Preliminary Review Shows Gains With ASHRAE Standard 90.1-16

by | Feb 16, 2017

ASHRAE Energy Manage

The recently updated version of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1-16 can achieve more than 30 percent savings when compared to the 2004 version of the standard, according to an analysis by Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) reported upon at Engineered Systems.

The analysis of the Energy Efficiency Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings” was done in support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE. The analysis showed that whole building energy consumptions were 34.1 percent and energy cost savings were 34.2 percent, the story says. Building type had a big impact. Energy savings were 11.9 percent for fast food restaurants and 48.6 percent for schools. Energy cost savings were equally diverse: 15.3 percent for large offices and 49.8 percent for schools.

The major changes in 90.1-16, which was released last October, are listed at the story. The long list includes updated controls for emergency lighting, improved window U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient, improved parking lot occupancy controls and updated opaque door U-factor.

The changes are significant indeed. Last December, the DoE commented on the expansive changes:

Standard 90.1-2016 contain121 new addenda (since publication of the previous 2013 standard). The new edition includes a new compliance path and a significant change in formatting, intended to improve its overall flexibility and use. A range of technical changes are also included, affecting building envelope, mechanical and lighting systems.

The implementation of standards – including 90.1-2016 – is not cut and dried. Last November, Energy Manager Today posted a story on how standards are used. It can be complex. Ryan Colker, the Presidential Advisor at National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS) responded to emailed questions sent by Energy Manager Today about how standards roll out:

On the federal level, Colker told Energy Manager Today, 90.1 is the key for commercial buildings. It either applies directly or because it has been included (or “referenced”) by the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). At the residential level, standards as stringent as IECC must be put in place. “If 90.2 can be shown to meet or exceed IECC then it would be okay from a federal perspective to adopt 90.2 (but 90.2 is not currently referenced in the IECC, so it would have to be an outright adoption of the standard at the jurisdiction level),” Colker wrote.

The PNNL study is preliminary. It is expected to be finalized in October, the Engineered Systems story says.

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