ASHRAE, DOE Update Green Building Guides, Software

by | Nov 23, 2010

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has released the third edition of its GreenGuide for sustainable buildings, while the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has made available updated versions of its energy efficiency modeling software programs

The “ASHRAE GreenGuide: The Design, Construction and Operation of Sustainable Buildings,” provides updated guidelines on sustainable energy master planning, teaming strategies, building information modeling (BIM), strategies for greening existing buildings and compliance strategies for key ASHRAE standards.

The GreenGuide also gives updates on newly developed green building rating systems and standards and information on how issues related to carbon emissions impact building design and operational decisions.

The new edition also features new GreenTips throughout the book that highlight techniques, processes, measures or special systems in a concise format.

“The ASHRAE GreenGuide is a living document meant to be used by proactive design engineers working on green building design projects as part of a team that provides ideas and guidance of what to do, where to turn, what to advise and how to interact with other team members in a productive way,” said John Swift, co-author and co-editor of the GreenGuide, in a statement.

A new chapter covers architectural design and planning impacts, including sustainable master planning, which addresses resource use, landscape concerns and environmental, economic and social concerns.

A major part of this planning is energy and water use. “As a smart building services engineer, one must be familiar with the flows of energy from generation through transmissions to consumption,” said Tom Lawrence, co-author and chair of ASHRAE’s technical committee on building environmental impacts, in a statement.

“Understanding these flows is critical to being able to provide solutions that increase overall system efficiencies and facilitate energy reductions at all levels,” Lawrence added.

The book may be purchased at ASHRAE’s online bookstore.

ASHRAE released its prototype building energy labeling program in 2009. The Building Energy Quotient program, known as Building EQ, includes both asset and operational ratings for all building types with the exception of residential buildings.

On the software side of sustainable buildings, the DOE has released updated versions of its EnergyPlus simulation software and OpenStudio Plug-in for Google SketchUp, which help engineers and architects design more energy-efficient buildings. Both apps are free for download and use.

EnergyPlus models heating, cooling, lighting, ventilation, and other building energy flows for commercial and residential buildings, while OpenStudio Plug-in makes it possible to perform EnergyPlus simulations using Google’s 3-D drawing interface, to model design elements and their impact on energy use.

EnergyPlus 6.0, available for the Windows, Linux, and Macintosh operating systems, offers several enhancements over the previous version. These include a 25 to 40 percent reduction in execution time for most simulations, modeling of carbon dioxide concentrations in zone air, improved HVAC capabilities, and enhanced modeling for refrigeration condensers.

Other new features include controls functionality, life cycle cost calculations and low-energy example files. Click here for a complete list of new features.

In other sustainable building news, GRAPHISOFT released its Green BIM Bundle, designed to make sustainable design more affordable. The new solution combines the company’s building information modeling (BIM) software, ArchiCAD , with EcoDesigner, its tool for helping architects evaluate energy consumption early in the design process before changes become too costly.

The Green BIM Bundle promotion is available now through December 15, 2010.

The green building sector is expected to drive the adoption of BIM software, according to a new SmartMarket Report from McGraw-Hill Construction. The report finds that only 17 percent of Green BIM practitioners are currently realizing more than 50 percent of BIM’s potential for their green goals, but 78 percent of survey respondents who aren’t currently using BIM for their green building projects expect to within the next three years.

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