Energy-saving measures proposed for ASHRAE standard

Addenda are under consideration to help increase energy efficiency of facilities.

By Staff September 28, 2007

ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of buildings except low-rise residential buildings. Fourteen proposed addenda to the standard, related to variable air volume and cooling towers, currently are open for public comment.One of the proposals addresses the addition of closed-circuit cooling tower requirements, to help reduce energy consumption, to the standard. The addendum would add minimum efficiency and certification requirements for both axial and centrifugal fan closed-circuit cooling towers, also known as fluid coolers.“These requirements will provide consulting engineers, system designers and contractors with guidelines for the selection of independently certified, energy-efficient closed circuit cooling towers,” said Mick Schwedler, chair of the 90.1 committee. “This change also will complement existing minimum and certification requirements for open circuit cooling towers, helping prevent confusion between the requirements for open vs. closed.”Also open for public comment is a proposal to extend variable air volume (VAV) fan requirements for large single-zone units. VAV fan control currently is required in the standard for multiple-zone systems. Extending VAV control to single-zone units could save energy by reducing fan energy consumption when space cooling loads are reduced, he said. The change would take effect in 2012, allowing air conditioning unit manufacturers time to redesign and test their units. Manufacturers are currently redesigning to meet the 2010 phase-out of certain refrigerants.“Utility rebate programs and other incentives should encourage wider demand for these units and help this requirement to see real savings before 2012,” he said.Click here for more information on these and other proposals.