Standard 90.1-2007 Adopted as National Reference Standard

Oct. 10, 2011

Commercial and high-rise residential buildings, including federal buildings, must now meet requirements in ASHRAE/IESNA’s 2007 energy efficiency standard, under recent rulings issued by the DOE finding that the standard saves more energy than the 2004 version.

ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, has been established by the DOE as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the federal Energy Conservation and Production Act. As a result, states are required to certify by July 20, 2013, that they have reviewed and updated the provisions of their commercial building code regarding energy efficiency. This includes a demonstration that the provisions of their commercial building codes regarding energy efficiency meet or exceed Standard 90.1-2007.

The DOE has also issued a rule that requires new federal buildings to meet these requirements if design or construction begins on or after Oct. 11, 2012. Prior to the new rules, federal and commercial buildings had to meet the requirements of the 2004 standard.

“We are pleased with this recognition that the 2007 standard saves more energy than the 2004 standard, thereby pushing the marketplace toward more energy-efficient buildings,” says Ron Jarnagin, ASHRAE president.

“The DOE has determined that the quantitative analysis of the energy consumption of buildings built to Standard 90.1-2007, as compared to buildings built to Standard 90.1-2004, indicates national source energy savings of approximately 3.9% of commercial building consumption,” according to the report. “Additionally, the DOE has determined site energy savings are estimated to be approximately 4.6%.”

The DOE noted that the newer version of the standard contained 11 positive impacts on energy efficiency. These impacts incorporate changes made through the public review process in which users of the standard comment and offer guidance on proposed requirements. Improvements in the new standard include:

  • Increased requirements for building vestibules
  • Removal of data processing centers and hotel rooms from exceptions to HVAC
  • Modification of requirements regarding demand controlled ventilation, fan power limitations, retail display lighting, cooling tower testing, commercial boilers, part load fans, and opaque and fenestration envelopes

Some 30% energy savings can be achieved using the updated version of Standard 90.1 vs. the 2004 standard. Without plug loads, site energy savings are 32.6% and energy cost savings are 30.1%. Including plug loads, the site energy savings are estimated at 25.5%, with energy cost savings at 24%.

ASHRAE and IES are currently working on the 2013 standard.

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