This American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, provides code-based requirements for green building in new and substantially renovated commercial buildings, including multifamily properties over three stories.
Published on January 22, 2010, Standard 189.1 represents a significant departure from existing green building programs and standards, such as the LEED rating systems or the National Green Building Standard, because it does not allow users the flexibility of selecting from a menu of sustainable practices. Instead, all of 189.1’s provisions are mandatory and regulate a broad spectrum of building practices including energy and water efficiency, site sustainability, indoor air quality, materials and resource conservation and building operations.
As a development committee member, NMHC successfully removed the most onerous provisions from draft versions, including arbitrary caps on apartment unit size and requirements for on-site renewable energy systems (regardless of geographic appropriateness and technical feasibility).
We also successfully incorporated common-sense exceptions for multifamily buildings from measures impractical for residential occupancies. While the final standard is an improvement over earlier versions, it still requires the use of products and technologies not used and unproven in the multifamily sector.
NMHC continues to advocate for green building standards that specifically address multifamily buildings and that provide meaningful and cost-effective green solutions to the apartment industry.