The development of biomass requirements is being explored by ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), are considering the development of biomass requirements for inclusion in their green building standard ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings. The standard contains minimum requirements for the siting, design and construction of high-performance green buildings in support of reducing building energy, resource consumption and other environmental impacts.
The standard currently contains requirements for the use of renewable energy systems such as solar, wind and geothermal, but the Standard 189.1 Committee recently considered a proposal submitted by an outside source to add biomass to the definition of renewable energy systems, which would include organic material, such as wood and crop waste, that can be burned to generate thermal energy.
The committee voted recently not to accept the proposal to simply add the word biomass to this definition but intends to work on a definition of biomass, as well as requirements on the use of biomass to meet the renewable energy requirements of the standard.
Currently, the standard has no restrictions on the use of biomass as an energy source; however, it does not allow it to be used to meet renewable energy requirements.
The proposal from the committee must first go through the ASHRAE standards development procedures and public review.