Industry Market Trends

Two New Publications Address Sustainable, Energy Saving Building Design

May 25, 2011

Two leading professional organizations, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have recently released publications that are must-haves for those in the business of sustainable building. Both important publications are freely downloadable resources available to architects, designers, builders, and building managers and contain valuable information to help facilitate the processes and practices of sustainable, energy-saving building design and management.

Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net-Zero-Energy Building provides recommendations to achieve 50 percent energy savings when compared with the minimum code requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The publication was developed by a group of energy professionals from ASHRAE, AIA, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

The series follows the earlier six-book series that provided guidance to achieve 30 percent savings. The new 50 percent guide provides assistance for early stage energy modeling, and the developers have noted that meeting a 50 percent energy savings goal is challenging and requires more than doing business as usual.

The Guide offers eight essentials to achieve advanced energy savings:

-- Obtain building owner buy-in

-- Assemble an experienced, innovative design team

-- Adopt an integrated design process

-- Consider a daylighting consultant

-- Consider energy modeling

-- Use building commissioning

-- Train building users and operations staff

-- Monitor the building

Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net-Zero-Energy Buildings is available as a free download at

In addition, the AIA has released their Guide for Sustainable Projects, which was developed to help users understand contractual considerations unique to sustainable design and construction projects. It also provides model language that can be used to amend or supplement key AIA Contract Documents in the A201 Family for use in these types of projects.

The Guide addresses the current state of sustainable design and construction, discussing issues and concepts including:

-- Certification systems, codes and legislation affecting sustainable design and construction projects,

-- Risks and responsibilities faced by owners, contractors and architects on sustainable design and construction projects, and

-- Recommendations for model language to assist the architect in developing a scope of services and to assist all project participants in appropriately allocating risks and responsibilities.

This important resource for the design and construction industry is available as a free download at