In the not too distant future there could be two U.S. standards for green buildings. Later this spring, the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), in conjunction with two other industry organizations, is planning to release for public comment a second draft of its standard for high-performance buildings. Meanwhile, the three-year-old non-profit Green Building Initiative (GBI) is also working toward establishing its Green Globes rating system for commercial buildings as an official standard. Both organizations are following the protocols of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), and expect to release fully completed and approved documents by the end of 2008.
The ASHRAE initiative, known as the Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, or Standard 189, is being developed with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), and could ultimately become a prerequisite under the LEED rating system.