ASHRAE/DOE Team to Promote Building Energy Efficiency

ASHRAE/DOE Team to Promote Building Energy Efficiency

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Department of Energy (DOE) this week signed a memorandum of understanding that commits them to find ways to minimize the environmental impact of energy consumption in buildings.

The two groups hope to improve energy efficiency in buildings by 30 percent over 2004 levels by 2010.

"DOE and ASHRAE have been working together in advancing energy conservation technology since the initial energy crisis of the 1970s," Kent Peterson, ASHRAE president, said in a statement. "This new initiative provides an opportunity for ASHRAE and DOE to expand our collective energy conservation efforts, our energy conservation education initiatives and strategic research program focus in leading our country and the world toward a sustainable energy future. The agreement further enhances ASHRAE's ability and resolve of being a global engineering engine of sustainability."

The entities will support through training programs the implementation of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. It also wants to develop guidance to exceed Standard 90.1, which was developed in the 1970s in response to the energy crisis at the time.

"With ASHRAE's effort to increase the stringency of 90.1, ASHRAE needs greater analytical support on an increased frequency to gauge its progress to meet the 30 percent and future energy efficiency goals," ASHRAE Spokeswoman Jodi Dunlop told GreenBiz Thursday via email.

The groups will look at various avenues to improve building energy efficiency. One is to work through the building community and related professions to encourage "interoperability of building related software and integrated solutions."

Another involves educating building owners and managers about interrelationships between mechanical systems and building operating costs.

The education of future design professionals also is critical, ASHAE said. It and the DOE intend to encourage the study mathematics and science to precollege students, and promote the study of building design in college curricula. They also will try to foster continuing education for current design professionals.

Another goal involves collaborating on research into clean and renewable energy resources. New counter-terrorism design features also will be evaluated for operational, environmental and energy-related impacts.