Energy Manager

ASHRAE develops new guide for zero-energy office buildings

The guide addresses both new construction and retrofits.

July 3, 2019  By  Peter Saunders

ASHRAE guide to zero-energy office buildings.Image courtesy ASHRAE.

A new guide provides directions for designing, constructing and retrofitting office buildings to reach ‘zero energy’ performance—i.e. producing as much renewable energy on-site as they consume.

The publication, titled Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings: Achieving Zero Energy, was developed by ASHRAE, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), with support and funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).

“This guide presents strategies for achieving energy savings that are financially feasible and operationally workable,” says Paul Torcellini, project committee chair. “As we drive toward the goal of reducing energy consumption and ensuring zero-energy buildings become the standard approach, publications such as this will become increasingly important.”

While the guide focuses on the design and construction of office buildings ready to accept renewables to meet low energy loads, it also applies to retrofits of existing buildings, including strategies to reduce and eliminate thermal bridging, manage plug loads, control lighting and resize HVAC systems. It can be downloaded for free as a PDF file through

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