Wes Sullens invites you to join the ASHRAE Standard 189.1 committee | U.S. Green Building Council
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Wes Sullens, USGBC's new Director of Codes Technical Development, shares his vision and a call for ASHRAE committee applicants.

USGBC is pleased to announce that Wes Sullens has joined us as the Director of Codes Technical Development. Wes comes to USGBC from a local government agency in Alameda County, California (StopWaste), where he led green codes advocacy, building and product standards development and green building policy support. Previously, Sullens served as an energy and sustainability consultant at a prominent energy and utility consulting firm.

I had the chance to sit down with Wes to talk about his new role at USGBC and share the vision for green codes:

Q. Tell us about your background and your new role here at USGBC.

In January, I joined USGBC as the Director of Codes Technical Development. I come to USGBC from local government, where I was a volunteer on the LEED Materials and Resources technical advisory group, a vice-chair of the ASHRAE Standard 189.1 committee and an active stakeholder in California’s statewide green building code development process. I am honored to come work for USGBC, and I promise to make 2017 a big year for green codes.

In my new role, I will lead USGBC’s engagement on strategic building code activities. At the top of my list is the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), which is currently being harmonized with the ASHRAE Standard 189.1 for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings. Dubbed “IgCC powered by 189.1” in a joint press release in 2015, the merger of these two technical documents into one green code will begin to take shape in the next version of the IgCC, due to be published in the summer of 2018. A fuller integration and harmonization will be an ongoing project for me, our partners and active stakeholders, as we continue to build the best possible baseline model green code.

Q. What is your vision for green codes, and how do you see that interfacing with LEED?

Although the success of green buildings and LEED are seen with impressive achievement statistics, it’s clear that our industry has helped create space for a strong green code foundation. LEED has critically evolved expectations in major markets and in unlikely places across the globe whereby, today, building owners, occupants and communities know that they deserve better buildings and that they shouldn’t have to cost more.

To match these expectations, we are developing, delivering and advocating for the adoption of building regulations that clearly guide minimum green building practice, while also facilitating deep green efforts beyond code minimums to reach new heights and shine brightly through leadership with LEED. This relationship between codes and rating systems is what the leaders at ASHRAE, ICC, AIA, IES and USGBC had in mind when they forged their historic agreement, and I’m excited to help bring about this transition.

Success in shaping this next chapter in green building market transformation will require vision and leadership, and that’s where the USGBC community can play another pivotal role in taking our industry forward.

Q. What can people do today to become involved?

If you’ve wondered how you can get involved with green codes, now is your chance. The ASHRAE Standard 189.1 committee is inviting members to submit their names for membership into the committee, and we need you. The deadline for new members to be considered for the committee is March 15, 2017.

The green code movement is at a critical moment. Spring is coming, and with the annual renewal of life, I’m feeling optimistic about the blossoming of green codes this year and beyond. Whether as a formal member of a green code committee, or as a valued stakeholder during the process, please join us in making 2017 a banner year for green codes!

The ASHRAE Standard 189.1 committee

Although all members are encouraged to apply, there are some stakeholder groups and subject areas that would particularly benefit from the USGBC community’s expertise:

  • Commercial and mixed-use general contractors
  • Specialty contractors such as electrical, building envelope and mechanical
  • Landscape architects and landscape design professionals
  • Building owners, operators and facility mangers
  • State and local government planners and building officials

How to apply

Here are the steps to apply for a spot on this influential committee:

  1. Go to the ASHRAE webpage for Standards Forms and Procedures.
  2. Scroll down to the section titled "Membership Forms."
  3. Review the document “Project Committee Membership: The Application Process” to get a sense of the minimum expectations of committee members and an overview of the application process.
  4. If you don’t have a free ASHRAE account, click the "Join" button on the homepage and create a biographical profile of yourself and your professional experience.
  5. Fill out the “Application for Individual Project Committee Membership” and the “Potential Sources of Bias/Conflict of Interest” forms.
  6. Email your completed application and bias/conflict of interest form no later than March 15 or them to fax 678.539.2143.

If you have any questions about the process or would like more information, please contact Wes Sullens. ASHRAE staff may also be reached at 678.539.1143 for questions about the application process or website. 

Apply for the committee

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