Five addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, are open for public comment until March 9, 2014.

Proposed addendum bg revises the definition of native plant, clarifies the Plants section by renaming it Landscape Design, and requires a minimum area of landscapes to be native plants.

“The intent of the proposal is to maintain or restore a minimum level of biodiversity, including biodiverse plantings, native plants, and limited turfgrass,” Anthony Floyd, a member of the Standard 189.1 committee, said. “Supporting and maintaining the biodiversity is critical to the long-term health and sustainability of ecosystems of which humans and all life depend on for existence. Sustainable development recognizes and attempts to account for the interdependencies of ecosystems in the human-built environment. Hence, Standard 189.1 addresses biodiversity at the building-site level in recognition of these interdependencies.”

Susan Gitlin, also a member of the Standard 189.1 committee, added: “Native plants provide habitat for animals that non-native plants have not evolved to provide. … The vast majority of human-built landscapes use lawns and other plants that have been sourced and cultivated in such a way that they have minimal benefits for any wildlife, e.g., the leaves are not those that caterpillars have evolved to eat, and without the caterpillars, birds are not provided with that essential protein source.”

The other proposed addenda open for review are:

• Addendum al, which matches requirements for opaque wall assemblies in climate zones 1 through 3 to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

• Addendum bk, which adds a fan-efficiency requirement that is slightly more stringent than the fan-efficiency section in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013.

• Addendum bm, which adds more building components and clarifies salvaged-material requirements in Section 9.4.1.1, Recycled Content.

• Addendum w, which provides bicycle-parking design requirements.

For more information and to comment, go to www.ashrae.org/publicreviews.