Earlier this month, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) made announcements regarding biomass inclusion and indoor air quality (IAQ) structuring.
Working with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the association is exploring biomass requirements for inclusion in their co-sponsored green building standard.
ASHRAE/IES/USGBC 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-performance Green Buildings, contains minimum requirements for the siting, design, and construction of buildings in support of reducing building energy, resource consumption, and other environmental impacts. To that end, the standard contains requirements for the use of renewable energy systems such as solar, wind, and geothermal. Its committee recently considered a proposal to add biomass to the definition of renewable energy systems, which was submitted by an interested individual from outside the committee. In this context, biomass includes organic material, such as wood and crop waste, that can be burned to generate thermal energy.
At ASHRAE’s 2015 Winter Conference in Chicago, the committee voted not to accept the proposal to simply add “biomass” to this definition. However, in response to the proposal, it stated it intended to work on a definition of biomass, as well as requirements on its use to meet renewable energy requirements.
In other news from that conference, ASHRAE has finalized a consolidation with the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA), which will become a part of the larger organization while maintaining its own brand, independence, and board of directors.
“We are excited about the opportunities presented by this,” said Tom Phoenix, ASHRAE president. “It opens the door to alignment of ASHRAE and IAQA programs to create high-impact resources for building professionals around the globe.”
“This is an historic event for both associations and has great promise for growth and development,” agreed Kent Rawhouser, IAQA president. “The consolidation will open new avenues for programs and benefits for our members.”
In July 2014, ASHRAE announced it had agreed in principle to join forces with the IAQA, combining resources to improve indoor air quality in the built environment.