More efficient design and deployment of building energy systems will result from expanded and updated climatic condition information being developed for the ASHRAE Handbook, Fundamentals.

Climatic condition data is used in the design, sizing, distribution, installation and marketing of cooling, heating and dehumidification equipment, as well as for other energy-related processes in residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial applications. Research to compile the expanded and updated (both geographically and content) information was approved for funding by ASHRAE at its 2003 Winter Meeting held in Chicago, January 25-29, 2003.

ASHRAE approved funding totaling $575,383 for seven research projects in the areas of design tools, operation and maintenance tools, IAQ, comfort and health, refrigeration, environmentally safe materials, and energy conservation at the meeting.

Among them is 1273-TRP, Update the Climatic Design Conditions in the ASHRAE Handbook, Fundamentals. The principal investigator is Robert Humphries, Ph.D., Levelton Engineering Ltd., Richmond, BC, Canada. The project is expected to take 15 months to complete at a cost of $136,600.

The research will be completed in time for the information to be included in the 2005 edition of the Handbook. It will include updated values of percentiles calculated from recent historical weather data sets, expansion of the number of geographical locations and monthly percentiles to include all locations and additional climatic elements.

In response to the needs of the HVAC community, ASHRAE has added data in recent years for several hundred additional international locations as well as extensive other information, such as percentiles of dew point and wind speed. The Handbook currently contains conditions for 1,459 locations around the world.