ASHRAE has 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. The Society completed a $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,” says 2021-22 ASHRAE President Mick Schwedler, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, LEED AP. “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, Ga., is the culmination of a 10-month project, completed in October 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” says 2021-22 ASHRAE Treasurer and Former Building Ad Hoc Committee Chair Ginger Scoggins P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, CEM, CxA. “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.”
The building’s grand opening comes at the conclusion of highly successful building campaign that raised more than $10.3 million in monetary donations and contributions of equipment and services from multiple ASHRAE members and thirty-three corporate donors. Top corporate building donors NIBE and Cisco were represented at the ceremony.
“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,” says Eric Lindquist, CEO, NIBE Industrier AB. “Our U.S. 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.”
“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,” says Jeremy Witikko, Office of the Chief Technology Officer, Global Industry Business Strategy, Cisco. “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.”
Learn more about ASHRAE’s corporate donors at ashrae.org/newhq.
Although ASHRAE 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.
In addition to the PV system, other innovative approaches incorporated in the building include:
- 18 new skylights and reconfigured window/wall ratio.
- Radiant ceiling panel system: This is used for heating and cooling & 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.
- Onsite electric vehicle charging stations available for guests and staff.
In attendance at the ceremony were representatives from the offices of U.S. Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock and Congresswoman Carolyn Bourdeaux, along with county and city officials.
“We are very pleased that a professional association of ASHRAE’s distinction selected Peachtree Corners as the site of its global headquarters,” says Peachtree Corners Mayor Mike Mason. “Technology Park is a natural fit for an organization whose focus mirrors the city’s efforts in technology innovation, sustainability and green living.”
“The relocation of ASHRAE’s global headquarters to Peachtree Corners further supports our goals for business and industry growth,” says Nick Masino, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber. “We are excited to have them in Technology Park and look forward to partnering with one another in the future.”
The building renovation project was overseen by ASHRAE’s Building Ad Hoc Committee and Technical Advisory Subcommittee comprised of Society volunteers. 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. The PV installation was completed by Creative Solar USA.
Tours of the building took place immediately following the ceremony. The event drew a large virtual audience via Facebook Live, representing a segment of the Society’s 51,000 members around the world.
For more information about ASHRAE’s global headquarters, please visit ashrae.org/newhq, where you’ll find:
- A gallery of official photos and video spotlights
- Case studies, project concepts, plans and referenced documents
- Project teams and corporate donor highlights
Note: All ribbon cutting ceremony attendees were required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test taken within 72 hours upon checking in to the event. Masks were required inside of the building. ASHRAE does not endorse the elected officials in attendance at the event or their political views and interests.