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ANSI ASHRAE and IES Seek YOUR Input on Residential Energy Standard

May 28, 2011 - ANSI/ASHRAE/IES (Illuminating Engineering Society) 90.2 “Energy Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings” provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of residential buildings, and ASHRAE and IES joined forces last year “to increase the efficiency of the standard’s requirements”. Now the two organizations are seeking input into a draft of the standard.

The standard is open for an advisory public review May 13 until June 12, so you have to hurry. Visit www.ashrae.org/publicreviews for more information.


The goal of ASHRAE and IES is to publish a standard that is 30% more energy efficient than the 2004 version of 90.1—including both a prescriptive and a performance path—and as the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 2006. As part of that effort, the two organizations say they are committed to developing a standard that is “easy to use, has criteria that are economically justified and requirements that are not too strenuous to meet”.

The proposed standard contains four prescriptive paths (R-values) and performance paths (U-factors) for each of the eight climate zones. The multiple paths provide options to:

• improve envelopes
• upgrade HVAC equipment efficiencies beyond National Appliance Energy Conservation Act minimums
• increase envelope air infiltration tightness and duct leakage tightness
• a combination of the above features

“Without question, the most significant feature is the four prescriptive paths and that each path provides a 30% energy savings,” said Merle McBride, 90.2 committee chair. “This is the first time the standard has contained multiple prescriptive options, and the features in each path represent upgrades from previous versions. The combinations of the features in each path provide prescriptive options that users can select based on the type of construction and features that best meets their needs. One of the key attributes is the integration of multiple measures including envelope features, improved HVAC equipment efficiencies, lighting and reduced air leakage in the envelope and air distribution systems.”

“In addition, the annual energy cost tradeoff option is retained, which allows users to conduct whole house simulations that can be used to trade off energy efficiency measures for any feature of the residence, including envelope, lighting, HVAC and service water heating,” he said.

The title, purpose and scope of the draft standard were expanded to include new features such as criteria for lighting, pools and spas. In addition, the format, structure and organization of the standard were changed to make it easier to understand and simpler to use.

The 90.2 committee is specifically seeking suggestions for input into Appendix B, which eventually will include checklists for practitioners on installation and proper application of requirements, as well as what type of application checklists should be included.


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