Here we go again - discussing Standards 90.1 and 62-89. It seems like we just finished covering where the standards are, where they're going, who's against them, why things aren't moving faster. But it's actually been over a year since we last visited with Ron Jarnagin and Steve Taylor, the chairmen of 90.1 and 62-89, respectively, to find out what's going on.

It's been a busy 18 months. Jarnagin has been working feverishly in order to be able to present a revised 90.1 ("Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings") to the ASHRAE Board at this month's 1999 ASHRAE Summer Meeting in Seattle. This has meant traveling almost constantly, returning numerous phone calls, being interviewed countless times, and responding to thousands of public comments - all the while holding a full-time job at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Taylor has been working just as hard on Standard 62-89 ("Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality"), although his focus has been a little different. Since the standard was placed in continuous maintenance almost two years ago, Taylor has now become a master at keeping all the addenda straight (see sidebar, page 83). This is no mean feat. Each one must go through numerous steps before becoming part of the standard. Taylor also owns his own engineering firm in Alameda, CA.

Both men sound tired. And both men seem to be somewhat relieved that their stints as chairmen will be over this month - although both admit that it will be difficult to just watch from the sidelines.

Progressing Slowly

As most will remember, Standard 62R was virtually thrown out when the ASHRAE Board took the unprecedented step of placing the old standard (62-89) into continuous maintenance in June 1997. That meant the committee had to start back at square one, which it did in January 1998.

The difficult part is that the standard is now being revised in piecemeal fashion. The committee must sort through 62-89 and come up with addenda to the standard. The addenda then go through a maze of ASHRAE committees before they are approved for publication. After the comments are collected, the committee decides whether or not to incorporate the comments. If they are incorporated, the addenda must be sent out for public review again. After that, the addenda may become part of the standard, provided no one successfully appeals them. So far, only four addenda have been approved. However, all are being appealed (primarily from tobacco interests).

The result is a very confusing and time-consuming process, notes Taylor.

"Frankly, this standard was not ready to go on continuous maintenance; 62R was written in code language, but it was too stringent to be a code," he says. "We had a dilemma there. That was clarified by the ad hoc committee at the end of 1997. They said to write it like it's a code. With the level of stringency clarified, had we had the opportunity, we could have gone through 62R and stripped from it anything we thought was too stringent to be in a code. I think we would've been better off going with that approach."

Changing 62-89 to code language is a massive task, especially when it is being done in bits and pieces. Then there's the problem of some addenda being dependent on other addenda.

"So you say, if this addendum passes, the wording will look like this, but if that addendum doesn't pass, the wording will look like this. It's gotten sort of ridiculous, but that's the task we've been asked to do, so we're doing it," says Taylor.

He's not the only one who's concerned with how things are progressing. George Jackins, president of ASHRAE, is also worried. His main concern, however, is losing American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certification for the standard.

"If we don't republish in 10 years, then we automatically lose ANSI certification. After going on continuous maintenance two years ago, the commitment was that we would try to maintain the standard as an ANSI-certified document. If we go beyond this 10-year period without any change or republication or updating, my understanding is we'll lose it," says Jackins.

He's hoping that the four addenda will survive the appeals process, so they can republish the standard this year and maintain ANSI certification.

"I've got to be very candid, though. I'm concerned with where 62 is and where it's going, and are we going to be able to satisfy the needs of the public with the current status," says Jackins.

Keeping Everyone (Un)Informed

Jackins is especially concerned because there are some ASHRAE members who are completely frustrated with the way in which 62-89 is progressing. Some have even sent a petition to the Society, stating that the standard is too complex to ever be enforceable at a local code level, because people don't understand it.

Another problem is that with all the addenda swirling around, it's difficult for the average engineer to keep up with the changes.

"People don't know what's going on at all," says Taylor. "That's another one of the big disadvantages of continuous maintenance. Because we don't get all the press, people don't know what's happening, and the changes are continuous. It's a moving target. People who want to comply with the standard now have a standard that's changing every three to six months."

Taylor would like to see ASHRAE collect addenda and hold them at the Board level until there are enough to merit a republication. A republished document would garner a lot of press, and there could be training classes and manuals to support the republication. Until ASHRAE decides how it wants to proceed, though, it will keep passing addenda and adding them to the standard.

"Whether people know about them or not has really not been well addressed by ASHRAE," says Taylor.

