ASHRAE Publishes Energy Performance Comparison Standard

A common basis for reporting building energy use and comparison of energy performance is available in a new standard announced on Aug. 27 by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

ANSI (American National Standards Institute)/ASHRAE Standard 105-2007, Standard Methods of Measuring, Expressing and Comparing Building Energy Performance, provides a method of energy performance comparison that can be used for any building, proposed or existing, and that allows different methods of energy analysis to be compared. This will help facilitate comparison, design and operation improvements and development of building energy performance standards, according to J. Michael MacDonald, chair of the committee that wrote the standard.

"ASHRAE is working to advance the development and understanding of these advanced building performance comparison methods," he said. "This standard provides a framework for assuring access by all interested parties to performance comparison or rating methods that are developed."

The biggest change to the standard, last published in 1999, is inclusion of building energy performance comparison, which is vital for energy efficiency efforts worldwide, he said. Past versions of the standard provided a basis for reporting energy use but had limited ability to express or compare performance.

MacDonald noted that existing standards and building rating systems include requirements related to energy performance comparison. He said the guidance in the standard progresses from energy use index (total annual energy use per square foot) to other indexes, such as energy use per hospital bed, and then to performance comparison frameworks.

The standard also identifies key characteristics that users should consider reporting when performance comparisons are of interest, such as the number of workers, weekly hours of operation, and annual cooling and heating degree days.

For more information, contact ASHRAE at http://www.ashrae.org.

Check out the archives of Environmental Protection for additional articles related to energy efficiency, including: "Report, Roadmap Focus On Energy Efficiency Practices at Data Centers."

This article originally appeared in the 09/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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