Lighting Quality Requirements Proposed for Green-Building Standard

ATLANTA, Ga. – Lighting requirements to enhance productivity and comfort of occupants have been proposed for a green building standard from ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council and the Illuminating Engineering Society.

ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, provides a design standard for those who strive for high performance buildings. It covers key topical areas of site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources. 

Proposed addendum m would add lighting quality requirements to the scope of the Indoor Environmental Quality section of the standard. The proposed addendum is one of nine proposed changes to Standard 189.1 open for public review from Sept. 14-Oct. 14, 2012. To comment on the proposed changes or for more information, visit

“It has been clearly established that good lighting has a positive effect on the occupants of a building,” Richard Heinisch, a member of the Standard 189.1 committee, said. “Or, looking at it from the opposite direction, when occupants are dissatisfied with their lighting, this can increase absenteeism and employee turnover which, in turn, decreases the sustainability of the enterprise.  Any building, and particularly a high-performance building, should address issues of lighting quality (including visual acuity, task performance, visual comfort, health, safety and aesthetic judgment) so as to enhance the comfort and productivity of its occupants.”

This particular addendum addresses a subset of the lighting quality issues with the expectation that future addenda will be developed to address remaining issues. Subsections and require that the occupants of certain space types be given some level of control over the light levels in that space. 
A proposed third section,, ensures that certain media, such as whiteboards, are more likely to be properly illuminated by requiring separate lighting and lighting control for these surfaces, independent from the general lighting and control in the space.


Posted September 21, 2012

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