The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has a vision for its energy conservation standard. ASHRAE sees a standard that is simplified. A standard with more stringent energy requirements. And creation of a separate standard that focuses on small buildings.

The society seeks to achieve all three when ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is revised and published in 2004. The standard is published on a three-year cycle to coincide with the deadlines for adoption by major building code organizations.

“We must make it as easy as possible for designers and contractors to conserve energy,” Lawrence Spielvogel, chair of the Standard 90.1 committee, said. “Our focus as we work toward the 2004 standard is to simplify the requirements and achieve greater energy cost savings.”

Small Buildings

“The best way to simplify the standard for small and simple commercial buildings is to remove the complexity that is needed to address large and complex buildings,” Spielvogel said. “Our customers for most small buildings are not architects and engineers. They are overwhelmed by the standard the way it appears today.”

Spielvogel said the creation of a separate new standard, limited to small commercial buildings up to a certain size, will be proposed. The intent is to cover the majority of buildings being built, without the complications, options and criteria necessary to cover all buildings. Residential and semi-heated buildings will not be included.

“For example, about half of all buildings (and about 10% of the square footage) covered by the standard are 5,000 sq ft or smaller,” he said. “More than 90% of all buildings (and about 50% of the square footage) covered by the standard are 25,000 sq ft or smaller. Most of these buildings use packaged hvac and hot water systems. Complex hvac systems and controls and automatic controls for lighting are rarely used or required. Trade-offs are rarely done. Buildings that do not meet these criteria will comply with 90.1.” The requirements in the proposed new small buildings standard will be taken from the complete standard. But the new standard would be only a fraction of the size and complexity, he said.


“The stringency of requirements in the standard will be increased to achieve up to a 20% reduction in energy consumption over Standard 90.1—1999,” he said. “Previously considered requirements will be reexamined in light of current technology and economics. Committee members will work with industry trade associations and product manufacturers to determine what minimum efficiency levels would be appropriate in the future.

Other goals include eliminating the perception of complexity, reducing the size, making it easier to use and see it being used on a voluntary basis, Spielvogel said. The committee encourages submission of public continuous maintenance proposals geared toward the three major goals of simplification, small buildings and stringency.

Spielvogel said any proposals should be submitted prior to the society’s 2002 Winter Meeting, Jan. 12-16, 2001, in Atlantic City, N.J.

“To publish a new American National Standards Institute approved standard in 2004 requires that virtually all new and revised content be approved by the committee for public review at the 2002 Annual Meeting, June 22-26, in Honolulu,” he said.

Those interested in submitting continuous maintenance proposals should visit the standards section on ASHRAE Online,