There are many ways to define a green building. Energy-saving measures, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials and building orientations all play a role, but it is the way that all of these come together that makes a building truly high performing.

Requirements to achieve green buildings will soon be available from ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America in the form of a standard. Standard 189.1P, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, will define the minimum requirements for high-performance green buildings.

And to make following those requirements easier, a user’s manual also is being developed. ASHRAE is currently accepting research proposals for development of a user’s manual for Standard 189.1P. Proposals are due Nov. 9. For more information, visit

“The manual will provide users with a better understanding of how to apply the standard, as well as serve as a guide for self-education and training about the requirements and appropriate strategies to meet them,” Kent Peterson, chair of the Standard 189 committee, said. “It will include worksheets and examples that can be used to determine compliance.”

As part of its energy efficiency efforts, ASHRAE also is accepting proposals for a User’s Manual for Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The 2010 standard, which will be published next year, is being developed with the goal of achieving a 30 percent energy cost savings improvement compared to the 2004 standard.

More information on both projects can be found at