DOE Makes ASHRAE Standard National

Feb. 6, 2009
States must now certify that their building codes meet the requirements in ASHRAE/IESNA's 2004 energy efficiency standard, due to a recent ruling issued by the U.S. Department of Energy (DEO) that finds the standard saves more energy than an earlier version. ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, has been established as the commercial building reference standard for state building energy codes under the federal Energy Policy Act.

The Act requires all states to certify that they have state energy codes in place that are at least as stringent as 90.1-2004, or justify why they cannot comply.

"The quantitative analysis of the energy consumption of buildings built to Standard 90.1-2004, as compared with buildings built to Standard 90.1-1999, indicates national source energy savings of approximately 13.9 percent of commercial building energy consumption. Site energy savings are estimated to be approximately 11.9 percent," says the ruling published by the Federal Register on Dec. 30, 2008.

The DOE noted that the newer version of the standard contained 13 positive impacts on energy efficiency. These impacts included changes made through the public review process in which users of the standard comment and offer guidance on proposed requirements to the standard. The positive impacts include:
  • Removed explicit allowance for supply air into non-occupied isolation areas.
  • Limitations of the use of dampers in closed-circuit cooling towers in place of water bypass valves and piping.
  • Additions of insulation requirements for buried ductwork.
  • Mapping of envelope requirements to new climate zones, which led to greater geographic expansion of economizer requirements.
  • Addition of requirements for ventilation fan controls.
  • Lowered size range for part-load fan power limitation.
  • Addition of requirements for heat pump pool heaters.
  • Complete replacement of interior lighting power density allowances.
  • Revised exterior lighting power density allowances.
  • Addition of occupancy sensor requirements for classrooms, meeting, and lunch rooms.
  • Lower retail sales lighting power allowance.
  • New exit sign wattage requirement.


In addition, AHRAE is working on providing more stringent energy guidance in a proposed standard for high-performance buildings. Being developed in partnership with IESNA and the U.S. Green Building Council, Standard 189.1, Standard for Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, will provide minimum requirements for the design of high-performance new commercial buildings and major renovation projects, addressing energy efficiency, a building's impact on the atmosphere, sustainable sites, water use efficiency, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Buildings, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Building Better Schools

Download this digital resource to better understand the challenges and opportunities in designing and operating educational facilities for safety, sustainability, and performance...

Tips to Keep Facility Management on Track

How do you plan to fill the knowledge gap as seasoned facility managers retire or leave for new opportunities? Learn about the latest strategies including FM tech innovations ...

The Beauty & Benefits of Biophilic Design in the Built Environment

Biophilic design is a hot trend in design, but what is it and how can building professionals incorporate these strategies for the benefits of occupants? This eHandbook offers ...

The Benefits of Migrating from Analog to DMR Two-Way Radios

Are you still using analog two-way radios? Download this white paper and discover the simple and cost-effective migration path to digital DMR radios that deliver improved audio...