Energy Management

Raising energy efficiency highlighted at ASHRAE meeting


Sep 03, 2010

Raising efficiency to new levels was the focus of the ASHRAE 2010 Annual Conference held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Highlights of the meeting included ASHRAE’s receipt of Energy Star for its Headquarters in Atlanta, celebration of the 35th anniversary of publication of the energy conservation standard now known as Standard 90.1 and an update on the ASHRAE Building Energy Quotient program.

Some 1,456 attendees took part in the conference held June 26-30 in Albuquerque.

A highlight of the meeting was induction of the Society’s first female president, Lynn G. Bellenger, P.E., Fellow ASHRAE, partner, Pathfinder Engineers and Architects, Rochester, New York. Her presidential theme focuses on “Modeling a Sustainable World,” drawing attention to modeling tools that enable us to create and refine our vision of a building.

Another highlight was presentation of Energy Star by Jean Lupinacci, chief of the Energy Star Commercial and Industrial Branch, recognizing energy savings following the 2008 renovation of ASHRAE Headquarters. To earn Energy Star, ASHRAE, among other steps, reduced its estimated annual energy usage by more than 32.5% through enhancements to the building envelope and use of the following systems: dedicated outside air system with energy recovery, ground-source heat pumps and mini-split systems with heat recovery.

Together, ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America celebrated the 35th anniversary of publication of its energy conservation standard, now known as ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. Since being developed in response to the energy crisis in the 1970s, Standard 90 has become the basis for building codes, and the standard for building design and construction throughout the United States.

It was announced that ASHRAE, for a third year, had met its Research Promotion fundraising goal, hitting the $2,075,000 mark. The figure represents a 2% increase over last year. ASHRAE’s Research program has supported more than 700 projects in the last 50 years, addressing areas such as indoor air quality, refrigeration and energy efficiency.

Conference attendees also received an update on the Building EQ program, which currently is a pilot program designed to encourage the building industry to cut energy use and costs. Seventeen provisional assessors have spent the last couple of months assessing energy use, which is then provided in an easily understood scale to convey a building’s energy use in comparison to similar buildings, occupancy types and climate zone.

Top ASHRAE Learning Institute courses included Understanding Standard 189.1 for High-Performance Green Buildings and courses related to healthcare facility design.

Top-attended technical program sessions included a first look at proposed Standard 90.1-2010, retrofitting HVAC in older buildings for higher efficiency, evaluating the performance of existing buildings, evaporative cooling in high and dry climates, natural refrigerants, BIM load calculations, retrocommissioning, HVAC equipment needs for net-zero-energy homes, energy efficiency through building controls and building energy simulation. All of these sessions and others are available in the Albuquerque Virtual Conference.

Top-selling publications at the meeting were newly published standards, ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.2-2010, Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings, and ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2010, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality; the newly published Performance Measurement Protocols for Commercial Buildings, developed in collaboration with the Chartered Institution of Building Service Engineers (CIBSE) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC); Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings; and the ASHRAE Handbook Online. ASHRAE also debuted a new online bookstore on designed to make finding products and publications quicker and easier.

As part of the Conference, the Albuquerque Host Committee is working to bring hope to a local nonprofit to leave behind a lasting sustainable footprint in the cities where the Society’s Conferences are held. Casa Esperanza, or House of Hope, works with area hospitals to provide appropriate housing and emotional support for patients and their families who reside temporarily in Albuquerque while receiving treatment.

ASHRAE members are helping replace the organization’s central boiler, which charges a storage tank, with a new tank containing a solar heating coil. Solar collectors are being placed on the roof and provide the primary means of charging the storage tank. A new boiler is being installed to make up any capacity deficiencies, such as a night. All necessary design services are provided by local ASHRAE members, who are soliciting equipment and labor donations from manufacturer representative and contractors.

ASHRAE holds its 2011 Winter Conference, January 29-February 2 in Las Vegas, accompanied by the AHR Expo, January 31-February 2.