Environmental Protection

ASHRAE Headquarters Receives Highest LEED Certification

The ASHRAE headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., has been awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification in the New Construction 2.2 rating system.

The Society’s office building, which underwent a major renovation in 2008, is one of only six buildings in Georgia to receive a Platinum rating, the highest certification the program offers. LEED is a 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,” ASHRAE President Gordon Holness said. “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.”

In order to qualify for the highly sought-after Platinum certification, ASHRAE took into consideration a number of concerns such as energy use, heat island reduction, water efficient landscaping, material reuse and water use reduction, to name just few.

ASHRAE addressed these issues, among others, by 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 as part of this renovation; and reducing its estimated overall annual water consumption per year by almost 50 percent by utilizing low-flow fixtures throughout building. Additionally, the ASHRAE headquarters received bonus points for innovation and design.

A list of all LEED components of the building and photos can be found at www.ashrae.org/ASHRAEHQ.

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