ATLANTA - Designers can now earn credit under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program for using ASHRAE's Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Office Buildings.

The inclusion of the design guide will help designers achieve LEED certification offered by the U.S. Green Building Council.

"The small-office design guide clearly meets the overall goal of LEED in that it accelerates the development and implementation of green building practices," said Lee Burgett, president of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. "The design-guide series is intended to provide prescriptive guidance to bring us 30 percent closer to a net-zero-energy building, meaning those that use equal or less energy than they produce on an annual basis. Our goal is to provide the technical resources needed to assist the HVACR industry in creating the most sustainable building possible."

The guide was developed by a committee representing a diverse group of energy professionals from ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, the New Buildings Institute, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, and the U.S. Department of Energy.