ASHRAE Global Headquarters, Peachtree Corners, Georgia

Supporting Net Zero Energy Standards

Project: ASHRAE Global Headquarters
Locations: Peachtree Corners, GA
Insulation Contractor: Shumate Mechanical
Mechanical Contractor: Shumate Mechanical
General Contractor: SKANSKA USA

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) seeks to advance heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration systems design and construction. Founded in 1894, ASHRAE is a global professional society committed to serving humanity and has more than 57,000 members. This not-for-profit leader is dedicated to promoting a healthy and sustainable built environment through the development of standards publication, progressive research, certifications, continuing education, and strategic partnerships with members and organizations within related industries. Being a driver of system and design evolution within the HVAC/R community, it was important to ASHRAE to “walk the talk” when it came to renovating their global headquarters and meeting net zero energy standards.

Sustainability is critically important for the HQ project. If we are going to move the environmental impact needle of the built environment in the near term, we must address the full spectrum of sustainability issues in existing building stock. ASHRAE’s new global headquarters demonstrates how to take a 1970’s-era structure to full net-zero energy performance.” --Ginger Scoggins, P.E., LEED-AP Building Ad Hoc Committee Chair.

In January 2020, ASHRAE broke ground on a new building renovation for its next global headquarters. The organization acquired an existing 66,700 ft2 building, originally built in 1978, on 11 acres in the Technology Park area of Peachtree Corners, Georgia. This building would provide members of the Atlanta and greater southeast building community the opportunity to participate in one of the industry's most publicized projects.

Spend Ten to Obtain Zero

Although new construction of net zero energy buildings tends to capture headlines, the reuse of existing structures is a basic principal of sustainability. To achieve net zero energy performance, the total amount of energy used by a building on an annual basis must be equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site. Obtaining 100% zero energy efficiency can be an even greater challenge for an existing structure, so careful project plans and key system innovations had to be implemented. Features such as water efficient plumbing and landscape, energy efficient HVAC systems, and the ability to harness on site energy production and be a net-zero-energy-ready building were clearly defined as top project requirements. Some other requirements included low operations and maintenance costs, excellent indoor environmental quality standards that facilitate occupants’ productivity, superior HVAC system performance, good space utilization, improved acoustical qualities, and high durability of finishes. Above all the design criteria had to meet and in some cases, exceed the requirements set forth in ASHRAE Standards 62, 90.1, and had to follow the guidelines set forth in the new ASHRAE Advanced Energy Guideline for Office Buildings. The final sustainability objective was for the building to be substantiated through available certification programs such as LEED®, Green Globes, Fitwell, WELL Building or Living Building Challenge.

By having a well-defined project plan and smartly utilizing a $10 Million budget including substantial donations from industry partners and leaders, ASHRAE’s building was slated for success. “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, P.E. “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.

Knowing that one requirement of this project was to ensure superior HVAC system performance, Armacell proudly supported ASHRAE with their altruism and bestowed solutions to help achieve this goal. During 2020, a time of financial constraints, uncertainty, and ever changing “normals,” ASHRAE’s donor’s struggled to navigate a tumultuous year. A team of ASHRAE volunteers led a highly successful building campaign to garner support for the renovation project. Thirty-one corporate donors committed more than $9.7 million in monetary support and gifts of equipment and services. Armacell seeing the value of this project gladly donated ArmaFlex® insulation, ArmaFlex® Insulation Tape, ArmaFlex® WB Finish and ArmaFlex® 520 BLV Adhesive. To commemorate this donation and thank Armacell, ASHRAE named its IT hub in the new global headquarters the ARMACELL DATA CENTER. “Working with ASHRAE and being a part of such an impactful project was an honor for our team. Sustainability, which is at the core of our solutions at Armacell, will drive the building materials industry forward and it is the key to future growth and progress,” commented Phil Chuy, Sales and Marketing Manager, Southeast at Armacell.

The renovated and state-of-the-art building will be on its way to be fully net zero energy by March 2021 and Armacell is proud that our solutions will contribute to this momentous achievement for the industry.

Sustainable Solutions

  1. ArmaFlex closed-cell foam insulation ensures long-term thermal performance and energy efficiency for mechanical systems. This rubber-based flexible material is GREENGUARD® Gold certified, fiber-free, formaldehyde-free, low VOC, and made with Microban® antimicrobial protection, which makes it an excellent choice for zero energy environments.
  2. ArmaFlex Insulation Tape provides a fast, easy method of insulating pipes and fittings. This innovative tape is also fiber-free, moisture resistant, and made with Microban antimicrobial protection to resist mold, even in the tightest of places.
  3. ArmaFlex WB Finish is a water-based, 100% acrylic coating suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications and provides a clean, white, protective finish to guard against UV and ozone damage. This finish is fast drying and does not have solvent fumes.
  4. ArmaFlex 520 BLV Adhesive is a low-VOC contact adhesive developed to meet application requirements for reduced emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds. ArmaFlex 520 BLV Adhesive makes a resilient and heat-resistant bond with many materials where the use of a toluene-free, hexane-free, low-VOC, solvent-based rubber contact adhesive is required. This product also meets the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) Rule 1168 and when dried also meets 25/50 flame spread index and smoke developed index requirements of codes and specifications when tested by ASTM E 84 Test Method

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