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ASHRAE Publishes 2004 Residential Energy Standard
Dec 15, 2004
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The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) published its 2004 Residential Energy Standard.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.2-2004, Energy-Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings, provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of residential buildings.

According to ASHRAE, the new standard now contains only the essential information necessary to design and enforce energy conservation requirements by reducing the number of tables needed to apply envelope provisions and simplifying the application. More than 45 figures and tables regarding thermal envelope provisions were replaced with two tables.

"Those who use energy codes that govern one- and two-family dwellings and low-rise multifamily structures indicated that they needed a standard that was simpler and less design intensive," said Steve Skalko, chair of the committee that wrote the standard. "Standard 90.2-2004 represents a major overhaul in formatting and improvements in energy conservation provisions."

The new standard also contains a normative appendix that allows users to comply with the prescriptive envelope provisions by applying an envelope trade-off procedure as an alternative. Existing climate tables were replaced with a new map and tables of the U.S. that illustrates the eight primary zones considered representative of climate zones most applicable for current-day energy standards. The section was also expanded to include international data.

Other changes include: provisions to permit slab edge insulation to be omitted in areas of the United States where termite infestation is known to be heavy; provisions to permit users to consider the use of high-albedo roofs in hot and hot-humid climates in order to reduce air-conditioning energy use; and the removal of provisions for manufactured housing as energy conservation for these types of residential dwellings is already covered by federal requirements, which preempt energy codes and standards such as 90.2.

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