. For more information about the ANSSC, including how to participate, visit www.ansi.org/cities.

ANSI is proud to support green buildings, sustainability, and energy and water efficiency through these and other initiatives and efforts. To learn more about World Green Building Week, visit www.worldgreenbuildingweek.org.

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