Energy Manager

Mechanical & Plumbing
ASHRAE publishes Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings

May 28, 2011 - “Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net-Zero-Energy Building” is the first book in a series of Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) publications that provides recommendations to achieve 50% energy savings when compared with the minimum code requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2004 “Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings”.

May 28, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

The book was developed by a committee representing a diverse group of energy professionals drawn from ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the Department of Energy (DoE) and the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

The series follows the earlier six-book series that provided guidance to achieve 30% savings. The ultimate goal is to provide guidance to achieve net-zero-energy buildings, that is buildings that produce more energy than they consume.

“This guide will help in the design of new office buildings and major renovations that consume substantially less energy compared to the minimum code-compliant design, resulting in lower operation costs,” said Bing Liu, chair of the 50% AEDG project committee. “Of equal importance is that energy-efficient buildings offer a great possibility to enhance the working environment, including indoor air quality, thermal comfort and natural lighting.”

A significant addition to the new 50% guide is the inclusion of a performance path; specifically, offering guidance for early stage energy modelling.


“Whole-building energy modeling programs can provide more flexibility to evaluate the energy-efficient measures on an individual project,” Liu said. “Simulation programs have learning curves of varying difficulty, but energy modeling for office design is highly encouraged and is considered necessary for achieving energy savings of 50%.”

The groups note that meeting the 50% energy savings goal is challenging and requires more than doing business as usual. The Guide offers eight essentials to achieve advanced energy savings:

• Obtain building owner buy-in
• Assemble an experienced, innovative design team
• Adopt an integrated design process
• Consider a daylighting consultant
• Consider energy modelling
• Use building commissioning
• Train building users and operations staff
• Monitor the building

Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small to Medium Office Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net-Zero-Energy Buildings is available as a FREE DOWNLOAD at A print version is also available for $82 US ($69 US for ASHRAE members).