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Preliminary energy savings of 30% with Standard 90.1-2016

February 15, 2017 - Preliminary results show more than 30% energy savings can be achieved using the 2016 version of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2016, according to recent analysis conducted by Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) in support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program.

February 15, 2017  By  Anthony Capkun

PNNL conducted the energy savings analysis, reports ASHRAE, using 90.1-2004 “Energy Efficiency Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings” as baseline. These results are considered preliminary and are expected to be deemed final in October 2017 when DoE publishes its final determination.

For whole-building energy consumptions, the lab’s analysis shows national aggregated site energy savings are 34.1% and energy cost savings are 34.2% (when compared to the 2004 standard).

The energy reduction calculation was achieved through more than 120 addenda incorporated in Standard 90.1 related to changes to requirements. The major changes in include:

• updated controls for emergency lighting
• improved window U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient
• improved coiling door air leakage requirements
• updated parking lot occupancy controls
• updated opaque door U-factor
• established minimum chilled water systems coil selection Delta T
• updated transformer efficiency requirements
• added domestic hot water branch insulation
• reduced heat rejection variable frequency drive (VFD) threshold
• raised minimum exhaust air energy recovery threshold
• reduced exterior and interior lighting allowances
• updated fenestration orientation
• included service factor in heat rejection VFD threshold
• updated motor efficiencies
• improved hotel/motel guest room control
• reduced pumping VFD threshold
• required high efficiency dwelling unit lighting
• reduced retail lighting adder
• eliminated computer room economizer threshold
• removed ventilation optimization exception for energy recovery ventilator
• updated transfer air requirements
• updated climate zones


On a nationally aggregated level, building-type energy savings range from 11.9% (fast-food restaurants) to 48.6% (schools), and energy-cost savings from 15.3% (large offices) to 49.8% (schools). These figures include energy use and cost from whole-building energy consumptions, including plug-and-process loads.

Incorporated into this analysis were 16 different building prototypes, which were modelled in 17 different climate locations, for a total of 272 building types in various climate zones.

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