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On Location: ASHRAE Conference at AHR Expo—A Sustainable Future
Feb 1, 2007
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APPLIANCE was on location at the 2007 AHR Expo, held at the Dallas Convention Center, January 29-31. At an ASHRAE press conference, sustainability was at the top the agenda. The speakers related how ASHRAE is working to increase the stringency level of Standard 90.1, create a green building standard and develop advanced energy design guides that will result in net-zero energy use/carbon neutral buildings by 2020.
 
Hugh McMillan, P.E., chair of ASHRAE’s Technology Council, spoke of the advancement of sustainable building design and operations by improved energy efficiency. To that end, a goal has been set to improve the energy efficiency of Standard 90.1 by 30 percent over the 2004 version. Calling this modification “revolutionary, not evolutionary,” the revision increases the efficiency of the standard by five to seven percent over the 2004 baseline.
 
McMillian stated the ASHRAE is partnering with the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IENSA) in the development of Standard 90.1. The standard mainly comprises building envelope, mechanical equipment and lighting design aspects. For the 30-percent objective to be met, McMillian said that ASHRAE and its partners must push for improvement in materials for construction, compliance of manufacturers in the production of efficient products, and the education of architects, engineers and designers on how to apply these materials and products into buildings and systems that comply with the standard.
 
John Hogan, P.E., chair of the Standard 189 committee, spoke on the proposed Standard 189, Standard for the Design for High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, which is intended to supply a baseline for green building practices. It will apply to new commercial buildings and major residential projects, addressing sustainable sites, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, a building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. It is hoped that a draft of this standard will be ready for public review by April 2007.
 
Merle McBride, Ph.D., P.E., chair of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Retail Buildings, elaborated on the benefits of net-zero buildings, saying that the guide AEDG-SR contains information on the design, construction and operation of new buildings.
 
When asked about the economic impacts of such measures, ASHRAE President Terry Townsend said the economics will take care of itself, because energy savings costs will accompany the implementation of green technology. “90 percent of voters are willing to pay for energy efficiency if they get their money back in seven to eight years,” Townsend said.

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