• Revision:14th Edition, December 2015
  • Published Date:December 2015
  • Status:Active, Most Current
  • Document Language:English
  • Published By:American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • Page Count:302
  • ANSI Approved:No
  • DoD Adopted:No

  • Building Projects Covered (§ 2.1)1

    Standard 189.1 provides minimum sustainability requirements fornew buildings and their systems, additions to (new portions of)existing buildings and their systems, and new systems and equipmentin existing buildings.

    The requirements of Standard 189.1 address the buildingproject’s site sustainability, water use efficiency, energyefficiency, indoor environmental quality (IEQ), and the building’simpact on the atmosphere, materials, and resources.

    Building Projects not Covered (§ 2.2)

    Standard 189.1 excludes low-rise residential buildings, definedaS

    a. single-family houses,

    b. multifamily structures of three stories or fewer above grade,or

    c. manufactured houses (mobile homes and modular).

    Residential occupancies in a mixed-use facility or amultifamily structure four stories or more above grade are notexcluded unless so stated in a particular requirement of Standard189.1.

    Standard 189.1 also does not apply to buildings that do not useelectricity, fossil fuel, and water. To illustrate this exclusion,if a building does not use water but does use electricity, thebuilding is included in the scope of Standard 189.1.

    Building Project Site Boundary Identification

    The building project site boundary is identified asthesite that is contained in a single submittal for aconstruction permit or the boundary of a contiguous property undersingle ownership or effective control.

    For building projects that are submitted with multiplepermit applications, are broken down into multiple phases, or are asmaller part of a larger contiguous property, the limit of work2can be used to identify a single site boundary for the buildingproject.

    In other words, if a building project has multiplepermits but is under a single building project, then thesite limit of work can be used to identify the building projectsite boundary. Note that a building project with a plumbing permit,for example, must comply with the water-related requirements ofStandard 189.1.

    Public roads, bridges, utilities, and other public worksinfrastructure projects are excluded from Standard 189.1.Suchpublic infrastructure should also be excluded from the buildingproject site boundary. However, elements such as private roadsor private on-site wastewater treatment facilities that areincluded in a building project are included in the buildingproject site boundary.

    Below are three situations that may arise in determiningthebuilding project site boundary:

    a. New building projects with a site

    b. Additions to existing building projects with asite

    c. Existing buildings or additions to existing buildingprojects with no site

    In the first two situations, the building project siteboundary is the building project site or the site limit ofwork. In existing buildings or additions to existing buildings withno site, site requirements do not apply. For example, an interiorfit-out is under construction but the building project does notinclude any landscaping or other site improvements. In this case,site requirements of Standard 189.1 do not apply to the buildingproject.

    Safety, Health, or Environmental Requirements (§2.3)

    Standard 189.1 shall not be used to circumvent any safety,health, or environmental requirements of local building codes. Ifabuilding project’s local jurisdiction has more stringentrequirements than Standard 189.1, the more stringent requirementsapply, which do not prevent the application of the requirements ofStandard 189.1.

    If there is a conflict between the requirements of Standard189.1 and safety, health, or environmental codes, the local coderequirements should apply. Alternatively, the project team can askfor interpretations from the local authority havingjurisdiction (AHJ).

    1. Definitions that can be found in Standard 189.1 areitalicized throughout the User’s Manual.

    2. The limit of work is the boundary used to identify the limitof site disturbance for construction activities and also delineatesthe boundary within which the stormwater pollutionpreventioncontrol measures are implemented for a building project.


    Standard 189.1 provides minimum requirementsforhigh-performance green buildings and building systems,addressing siting, design, construction and plans for operation. Itapplies to all buildings except low-rise residential buildings(low-rise means three habitable floors or less).TheStandard is written in building code language and isintended for adoption by international, national, state/province,and local code jurisdictions. The Standard specifiesreasonable design, construction and operational practices andtechnologies that minimize water, energy and materials consumptionwithout sacrificing either the comfort or productivity of theoccupants.

    The Standard strives to balance these issues along withenvironmental, resource and community concerns, and the need forcurrent and future developments. The Standard is broad inscope and the requirements are appropriate for a wide range ofbuilding types, climate zones, and for a varietyofsite conditions. When designing a specific building on aspecific site for a specific climate, design issues willundoubtedly have to be addressed that go beyond those considered indeveloping the Standard.



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