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ASHRAE publishes energy-efficiency guideline for historic buildings

Retrofitting older buildings requires specialized techniques and sensitivity.

July 26, 2019  By  Peter Saunders

Image by ASHRAE ASHRAE Energy Guideline for Historic Buildings

ASHRAE recently published a new guideline for increasing energy efficiency in historic buildings while minimizing the disturbance of their significant character, materials and characteristics.

Guideline 34-2019, Energy Guideline for Historic Buildings, provides detailed descriptions of specialized processes and procedures for retrofitting and upgrading historic buildings to achieve greater measured efficiency, from gathering past energy-use data to instituting building envelope, HVAC and lighting improvements. Many old buildings were constructed without insulation or active air-conditioning systems, especially for mechanical cooling.

The guideline is particularly deigned to provide guidance for ‘listed’ historic buildings, i.e. those formally designated or eligible to be designated as historically significant by a governing body. As such, all recommendations are made with consideration for preserving the integrity of such buildings.

“The committee members who wrote this guideline are knowledgeable about special issues related to historic buildings and the care needed to preserve them,” says Sheila J. Hayter, who was president of ASHRAE from 2018 to 2019 and served as chair of the international guideline committee.


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