Energy Management and Lighting, Heating and Cooling

ASHRAE Helps State Meet ‘Clean Buildings’ Energy Law With Customized Standard

Washington State is providing assistance to eligible building owners that comply with energy performance standards in advance of mandatory deadlines. Early compliance will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save energy consumption, which also will save operating costs. The Clean Buildings law, which authorized the program, requires certain commercial buildings to comply with state energy performance standards. This standard is based on ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 100–2018, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings with amendments.

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Through a partnership agreement, ASHRAE has developed a custom version of Standard 100-2018 incorporating the state-specific changes, to be readily used by building owners, engineers, and facility managers to comply with the Washington Clean Buildings law. ASHRAE, a global organization committed to advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and their allied fields, says this customized version will also facilitate the path to early adoption.

ASHRAE says Washington State’s mandatory building performance standards for existing buildings is the first statewide rule, with the organization’s standard providing a vital technical underpinning. Improving the energy performance of existing buildings is critical to reducing carbon emissions, and ASHRAE Standard 100 will help the state achieve its important climate objectives. 

“This collaboration between ASHRAE and Washington State is an example for other states to follow with regard to improving energy performance in existing commercial buildings,” says 2021-22 ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler, P.E., ASHRAE Fellow, LEED AP. “We are excited to partner with Washington State in implementing its statewide building performance standards.”

“Washington is proud to be implementing the nation’s strongest Clean Buildings law,” says Washington State Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “Our 2021 State Energy Strategy identifies energy efficiency in buildings as an essential strategy for transforming and decarbonizing our energy future. Investing in energy efficiency will strengthen local communities and help businesses lower energy costs.”

According to ASHRAE, some targets of the standard include the following:

  • Applicable to nonresidential, hotel, motel, and dormitory buildings greater than 50,000 SF;
  • Compliance is a building owner obligation;
  • Clearly defined energy performance targets;
  • Utilization targets based on regional energy use data and site-based energy;
  • Ongoing energy benchmarking;
  • Building owner compliance is ongoing and updated on a five-year cycle;
  • Reporting to Washington State Department of Commerce is required beginning in 2026; and
  • Early adopter incentive available to all commercial and multifamily buildings over 50,000 SF to encourage early action.

As the standard is utilized, ASHRAE says it will collaborate with the Washington State Department of Commerce on specific educational opportunities related to Standard 100 and Standard 211, also adopted in the state’s clean buildings bill.

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