HVAC Breaking News

Nov. 22, 2010: International Code Council Takes Action on HVAC Proposals

ATLANTA - International Code Council (ICC) building codes will incorporate requirements from a new inspection and maintenance standard from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) as well as match requirements from Standard 90.1 under several recent proposals approved by the ICC membership, announced ASHRAE.

Final action hearings took place to determine the final disposition on ASHRAE proposals to the ICC, which develops model codes that may be adopted by code jurisdictions in the United States or internationally. The actions taken will appear in the 2012 I-Codes, due out in April 2011.

Under a proposal to the International Mechanical Code (IMC), inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems will be required by ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 180-2008, Standard Practice for Inspection and Maintenance of Commercial Building HVAC Systems. The standard establishes minimum requirements for inspection and maintenance of HVAC systems to ensure proper functionality to save energy and money for the building owner in addition to preventing potential accidents by failing systems.

“Inclusion of Standard 180 in code documents is an important advance,” said Robert Baker, chair of the Standard 180 committee. “Proper maintenance is critical to preserving an HVAC system’s ability to continue to realize the energy efficiency capabilities that are designed into today’s systems. If we are to realize the vital energy independence goals that we have established, excellence in maintenance will be an important part of the package of things we must achieve.”

“Correctly designing and installing an HVAC system are only the first steps to proper performance of the system,” said John Sedine, president, Engineered Heating & Cooling, and ACCA chairman. “An HVAC system must be properly maintained or it does not perform as originally designed, contributing to unhealthy environments, consuming excess energy, and reducing comfort levels. ACCA congratulates the code enforcement community’s adoption of the ACCA/ASHRAE 180 Commercial Maintenance Standard, providing code officials with a nationally-recognized standard to which they can refer. This is an important step toward safer and more efficient commercial buildings.”

Also approved were proposed changes regarding energy stringency based on requirements in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. These changes include:

• Adding requirements for areas under skylights, including lighting controls in areas where skylights are used in order to take advantage of natural light in conditioned spaces.

• Modifying equipment efficiency requirements for heat rejection and heat transfer equipment including open and closed circuit cooling towers, chillers, unitary air conditioning and condensing units, unitary and applied heat pumps, singe package vertical air conditioners and packaged terminal air conditioners.

• Modifying the piping insulation requirements.

Also related to 90.1 was a proposal that rewrote the majority of the commercial chapter of the IECC. This proposal maintained the reference to the prescriptive requirements of Standard 90.1, and made the following requirements consistent with 90.1-2010:

• Fenestration leakage.

• Demand control ventilation.

• Energy recovery.

• Economizer efficiency.

• Lighting controls, including daylight zone controls and manual lighting controls.

• Lighting system functional testing.

• Building area and space by space lighting power densities.

The proposal calls for an additional path of compliance for water-cooled chillers and consolidation of and new requirements for some of the existing categories.

Publication date: 11/22/2010

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