Those of us who have been adrift in the plethora of green building codes, rating systems, and standards got some amazing news last Thursday (August 21, 2014). In a landmark agreement, USGBC, IES, AIA, ASHRAE, ICC joined forces to align their respective systems into a more seamless system. Finally, reason prevails and harmonization of LEED, IgCC, and ASHRAE Standard 189.1 is on the horizon. The three part system defines specific roles for each contributing entity.
Part 1: ASHRAE 189.1 - An updated ASHRAE Standard 189.1 will provide the baseline metrics and technical requirements. ASHRAE Standard 189.1 becomes the "core" minimum and will include some technical requirements from LEED, but will maintain its ANSI process.
Part 2: IgCC - The IgCC as an independent system will no longer continue. Instead, the IgCC will become an adoptable, code enforcement arm of ASHRAE Standard 189.1.
Part 3: LEED - The LEED rating systems will remain voluntary, but will allow compliance with the IgCC to serve as alternate compliance with LEED prerequisites. Additionally, selected LEED technical requirements will be included in 189.1 as new versions of each are developed and deployed.
There is much work to be done in harmonizing theses system, but this news is a breath of fresh air for those of us who work in all three systems on a daily basis. These efforts should considerably streamline compliance procedures, offer efficiency to project teams, and cost owners less.
We are excited about the future development of these systems in light of this agreement! We'll keep you up to date on important developments.