Multifamily May Be Responsible for Tenant Lighting

March 30, 2016

Proposed change would update minimum efficiency levels for lighting in high-rise dwellings.

Facility managers for multifamily buildings may need to reassess their lighting in the near future, as a new proposed addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings would require minimum levels of efficiency for structures that are four stories or larger. More importantly, the standard would compel owners to address lighting within dwelling units, which have historically fallen outside of 90.1’s scope. The addenda’s minimum lighting performance standards would effectively remove incandescent and halogen lamps from use, as well as restricting CFL and LED usage to only the most efficient models.

“In general, lighting within someone’s personal dwelling unit has been exempt because it was not considered commercial,” says Eric Richman, Chair of the standard’s Lighting Subcommittee. “The International Energy Conservation Code with its residential component and other similar state codes developed some basic requirements for dwelling unit lighting several years ago that addressed product efficacy.  At the time, it was difficult to develop requirements that would ensure savings and still be practical for personal spaces. Over time, the lack of dwelling unit requirements in 90.1 presented a potential gap in energy savings.”

The proposed change, which is now open for industry comment, could include the new efficiency requirements and/or requirements for lighting controls. ASHRAE also notes that the proposed requirements would be similar to the ENERGY STAR program for lighting and would be designed to allow multifamily owners and managers flexibility in adapting to the new rule. Learn more about the proposed change or submit a comment here.

Get out ahead of the new changes by starting your lighting retrofit now! This quick start guide can help you begin.

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