ASHRAE receives recognition for sustainability efforts

By Plant Engineering Staff December 22, 2006

ASHRAE was recognized with a Best Sustainable Practice Award last week by the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council for its educational efforts related to sustainability. The award recognizes the best products, processes, educational tools and outreach initiatives.

The award centered on the presidential challenge, issued by Terry Townsend, of ASHRAE’s promise for a sustainable future. To fulfill that challenge, ASHRAE is using its expertise and tools to provide solutions in designing, operating and maintaining energy efficient and sustainable buildings.

“The sustainability initiative is stimulating conversation inside ASHRAE about what it means to be sustainable and the importance of protecting today’s natural resources for future generations,” Townsend said. “We are pleased to be recognized by the Sustainable Buildings Industry Council for our efforts.”

Realizing that sustainability cannot be accomplished without measurable goals, ASHRAE has put in place 35 specific challenges, including a proposed water conservation standard, development of building performance metrics, research and design guidance resulting in net zero energy use buildings and greening of ASHRAE meetings.

“The Best Sustainable Practice category recognizes the excellent innovations and unique contributions SBIC members are making toward building a sustainable future in America,” said Douglas K. Schroeder, associate director of SBIC.

To generate excitement and increase member awareness, ASHRAE created a three-part DVD featuring a video of Townsend fishing with his grandchildren to illustrate the importance of sustainability, Townsend’s recorded presidential speech and a short video highlighting why ASHRAE is taking on this challenge. Other aspects include a promotional slide chart explaining the benefits of sustainable design measures, a Website, www.engineeringforsustainability.org , featuring sustainability guidance from ASHRAE; creation of a page at ASHRAE’s Website, www.ashrae.org/building , focusing on ASHRAE’s planned renovation of its headquarters building as sustainable; and use of ASHRAE publications and other outreach vehicles to spread the word about the society’s work.