Article Date: 09/24/2012

Ten Proposed Addenda to Green Building Standard Undergo Consideration

By Steve Rizer


Ten proposed addenda to Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, are undergoing public review until Oct. 14, when the public comment period for the recommended changes closes. Proposing the addenda are the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), U.S. Green Building Council, and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).


Among the suggested changes is proposed Addendum M, which would add lighting-quality requirements to the scope of the Indoor Environmental Quality section of the standard. This particular addendum addresses a subset of the lighting-quality issues with the expectation that future addenda will be developed to address remaining issues. Subsections and would require that the occupants of certain space types be given some level of control over the light levels in that space.


In announcing the proposed addendum, ASHRAE emphasized the proposal’s foreword, which cites a research study on the effects of lighting on office workers: “ ‘Normally, the persistence and vigilance of office workers will decline over the course of a workday. However, the presence of personal control of their lighting increased subject motivation, allowing workers to sustain their performance -- they persisted longer on difficult tasks and were more accurate on a task requiring sustained attention.’ ”


A proposed third section of Addendum M,, would ensure that certain media, such as whiteboards, are more likely to be properly illuminated by requiring separate lighting and lighting control for these surfaces, independent from the general lighting and control in the space, according to ASHRAE.


“It has been clearly established that good lighting has a positive effect on the occupants of a building,” said Richard Heinisch, a member of the Standard 189.1 Committee. “Or, looking at it from the opposite direction, when occupants are dissatisfied with their lighting, this can increase absenteeism and employee turnover which, in turn, decreases the sustainability of the enterprise. Any building, and particularly a high-performance building, should address issues of lighting quality (including visual acuity, task performance, visual comfort, health, safety and aesthetic judgment) so as to enhance the comfort and productivity of its occupants.”


Other addenda up for public review are the following: 

  • Addendum H, which is designed to clarify the requirements for a continuous air barrier in Section 7 (Energy Efficiency) and the requirements for airtightness commissioning in Section 10 (Construction Plans for Operation).
  • Addendum I, which would modify the climate zones to which the heat-island section ( Roofs) applies.
  • Addendum J, which is intended to clarify shading provided by vegetation for the site hardscape and walls for heat-island mitigation ( Heat Island and Walls).
  • Addendum K, which would update Section (Variable-Speed Fan Control for Commercial Kitchen Hoods) to reference the language in ASHRAE/ANSI/IES Standard 90.1-2007, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.
  • Addendum L, which adds Table C-17 to include the minimum transformer efficiencies for building designs following path B of Section (Minimum Equipment Efficiencies).
  • Addendum O, which would add a new mandatory provision to Section 9 (The Building’s Impact on the Atmosphere, Materials, and Resources), establishing maximum mercury content levels for certain types of electric lamps.
  • Addendum P, which would remove the “Acceptance Testing” provision in Section (Building Acceptance Testing) for small buildings.
  • Addendum Q, which would clarify that system commissioning must include commissioning of the associated control systems.
  • Addendum S, which is designed to clarify the requirements for outdoor airflow monitoring in Section 8 (Indoor Environmental Quality) along with operational requirements for such monitoring in Section 10 (Construction and Plans for Operation).



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