ASHRAE Headquarters Earns LEED Honors

The building has been awarded the highest designation, LEED Platinum Certification in the New Construction 2.2 rating system.

ASHRAE, the 51,000-member American Society of Heating, Refigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, has earned a fitting honor: Its headquarters building in Atlanta has been awarded a LEED Platinum Certification in the New Construction 2.2 rating system. The society announced the news Wednesday, saying ASHRAE "has always prided itself on providing the gold standard in research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education. However, when it comes to energy efficiency and sustainability, gold just isn’t good enough: That’s why the ASHRAE Headquarters has gone a step further."

The building underwent a major renovation in 2008 and is one of six buildings in Georgia to receive a LEED Platinum rating, which is the highest certification offered by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program of the United States Green Building Council (USGBC), a non-profit that promotes green building practices.

"While our first objective was to provide a healthy, comfortable, and productive environment for our staff, we also wanted to set an example of what can be done to renovate existing buildings," said ASHRAE President Gordon Holness. "Given that 75 to 80 percent of all existing buildings will still be around in 2030, our greatest opportunity for a sustainable future is through the upgrade and retrofit of these buildings. It is extremely gratifying to achieve the USGBC’s highest rating and confirm ASHRAE’s leadership and commitment to supporting a sustainable built environment."

"The strength of USGBC has always been the collective strength of our leaders in the building industry," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and founding chair of USGBC, which on Thursday announced the destination design firm WATG, in conjunction with innovation/design firm IDEO, had won the first-ever Sustainable Suite Design Competition, a competition for interior designers to showcase the best hospitality design strategies that boast environmental responsibility while enhancing guest experience. "Given the extraordinary importance of climate protection and the central role of the building industry in that effort, ASHRAE demonstrates their leadership through their LEED Platinum certification of their renovated headquarters," Fedrizzi said.

LEED takes into account five measurements when evaluating new construction: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. To qualify for Platinum certification, ASHRAE took into consideration energy use, heat island reduction, water-efficient landscaping, material reuse, and water use reduction, among others, and took these steps:

  • installing a cool, white reflective roof membrane to minimize heat island effects
  • updating the landscaping and eliminating the need for landscaping irrigation
  • retaining more than 75 percent of the existing building structure (the building contains 34,500 square feet and was constructed in 1965)
  • reducing estimated overall annual water consumption per year by almost 50 percent by utilizing low-flow fixtures throughout building

The building received bonus points for innovation and design, ASHRAE said.

A list of all LEED components in the building and photos can be found at this site.

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