What could become the nation’s first standard for high-performance buildings moved a step closer to adoption earlier this month with the release of a third draft for public comment. The latest version of Proposed Standard 189.1 has stricter energy conservation provisions and reflects input from a broader cross-section of experts, according to its developers.

National laboratories currently are using energy modeling to determine how much more savings could be generated with the latest version of the standard compared to previous drafts. “I would anticipate [savings to go] up at least another 5 percent,” says Kent Peterson, chair of the development committee, and principal of P2S Engineering Inc., based in Long Beach, California. The standard, which is being developed by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and the U.S. Green Building Council, addresses performance of new commercial buildings and major renovation projects.

The new draft, available for review and comment though June 15 at www.ashrae.org/publicreviews, is the first one issued by the recently reconstituted standards committee. Reformed late last year after a several month hiatus, the committee has 17 new members including a representative of the Building Owners and Managers Association and several indoor air quality experts.

The latest version eliminates a provision for 30 percent additional ventilation beyond ASHRAE Standard 62.1 in classrooms and office spaces, and instead emphasizes controlling source contaminants, such as volatile organic compounds, to improve indoor air quality. Another provision would require designers to include measures for future reliance on renewable energy into plans.

Publication of the standard is slated for early 2010.