Energy costs are typically the second highest operating expense for a retailer, so use of the latest 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide can help in creating a cost-effective design for medium to big box retail stores and can have a direct and significant impact on profitability.

For a discount on energy efficiency, owners, engineers, designers, architects, and others on the building team are encouraged to download Advanced Energy Design Guide for Medium to Big Box Retail Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net-Zero-Energy Building. The Guide applies to medium to big box retail buildings with gross floor areas between 20,000 and 100,000 sq. ft.; however, many of the recommendations also can be applied to smaller or larger retail buildings.

It is the third book in a series of Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) publications that provides recommendations to achieve 50% energy savings when compared with the minimum code requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

“When the comfort of a customer can impact a purchase in a shopping environment, it’s important for retail stores to find a balance between energy efficient measures for the building and the convenience for their customers,” Shanti Pless, chair of the AEDG project committee, said. “This guide offers guidance and tips for implementing successful energy savings strategies while enhancing the shopping experience.”

The new guide features easy-to-follow recommendations for each of the U.S. climate zones and tips on how to implement those recommendations.  Case studies and technology examples provide real-life examples of how retailers have achieved significant energy savings.

Also included is information on integrated design, including best practices as a necessary component in achieving 50% energy and the inclusion of a performance path -- specifically, offering annual energy use targets to help with setting goals.

Additional design tips include:

  • Information on integrating absolute energy use targets into the design process.
  • Retail-specific whole-building and technology case studies.
  • Different vestibule configurations to reduce outdoor air infiltration.
  • Different ways to daylight sales floors, storage areas, offices and conference/break rooms.
  • Methods to achieve space-by-space interior lighting power densities that are, on average, 45% better than Standard 90.1-2004.
  • Sample design layouts and recommendations for ambient lighting, perimeter lighting, and accent lighting; including LED display lighting.
  • Ways to reduced exterior (façade, walkway, parking lot and drive) lighting energy consumption.
  • Recommendations for reduction and control of sales floor plug loads, office equipment, security system plug loads, vending machines, illuminated signs, and service water heating.
  • HVAC rooftop unit configuration and zoning strategies.
  • HVAC ventilation air control strategies.
  • Recommendations for commissioning and measurement and verification to ensure that energy savings potentials are realized.

The book was developed by a committee representing a diverse group of energy professionals drawn from ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES), the Department of Energy (DOE) and the USGBC.

ASHRAE, AIA, IES, DOE and USGBC are currently developing the fourth and final guide in the 50% series, which will focus on large hospitals and which should be available in the spring of 2012. The guide follows the earlier six-book series that provided guidance to achieve 30% savings. The ultimate goal is to provide guidance to achieve net-zero-energy buildings.

Advanced Energy Design Guide for Medium to Big Box Retail Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net-Zero-Energy Buildingis available as a free download at A print version is available for $82 ($69, ASHRAE members). To order, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at 1-800-527-4723 (United States and Canada) or 404-636-8400 (worldwide), fax 404-321-5478. Bulk discounts are available to individuals, companies and organizations who are interested in purchasing multiple copies.