As Taylor noted, one of the reasons fewer people know about the addenda is that the standard is simply getting less press than it once did. Standard 62R affected many people at once, so numerous articles were written about its pros and cons. Once 62R was pronounced dead and 62-89 went on continuous maintenance, its visibility was greatly reduced.

Taylor says that's good and bad - good in the sense that it's now possible to get addenda through, but bad because no one knows what's going on. Hence, some addenda only receive five or six comments.

"Some people will claim that's a big advantage, but personally, I don't think it is," says Taylor. "That sort of divide-and-conquer principle is not in the best interest of the users of the standard."

Currently, the only way to keep up with the changes being made to 62-89 is to get on ASHRAE's subscription list. For a fee, ASHRAE will send you all of the correspondence that comes out of the committee. That includes every draft being developed, not just approved drafts. And that's a lot of paper to sort through to find the pertinent information.

On The Brighter Side

Thankfully, Standard 90.1 may be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Jarnagin is confident he will have a completely revised standard to present to the Board this month. However, that doesn't mean everyone is happy about the changes. There continues to be a huge debate between the gas and electric utilities about how building envelopes should be addressed.

The first draft of the standard differentiated between buildings that used gas heat or electric resistance heat. In a decision handed down by the Board (at Jarnagin's request), the so-called "dual envelope" section of the standard was eliminated before the second public review last year, due to its potential anti-competitive nature.

While the electric people are happy that there isn't a different set of requirements for resistance heat, the gas people don't agree with ASHRAE's opinion. So upset were they that they embarked on a letter- writing campaign, deluging the committee with over 50,000 comments during the second public review last year. Those comments aside, the committee also received 1,200 unique comments, which is what it primarily focused on.

"Hearing something 500 or 1,000 times doesn't add new information, and it doesn't persuade the committee. In fact, it has the potential to have an adverse reaction," says Jarnagin.

Out of that second public review came six independent substantive changes to the standard (see sidebar on page 82). These changes were submitted to a public review in January 1999 and garnered about 300 unique comments. The gas industry didn't flood the committee with letters this time; however, they did send in numerous petitions. Since each comment must be addressed individually, even if it's part of a petition, the committee had a total of about 6,000 commenters to respond to.

The committee was scheduled to meet at the end of April to discuss how to respond to the comments on the independent substantive changes. Because there won't be time to incorporate any comments before this month's ASHRAE Summer Meeting, where the committee plans to recommend a revised standard for publication, Jarnagin believes those comments will likely be addressed as addenda once the revised document is placed under continuous maintenance.

Jarnagin envisions that at this month's ASHRAE Summer Meeting, the committee will first vote to recommend the revised standard for publication, with the incorporation of the six independent substantive changes. Then he believes the committee will vote to recommend that the revised standard be placed on continuous maintenance. After that, the Board will vote whether or not to approve the standard. Once approved, the standard will go through an appeals process before it will be republished.

If, for some reason, Jarnagin doesn't have a document to present to the Board, there could be some trouble.

"I have no options," says Jarnagin. "If we can't get finished, they could put the 1989 version on continuous maintenance. Certainly the same thing they did with 62, they could do [with 90.1]. For me, the way to avoid something like that happening is for us to hitch up our belts and do what we need to do. We're going to get this thing done somehow."

Jackins is fully confident that Jarnagin will have a document to present this month, for the main reason that Jarnagin doesn't want the original version placed on continuous maintenance.

"He wants to have the revised document done and approved before it's put on continuous maintenance," he says. "He wants to have his job done. It's a pride issue, I'm sure."

Jackins notes that the revised 90.1 is in the best condition it's been in "since the beginning of time," and he's looking forward to putting the revised standard to bed at the June meeting.

Change Is In The Air

Revising Standards 62-89 and 90.1 has been much more difficult than ASHRAE ever imagined. The sheer number of commenters and opponents has caused the Society to look at how it publishes standards. Before leaving the Winter Meeting in January, Jackins appointed a subcommittee of the Board to revisit how ASHRAE develops its standards.

"I think that we're looking for a totally new path for standards development that may not be as difficult and still maintain ANSI certification," says Jackins. "I think we're anxious to do a better job of understanding the political, economic, and technical considerations of our standards - how they impact the public in all three of those areas."

With 62-89 and 90.1, ASHRAE has ventured into areas in which the political and economic impacts of what it's doing are so huge that many parties are now coming to the table and questioning what's going on. Jackins says this is new territory for the organization, which for many years wrote rather innocuous documents that were primarily concerned with technical issues.

