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Proposed energy use Standard 90.4 open for comments

February 20, 2015 - A proposed standard from global society ASHRAE providing requirements for energy use in data centers is now open for public input.


Standard 90.4P, officially titled Energy Standard for Data Centers and Telecommunications Buildings, would “establish the minimum energy efficiency requirements of data centers and telecommunications buildings for design and construction and for creation of a plan for operation and maintenance, and for utilization of on-site or off-site renewable energy resources.”

It is intended to compliment Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

“There is no intent to duplicate what is contained in Standard 90.1, but rather we are proposing criteria to support the specialized nature of the larger data centers,” said Ron Jarnagin, chair of the Standard 90.4 committee. “When adopted, design and construction of data centers will require the use of both Standards 90.1 and 90.4 for compliance with building codes.”

David Quirk, chair of ASHRAE’s technical committee 9.9, said the new standard’s purpose is to create a performance based approach that would be more flexible and accommodating of innovative change, which can occur rapidly in data center design, construction and operation.

Data center applications are unlike their commercial building counterparts in two ways, he noted. First, they include significantly higher plug loads. And second, they employ rapidly changing technology for the IT equipment and associated power/cooling approaches.

“It has been acknowledged that these differences drive a fundamentally different approach to regulating minimum efficiency requirements for the electrical and mechanical systems that support the plug loads,” Quirk said. “By using an approach that requires compliance to a ‘system’ level of performance, designers and end-users can utilize various trade-offs in their optimization strategizes depending on their company specific business models.”

The standard is open for public review until March 30, 2015.

To read the draft and comment, visit www.ashrae.org/publicreviews.