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Region: The Americas

ASHRAE celebrates inauguration of global HQ building

Focus is on the economic viability of transforming existing buildings into sustainable, resilient and healthy operations, Society says


ATLANTA, Georgia, 18 November 2021: ASHRAE formally opened its new global headquarters building, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by its board of directors, top building campaign donors, elected officials and local guests. Making the announcement through a Press release, ASHRAE added that it completed a USD 20 million building renovation project intended to prove the economic viability of a fully net-zero-energy (NZE) operation.

“The completion of this project is an important milestone for ASHRAE as a professional society and for the built environment worldwide,” said Mick Schwedler, 2021-22 ASHRAE President. “Our investments in energy efficiency and sustainability will boost innovation within the built environment and inspire others to replicate our headquarters’ project model. Our Society reimagined a pathway forward for existing building stock and is pleased to provide an example of the future of high performance buildings.”

The renovated, 66,700-square-foot building, situated on 11 acres of land at 180, Technology Parkway in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, is the culmination of a 10-month project, completed in October 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASHRAE said.

“One could make the assertion that constructing a new net-zero-energy building from the ground up would have been much easier than renovating an existing building,” said Ginger Scoggins, 2021-22 ASHRAE Treasurer and Former Building Ad Hoc Committee Chair. “We decided that ASHRAE could make the greatest impact by showing others how to renovate an existing building with net-zero-energy as the focus, using our own standards and guidelines. ASHRAE is making net-zero-energy the ‘new norm’ in sustainable design and construction. It has been an honor to lead this historic project.”

ASHRAE said the building’s grand opening comes at the conclusion of highly successful building campaign that raised more than USD 10.3 million in monetary donations and contributions of equipment and services from multiple ASHRAE members and 33 corporate donors. Top corporate building donors, NIBE and Cisco, were represented at the ceremony, it added.

“When NIBE was presented with the opportunity to be a part of ASHRAE’s new headquarters, it was an easy decision to play a part in the growth and sustainability of the HVACR industry,” said Eric Lindquist, CEO, NIBE Industrier AB. “Our US brands are focused on continued promotion of systems and solutions that provide comfort, affordability, and betterment of the environment. We look forward to the new headquarters and what the future holds.”

Jeremy Witikko, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Global Industry Business Strategy, Cisco, said: “When ASHRAE embarked on creating a workspace that reflected their organization’s vision of advancing human well-being through sustainable technology, Cisco was ALL-IN on partnering. Cisco is committed to power an inclusive future for all and were thrilled to be a part of that journey with ASHRAE. Together, let’s continue to build a place where we can meet human needs and protect the planet though technology, our actions, our people and our intentions. An inclusive future starts with a livable planet where people and the environment can thrive together.”

ASHRAE said that although it has occupied the building for more than one year, with limited onsite staff presence, the installation of a Photovoltaic (PV) solar array system was completed in October 2021, marking the beginning of the building’s operation at fully net-zero-energy performance. The PV system is a combination of three sub-arrays, totaling 332kW, mounted on the rooftop and in an unused section of the parking lot, it added.

ASHRAE said that in addition to the PV system, innovative approaches incorporated in the building include:

  • Eighteen new skylights and reconfigured window/wall ratio.
  • 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.
  • A robust Building Automation System with remote access.
  • Demand Control Ventilation (DCV): This will be used for high occupancy spaces in the meeting and learning center.
  • On-site electric vehicle charging stations available for guests and staff.

In attendance at the ceremony were representatives from the offices of US Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux, along with county and city officials, ASHRAE said.

“We are very pleased that a professional association of ASHRAE’s distinction selected Peachtree Corners as the site of its global headquarters,” said Mike Mason, Mayor, Peachtree Corners. “Technology Park is a natural fit for an organization whose focus mirrors the city’s efforts in technology innovation, sustainability and green living.”

ASHRAE said its Building Ad Hoc Committee and Technical Advisory Subcommittee, comprising Society volunteers, oversaw the building renovation project. Partners involved in the design, engineering and construction of the building project include: Houser Walker Architecture, McLennan Design, Integral Group, Collins Project Management, Skanska, Shumate Mechanical and Epsten Group, it said. The PV installation was completed by Creative Solar USA, it added.

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