"These two standards have just blown us away," says Jackins. "We've gotten here through an evolutionary process that hasn't been much to our liking. We know now that we're not going to get rid of these issues. So we're trying to find ways to redress the manner in which we develop these standards, so we don't get bogged down in some of these incredible quagmires.

"Still, ASHRAE Standards 62 and 90.1 have made tremendous contributions to the quality of life in the U.S. We are striving to find the balance between technological innovation and economic feasibility to include in these standards."

As always, it's a wait-and-see proposition. What is known is that both committees will have new leadership this month. And Ron Jarnagin and Steve Taylor can both take some well-deserved time off. ES

Substantive changes to 90.1

There have been six independent substantive changes made to 90.1 since last year's second public review. The public review on these changes took place in January 1999, and the committee was just beginning to review the comments when this article was written. The following are the most important changes that were made:

  • Administration and enforcement - In this section, which is under the dominion of the format and compliance subcommittee, there were some areas in which the wording was not clear as to how the standard should be applied to additions and alterations. A number of definitional changes were made to clarify the standard.

  • Building envelope - Concerning envelope criteria for residential spaces, the National Multi-Housing Council wanted the committee to reconsider the construction assemblies that needed to be used to meet fire code ratings. The committee went back and essentially recalculated those requirements, taking into consideration what the Council had pointed out.

  • Mechanical - Many diffuse changes were made but nothing significant, according to Jarnagin.

  • Lighting - Adjustments to the lighting power density for some spaces and occupancies were made. In particular, the committee felt that clarification was required regarding the retail space lighting numbers. The standard called for a base level of power density that was allowed, and then there were some adjustments for display cases and such; however, it was not clear as to how additional lighting should be provided because of the way the numbers showed up in the tables. Additional input was obtained from the Illuminating Engineering Society.ES

    Keeping Track Of Standard 62-89 Addenda

    Here are the addenda currently proposed to Standard 62-89:

    Addendum 62b:

    What it does - Limits the standard to new buildings and existing buildings only where specifically identified in the document.

    Why - Many people worried that the standard would be retroactively applied to existing buildings, and they were concerned about liability. The committee wanted to make it clear that the standard is being written for new buildings.

    Status - Stalled. This is a contentious issue, because some people say that ASHRAE shouldn't be deciding how to apply its standards; it should just write the standard and then when it is adopted as code, others can decide whether or not to apply it to new buildings. Others argue that it's not a code but a standard of care, so it should be included. Still others argue that ASHRAE is writing a standard that it intends to be adopted into codes, so it should state how the standard should be applied to existing buildings.

    Addendum 62c:

    What it does - Removes any references to thermal comfort in the standard.

    Why - Essentially there was an error in 62-89, which said that the ventilation system cannot produce conditions that will cause temperature and humidity to be outside the thermal comfort range recommended by ASHRAE Standard 55. If followed strictly, it meant items such as air conditioning and humidifiers must always be provided in buildings. The standard will not deal with the interaction between temperature, humidity, comfort, and people's perception of air quality.

    Status - Approved in January 1999 by the Board. However, it is being appealed.

    Addendum 62d:

    What it does - Adds some caveats to the scope that say even if there is compliance with the standard, acceptable indoor air quality may not be achieved because of such differences as people's susceptibilities, various contaminants, etc.

    Why - To make it clear to people that this standard is not so comprehensive that just following it is all that's needed to guarantee acceptable air quality.

    Status - Approved in January 1999 by the Board. However, it is being appealed.

    Addendum 62e:

    What it does - Removes from the ventilation rate table a statement saying that the ventilation rates accommodate a moderate amount of smoking. Basically, this means that it is not possible to comply with the standard if there's any smoking allowed in a building.

    Why - EPA lists tobacco smoke as a Class I carcinogen, and doctors and experts agree that it is not possible to have acceptable indoor air quality in the presence of tobacco smoke. This is a highly contentious issue, however, and the tobacco industry is vigorously opposing the addendum.

    Status - Approved in January 1999 by the Board. However, it is being appealed.

    Addendum 62f:

    What it does - Clarified some misunderstandings with regard to carbon dioxide. Also changed the 1,000-ppm absolute limit that was used as a suggested guideline for what would be an indicator of acceptable air quality with respect to bio-effluents to a difference between indoor and outdoor concentrations.

