Under the federal Energy Policy Act of 1992
(EPAct 1992), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) mandates that states' building codes must, as a minimum requirement, conform to ASHRAE regulations. Since 1975, ASHRAE has published a series of energy efficiency standards covering all buildings except low-rise residential buildings. In October 2011, DOE issued a final determination that ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010
would achieve greater energy efficiency than ASHRAE Standard 90.1- 2007; therefore, states, as required by EPAct 1992, had to certify that their building energy codes or standards met or exceeded the requirements of ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2010 within two years. Consequently, all states are required to update their commercial building codes by October 2013 to reflect this standard. However, with the new UCC adoption process in place, Pennsylvania declined to adopt IECC 2012
, on the grounds that it will discourage construction activity in Pennsylvania due to the higher upfront costs of meeting the stricter standards.
However, in both Federal Commercial Projects and projects falling under LEED v4, ASHRAE 90.1 2010 Standards must be met or exceeded. In the case of Federal Commercial projects, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a new final rule that requires new federal commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings to meet or exceed by 30% (if life-cycle cost-effective) ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The requirements apply to new federal buildings for which design for construction begins on or after one year from July 9, 2013 (the date the regulation was issued).
In the case of projects seeking LEED v4, which is scheduled to be released in November 2013, LEED v4 references ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010 as the basis of design which deems it as a requirement on LEED projects in the state of PA. This version is expected to have an Energy + Atmosphere Credit category (Energy + Atmosphere Credits) in order to promote using innovative strategies to obtain better building energy performance. Projects will earn points, within this category, based on achieving the minimum requirements of ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010 as a prerequisite.
This 2010 version of ASHRAE is very comprehensive in terms of controls, requiring automatic shutoff, space controls, bi-level control and daylight harvesting just to mention a few.
In addition to certain mandatory provisions, the ASHRAE energy standard provides a list of control options that are not required for compliance, but may be used to achieve additional lighting power allowances which may contribute to energy savings needed to earn LEED Energy + Atmosphere points. The number of points a project earns determines the level of LEED Certification that the project will receive.
Table 9.6.2 in the standard identifies 12 advanced control options that, depending on the control option, can be applied to open offices, private offices, meeting rooms, classrooms, retail sales areas and certain public spaces. The controls options mentioned in Table 9.6.2 of the standard reduce lighting power density and may be used to obtain additional lighting power allowances based on a control factor calculated using the standard's Space by Space Method. Instead of claiming the additional lighting power allowance for use elsewhere in the building, the energy savings from the reduced lighting power density may be used to contribute to earning LEED Energy + Atmosphere
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