Region: The Americas
ATLANTA, Georgia, 5 November 2020: ASHRAE has moved to its new global headquarters, located at 180 Technology Parkway, Peachtree Corners, Georgia, the Society said through a Press release. ASHRAE began renovations in January 2020 on an existing 66,700 ft2 building, originally built in 1978, on 11 acres of land. Located 10 miles north of its previous headquarters building, ASHRAE joins other innovation and sustainability-focused organizations based in the popular Technology Parkway corridor.
“ASHRAE’s new global headquarters is a prime example of how we are helping to pioneer a movement that many expect will ultimately make net-zero-energy the ‘new norm’ in sustainable design and construction,” said ASHRAE Building Ad Hoc Committee Chair Ginger Scoggins. “Although new construction of net-zero-energy buildings make a lot of headlines, reuse of existing structures is a basic tenet of sustainability – the energy performance of existing buildings must be addressed to substantially impact the 40% of primary energy consumed by buildings.”
Added Technical Advisory Subcommittee Chair Tim McGinn, “ASHRAE’s goal for this project was to renovate a three-story, 1970s-era, cheap-energy-period building into a high-performing net-zero-ready facility in a cost-effective way that can be replicated in the built environment industry.”
The photovoltaic (PV) system design is currently in progress, ASHRAE said. The building will be on its way to fully net-zero-energy by March 2021 upon the completion of the PV system installation, it added.
Focusing on the Society’s 2020-21 theme, ‘The ASHRAE Digital Lighthouse and Industry 4.0’, the headquarters building incorporates several digitally connected solutions, such as remote monitoring and analysis of building performance, with online dashboarding for transparency and advanced Building Automation System (BAS) integration with other systems, such as ASHRAE’s meeting reservations systems, ASHRAE said. Other solutions include a digital twin and Building Information Model (BIM), innovative mechanical systems visible through open ceiling around radiant panel clouds and advanced conferencing systems designed to serve as a “digital lighthouse” teaching resource, ASHRAE added.
“ASHRAE’s first-of-its-kind headquarters building was designed as a living showcase of what’s possible through technology integration to increase efficiency, protect people and property, and enhance the occupant experience,” said 2020-21 ASHRAE President Charles E. Gulledge III. “In addition to supporting ASHRAE’s technical standards, innovative product integrations from our generous donors also provide a scalable and repeatable model for a net-zero energy building design.”
According to ASHRAE, examples of technical features in the building include:
- Radiant ceiling panel system: This is used for heating and cooling and dedicated outdoor air system for outdoor air ventilation with enthalpy heat recovery.
- Overhead fresh air distribution system augmented with reversible ceiling fans in the open office areas and displacement distribution in the learning center.
- Six water source-heat pumps (WSHPs): There are four on basement level and two on upper level atrium that will be used to condition these spaces.
- Demand Control Ventilation (DCV): This will be used for high occupancy spaces in the meeting and learning center. Air distribution is constant volume in office areas and provided by fabric duct, reducing diffuser count and duct branches.
- Modeling Energy Use Intensity of 17 kBtu/sf/yr.
- On-site electric vehicle charging stations available for guests and staff.
- Roof-top and ground mounted photovoltaic solar energy system planned for installation, March 2021.
- 18 new skylights and reconfigured window/wall ratio.
- Useful daylight illuminance (>300 lux) at the work plane Window Wall Ratio (WWR) 79.9% Existing – New WWR east/west 33.5% – north/south – 41.9%.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, ASHRAE had already planned to provide 30% more outside air to the building than the required minimum ventilation rates from ASHRAE Standard 62.1 – Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality and will implement other applicable guidance that has been developed by the ASHRAE Epidemic Task Force (ETF) for commercial office buildings, ASHRAE said.
The building, ASHRAE said, is located in a forest setting, close to hotels, restaurants and walking trails. A large deck overlooking a lake adjacent to meeting rooms can be fully enjoyed on sunny days. ASHRAE’s headquarters is 12 minutes and 6.2 miles from the Doraville MARTA station for easy access to Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport. The Society’s approximately 110-person staff officially moved into the building at the beginning of October.
“This move represents another significant milestone for ASHRAE,” said ASHRAE Executive Vice President Jeff Littleton. “In addition to showing our commitment to building occupant health and comfort, our new headquarters building will enable us to provide industry-leading support and service to our global volunteers, while driving innovation that will push our goal of sustainability in action forward.”
A team of ASHRAE volunteers led a highly successful building campaign to garner support for the renovation project, ASHRAE said. Thirty-one corporate donors committed more than USD 9.7 million in monetary support and gifts of equipment and services, ASHRAE said, thanking the following industry partners for their high-level support of the new global headquarters renovation project: NIBE, Cisco, Arkema, Daikin, Price Industries, Belimo, ClimateMaster, ClimaCool, Bell & Gossett, Big Ass Fans, Victaulic, Uponor, Mitsubishi Electric Trane, NTT and PlaceOS.
Additionally, ASHRAE members have given over USD 500,000 to date, ASHRAE said. In total, ASHRAE has received over USD 10.2 million from generous stakeholders, making a strong statement about their commitment to ASHRAE’s mission and to a shared vision of a healthy and sustainable built-environment for all, it added.
“ASHRAE’s new global headquarters is an example of an effective built-environment that fully considers the importance of effective operations by installing the systems and equipment in a manner that facilitates operation and maintenance,” said 2019-20 ASHRAE Presidential Member and Building Ad Hoc Committee Member Darryl K Boyce. “We are grateful to our donors for their generous support and partnership. It is this support that not only shows our donors’ alignment with ASHRAE’s sustainability goals, but helps us to address the challenges of designing and operate buildings in a technology driven environment.”