    Why - People have been using carbon dioxide as a comprehensive indicator of acceptable air quality, and the committee wanted to clarify that CO2 is not a contaminant of concern by itself. It's an indicator of bio-effluent concentration that may or may not be an indicator of the concentrations of other contaminants in the space that are unrelated to people or to their activities.

    Status - Approved in January 1999 by the Board. However, it is being appealed.

    Addendum 62g:

    What it does - Addresses how to separate smoking areas from non-smoking areas.

    Why - The standard basically does not apply to buildings that have smoking rooms. However, the committee realized there probably would be cases in which a smoking room was adjacent to smoke-free rooms, so rules had to be established as to how a separation between the two could be created.

    Status - Back from first public review, but so many changes were made that it will soon be sent out for a second public review.

    Addendum 62h:

    What it does - Updates the IAQ procedure. In the current standard, there are two ways to obtain acceptable IAQ. The ventilation rate procedure is the most common way to comply. It consists of a table that has all the occupancy categories and cfm per person rates in it, so it is possible to look up an occupancy category and how much air is needed per person, multiply it, and there's the answer. The IAQ procedure is a performance approach that says it is possible to do anything necessary, provided acceptable indoor air quality is reached at the end.

    Why - It was very vaguely worded, so this is a revision to it to try to make it into mandatory code-type language but still allow flexibility for users.

    Status - Back from first public review, but so many changes were made that it will soon be sent out for a second public review.

    Addendum 62i:

    What it does - Similar to 62h.

    Why - States when it is possible to use the IAQ procedure and when the ventilation rate procedure must be used.

    Status - Back from first public review, but so many changes were made that it will soon be sent out for a second public review.

    Addendum 62j:

    What it does - Revises how natural ventilation may be used.

    Why - The language in 62-89 is very performance based and, in some cases, almost impossible to actually meet. This addendum replaces that language with prescriptive requirements that are similar to building code requirements, such as stating how much operable window area is needed versus floor area.

    Status - Back from first public review with a few minor substantive changes made. It will be going out for a modified second public review.

    Addendum 62k:

    What it does - Similar to 62b, in that it states how to apply the standard to new and existing buildings. However, passage of 62b isn't required in order for this addendum to be passed.

    Why - The committee wanted to deal with the standard as if it were code. Therefore, this addendum is an attempt to say how if this is a code, the standard would be applied to a new building and to an existing building.

    Status - Back from first public review with a few minor substantive changes made. It will be going out for a modified second public review.

    Addendum 62l:

    What it does - Adds another chapter to the standard on construction and start-up.

    Why - A skinnied-down version of what appeared in 62R, it's also intended to go beyond design. It deals with how to start up a system and balance it within buildings that are occupied.

    Status - Approved by the committee for public review.

    Addendum 62m:

    What it does - Adds a chapter on operations and maintenance.

    Why - The committee wanted to expand the standard beyond just design to talk about how to operate and maintain buildings.

    Status - Approved by the committee for public review.

    Addendum 62n:

    What it does - Completely changes the ventilation rate procedure.

    Why - The committee felt that in densely occupied spaces, 62-89 prescribed ventilation rates that were too high. This addendum not only changes the ventilation rate formula, it also reduces ventilation rates in some densely occupied spaces. It also increases the rates in some sparsely occupied spaces. Instead of just calculating ventilation cfm per person times the number of people, this addendum adds a building rate (e.g., cfm per sq ft). A true ventilation can then be achieved by adding the two together. The committee wanted to recognize that people and their activities aren't the only sources of pollutants in buildings.

    Status - Approved by the committee for public review.

    Addendum 62o:

    What it does - Adds an informative appendix on how to provide ventilation for areas in which smoking is allowed.

    Why - This only deals with perceived indoor air quality; in other words, people's perception of the odors, not whether or not carcinogens are present. This is intended to provide acceptable perceived air quality, so it's essentially putting smoking back into the standard but only in an informative appendix.

    Status - Approved by the committee for public review.

    Addendum 62p:

    What it does - Discusses how to provide enough combustion air to dilute pollutants from combusting devices indoors and addresses how to make sure equipment is properly vented.

    Why - Self-explanatory.

    Status - Approved by the committee for public review.

