Three sets of proposed documents to provide energy savings ranging from 30-75% over Standard 90.1 are being developed by ASHRAE.

Three sets of proposed documents to provide energy savings ranging from 30-75% over ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings are being developed by the society.

ASHRAE's efforts in providing advanced energy efficiency guidance were discussed at its 2003 Annual Meeting held June 28-July 2.

The proposed savings refer to reductions in energy consumption allowed by 90.1, which sets the minimum energy efficiency required by most building codes.

For example, if a building built to the minimum requirements of Standard 90.1 uses 1 million units of energy, a building using 30% less would use 700,000 units of energy. These percentages also are approximations of the energy cost savings in dollars.

"ASHRAE has a strong heritage of developing and promoting the efficient use of energy," Richard Rooley, FREng, ASHRAE president, said. "Our Standard 90.1 continues to be used as the basis for building energy codes worldwide. We realize, however, that we need to do more than just develop minimum requirements."

The Advanced Energy Guide for Small Office Buildings proposes to achieve 30% savings over Standard 90.1-1999. The design guide will be produced as a special publication, not as a standard or guideline.

The guide will provide prescriptive design assistance for office buildings less than 20,000 square feet. This size building represents the largest single type of buildings being constructed and occupied.

"Typically there is very little attention given to energy efficient design for buildings of this size and type," Presidential Member Donald Colliver, Ph.D., P.E., who will serve as chair of the committee overseeing the special project committee that is developing the guidance, said. "The energy used in the building (rather than economics) is to be considered as the primary design parameter in this document; therefore advanced conservation and design techniques that might have a longer pay-back period than currently used will be considered."

It will be a how-to, user-friendly prescriptive design guide targeted for use by contractors, designers and/or design-build firms. ASHRAE also plans to develop additional design guides for other building types and sizes.

The special project committee developing the document will include representatives from the Standard 90.1 committee, ASHRAE technical committees on systems energy utilization and building environmental impacts and sustainability, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and the Department of Energy.

The committee hopes to have the design guide document approved for publication by the 2004 ASHRAE Annual Meeting.

ASHRAE also is working on design guidance that targets a 50% savings over Standard 90.1. It is being developed as a collaborative effort between ASHRAE, AIA and IESNA.

Publication would take place 24 to 30 months after funding is secured.

The proposed guidance, "Development of Next Generation Advanced Design Guidance," will focus on design concepts that integrate building heating, cooling, lighting and envelope systems as well as on new economic criteria that extend those used in Standard 90.1.

The existing Standard 90.1 committee and several ASHRAE technical committees will be involved in producing this guidance, also to be released as a special publication.

The third proposed document, an innovative energy conservation application design guide, would achieve up to 75% savings over 90.1.

"This document has been approved in concept by ASHRAE but will require comprehensive research as well as possibly building upon the results achieved during the development of the 50% advance energy design guide," Rooley said.

The time-line for achieving this objective could be three to five years, unless ASHRAE can collaborate with other groups that have already initiated the effort for this type of advance design guide, Rooley said.