By Chad Edmondson
It’s hard to believe the end of summer is only a few weeks away. It’s a stark reminder of how quickly time passes – and how quickly October 18, 2013 will also be here.
(What? That date doesn’t ring a bell?)
It should. October 18, 2013 is the official date by which all states are required to certify that they have updated their commercial building codes to meet or exceed the new energy efficiency of ASHRAE 90.1 – 2010.
This is BIG
We’ve looked over these standards closely and can say with absolute certainty that this will have a major impact on mechanical contractors, engineers, and building owners. Over the next several weeks (and months) we’ll zero in on the specific changes that impact our area interest, which is waterside design. In the meantime, we wanted to give you a quick “heads-up” on some of the most profound changes that JMP has noted – changes that you need to be anticipating.
For starters, you should know that this standard, along with its successors are part of a joint initiative of ASHRAE and the Department of Energy (DOE) to push commercial buildings toward net zero performance – meaning that building should produce as much energy from renewable resources as they consume. So, if you haven’t started familiarizing yourself with wind turbines, water turbines, solar, biomass, and/or geothermal you might want to start.
How soon are we supposed to get to Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB)? It depends on whom you ask, but it would seem the federal government and the ASHRAE Board of Directors both have 2030/31 in mind. Greener standards, including the Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDG) are aimed at 2016.
In the meantime, there are changes within ASHRAE 90.1 -2010 that will impact commercial building codes no later than the third quarter of next year! Here are some particularly notable changes:
- Performance tested heat exchangers. Plate type liquid-to-liquid heat exchangers must be certified under AHRI 400 – 2008
- Mandatory pressure drop calculations. Engineers must calculate pressure drops through each device and pipe segment in the critical circuit at design conditions to size pumps.
- Mandatory economizers. With the exception of climate zones 1A (southern Florida) and 1B (southwest Arizona) air or water economizers will become mandatory on systems with a cooling capacity of greater than 54,000 Btu/h.
- Integrated economizer control. Economizer systems must be integrated with the mechanical cooling system and be capable of providing partial cooling even when additional mechanical cooling is required to meet the cooling load. It is important to note that this requirement will impact the sizing of cooling towers and the piping arrangements in many systems, depending on the cooling load. We’ll be exploring this in greater detail in some upcoming blogs.
Helping You Make Change
This is just a snapshot of the more dramatic changes to building codes that are just around the corner. No doubt, we will all be making adjustments. The good news is that JMP is equipped with the tools and products to help all of you achieve a smooth transition. Furthermore, we will be introducing several new seminars that address these changes in specific detail. These seminars will be available in person and online.
So, while ASHRAE 90.1 – 2010 may seem a bit overwhelming, rest assured that JMP is doing everything we can to help our customers adjust quickly.
In the meantime – if you have any particular questions about ASHRAE 90.1 – 2010, please don’t hesitate to contact us or post them for discussion in the comment section below.