    Meanwhile, the following are still in the preliminary stages:

    • Addendum 62-3a: Concerns outdoor air cleaning and how to treat bad outdoor air (such as in large urban areas).
    • Addendum 62-4b: Changes some definitions.
    • Addendum 62-4d: Classifies the air in various spaces so it is possible to put some limitations on the circulation of the air. Basically, it addresses how to keep air in one room from passing through the hvac system and contaminating other spaces.
    • Addendum 62-5a: Establishes a minimum filtration requirement for systems with coils.

    Jarnagin, Taylor: Lasting Legacies?

    This month's ASHRAE Summer Meeting in Seattle will mark the end of an era. At that time, both Ron Jarnagin and Steve Taylor will step down from their posts as chairmen of the committees responsible for revising Standards 90.1 and 62-89, respectively.

    It's not necessary to say that these two standards have garnered a lot of attention in recent years. The two committees have been flooded with comments, deluged with mail, skewered by opponents, and scrutinized by the press. Seems like a thankless task, especially because chairmen and committee members work on a volunteer basis. And with the demands of these two standards, that's like asking the chairmen to work a full-time job for free, in addition to their jobs that actually put food on the table.

    Jarnagin was assigned the task of revising Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, while Taylor was asked to do the same for Standard 62-89, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. While both men seem to be looking forward to relinquishing their positions, both hope that their positive contributions to the standards will become lasting legacies.

    Living through controversy

    When asked how he'd like to be remembered, Steve Taylor knows what he doesn't want to be known for.

    "I certainly don't want to be remembered for having caused the ASHRAE Board to take us from periodic maintenance to continuous maintenance. That was a failure on my part to not recognize the political forces that were happening and trying to counter," says Taylor. "That's something I don't want to be remembered for but probably will be."

    Taylor says that he'd like to be remembered for addendum 62-n, which completely changes the ventilation rate procedure.

    "That's the one addendum I've spent the most time on and the one I feel most strongly about," he says. "Getting that addendum approved would be the legacy I would want to be remembered for. But it's a long way from happening."

    That addendum was approved for public review, but it's a contentious issue, because it changes the ventilation rates. There are many different groups that are interested in what those rates should be (e.g., heat recovery manufacturers, carbon dioxide sensor manufacturers, building owners, etc.), so stay tuned for some hotly debated issues in the upcoming months.

    George Jackins, president of ASHRAE, says that without question, Taylor has brought very strong technical aspects to the standard.

    "He knows what he's doing," says Jackins. "He's obviously a very, very good engineer. And he's a super guy. I think it's incredible that he's hung in there. People of lesser resolve would've said 'I'm outta here.'"

    Ultimately, though, Taylor is glad to go.

    "The thickness of the politics is starting to wear on me. And having to go through all these addenda and keep them all straight is very time consuming and not very satisfying. It's a bureaucratic-type job."

    Two For The Road

    When Ron Jarnagin steps down, he wants everyone to know that first of all, there's going to be "a hell of a party." After that, he'd like to be remembered as the person who actually got the standard revised on time.

    "Getting the standard done is primary and if I don't get it done, forevermore I'll be in the background of the Society somewhere as 'the guy who couldn't get it done.' I'm playing the 'All or nothing' game here."

    Jarnagin also wants to be known for changing the way in which the committee operates.

    "During my chairmanship we really transitioned the nature of that committee from one in which the chairman made all the decisions and everything was pretty much tied to the chairman, to a more participative-type of decision-making process."

    Jarnagin has also made sure to pass along all the information he has to those who chair the committee's subcommittees.

    "They now have a lot of knowledge and insight about what's going on - how the committee runs, what the issues are. I made them suffer through the decision making with me - all of the issues that come with running the committee. I opened that up."

    That's absolutely critical in a big standard like 90.1, Jarnagin says, because it means he can be removed as chairman of the committee at any time, and there's enough knowledge and shared decision making that the committee can keep running effectively. He hopes this openness will mean a seamless transition to the next chair.

    Jackins notes that in addition to getting the standard done, Jarnagin will best be known for his communication skills.

    "He made it a point to be a public relations expert in the internal activities of the Society," says Jackins. "He was constantly communicating with people and sharing with people his dilemmas and his challenges."

    Jackins adds that both Taylor and Jarnagin have had incredible dedication to the task. "I marvel at how ASHRAE can command this kind of commitment from people like Steve and Ron. It's absolutely phenomenal."

    Next up as chairs will be Andy Persily on 62-89 and Larry Spielvogel on 90.1. Let's hope they have an easier road ahead of them.ES