Decoding the green construction codes

Engineers should understand the difference between IgCC and ASHRAE 189.1 energy compliance code provisions.

09/18/2012


Voluntary green building rating systems such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program have had significant impacts on the building industry. Some jurisdictions have attempted to make LEED certification a requirement for new buildings but have encountered a need for a code compliance path to document performance. The USGBC assisted in the development of both the ICC International Green Construction Code (IgCC) and ASHRAE 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, to fill this void.

Both codes focus on the five categories of sustainability addressed in LEED New Construction: Site Sustainability, Water Use Efficiency, Energy Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, and Materials and Resources. Furthermore, both codes include an additional section regarding Operation and Maintenance.

The IgCC and Standard 189.1 are not guides or ratings systems. They are written in mandatory code language and intended for adoption and enforcement by the local and state level. In earlier versions of IgCC, ASHRAE 189.1 was a “jurisdictional compliance option,” meaning the local authority must choose between 189.1 and IgCC. With IgCC 2012, a building may now choose to comply with its standard requirements or those of 189.1.

Several major differences within the energy efficiency sections differentiate the two codes. With all energy units converted to Btus, IgCC is based on source energy use, while ASHRAE 189.1 is based on site energy cost. Just as energy cost and energy consumption are two completely different metrics, so are site and source energy. Different energy-saving measures will apply to a project, depending whether site energy cost or source energy use is the applicable metric. A model executed according to the calculations of one code cannot easily be compared to the other. A section of the IgCC also requires that the person performing the energy simulation be a professional engineer or architect in the state where the project is being constructed; ASHRAE 189.1 currently does not have a similar requirement.

Both codes contain comparable requirement categories in other sections, but with notable differences. The following table summarizes the key differences between ASHRAE 189.1 and IgCC 2012:

The IgCC has more detailed requirements for building energy metering and demand response, while ASHRAE 189.1 provides more detailed sections on fan power and demand controlled ventilation. If a project requires compliance with IgCC, there is always the option of using either IgCC or ASHRAE 189.1. For projects pursuing LEED certification, the energy model will compare energy cost. Overall, using ASHRAE 189.1 as a compliance path can minimize modeling time and increase cost-based savings.

 


Bridgette Baugher is an energy engineer with Southland Industries. Her career focus is on improving energy efficiency in new and existing buildings through the use of analysis and auditing tools. She served on the Center for the Built Environment’s Livable Buildings Jury in 2009 and 2010.   



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Safer human-robot collaboration; 2017 Maintenance Survey; Digital Training; Converting your lighting system
IIoT grows up; Six ways to lower IIoT costs; Six mobile safety strategies; 2017 Salary Survey
2016 Top Plant; 2016 Best Practices on manufacturing progress, efficiency, safety
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Big Data and bigger solutions; Tablet technologies; SCADA developments
Automation modernization; Predictive analytics enable open connectivity; System integration success; Automation turns home brewer into brew house
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Motion control advances and solutions can help with machine control, automated control on assembly lines, integration of robotics and automation, and machine safety.
Compressed air plays a vital role in most manufacturing plants, and availability of compressed air is crucial to a wide variety of operations.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
click me