Earning 54 of a possible 69 points, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) walked its talk and achieved Platinum certification under LEED for New Construction (version 2.2) for the renovation of its headquarters facility. The $7.65 million renovation was completed in July 2008.
Naturally, reducing energy use was a top priority for the organization as it prepared to renovate the 34,500-square-foot facility originally built in 1965. With strategies such as a ground-source heat pump, dedicated outdoor air supply with heat recovery, and mini-split systems with heat recovery, the building now uses 32.5 percent less energy than it did before the renovation. It earned nine of 10 possible points in the Optimize Energy Performance credit (Energy and Atmosphere 1.1). A photovoltaic array supplies more than 8 percent of the building's energy needs. The organization also received a point for implementing a measurement and verification system "to provide for ongoing accountability of the building performance over time." A 6,000-CFM dedicated outside air system for the building can provide ventilation rates to each space that are 30 percent higher than ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004.
Commissioning was another important part of ASHRAE's LEED strategy. The organization earned a point for enhanced commissioning by following its Guideline 0, The Commissioning Process. It also earned an Innovation in Design point by performing an "extra credit" step of commissioning the building envelope.
By using low-flow fixtures, ASHRAE cut its water use by 46.3 percent Ñ from 253,021 gallons per year to 135,921 gallons per year. The organization also updated the landscaping so that it would not require irrigation. The exemplary performance earned them points in the water efficiency category, as well as an Innovation in Design point.
ASHRAE is now using its headquarters building to educate the industry and the general public on sustainable features and processes that were used to renovate the building and site. The idea is to expand and enhance the awareness of green design principles and their impact on the environment. Donations of more than $1.65 million in equipment, services and furnishings from more than 20 companies, individuals and the ASHRAE Foundation helped fund the project.