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Nov. 10, 2011: New Design Guide Shows How Schools Can Achieve 50 Percent Energy Savings

November 10, 2011
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ATLANTA — The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has announced the availability of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Energy Building. The guide is the second to be released in a series which provides recommendations to achieve 50 percent energy savings when compared with the minimum code requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings.

Advanced Energy Design Guides, or AEDGs, enable owners, contractors, consulting engineers, architects, and designers to achieve advanced levels of energy savings without detailed energy modeling or analyses, said ASHRAE. Jointly developed by ASHRAE, the American Institute of Architects, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the U.S. Department of Energy, the guides are available for free download.

“Significant research demonstrates that the quality of the physical environment affects student performance,” said Shanti Pless, chair of the steering committee. “An environment that includes appropriate lighting, sound, temperature, humidity, cleanliness, color, and air quality can help students learn better. In many cases, improving these attributes can also reduce energy use.”

According to ASHRAE, the new guide features easy-to-follow recommendations for various climate zones and how to implement tips via a series of real-life school construction case studies. Also included is information on integrated design, including best practices, as a necessary component in achieving 50 percent energy savings, and the inclusion of a performance path; specifically, offering guidance for early stage energy modeling and annual energy use targets to help with goal setting.

Additional design tips include:

• A high-performance building envelope that is better than Standard 90.1-2004.

• Three different HVAC system types that achieve significant energy savings over a typical system.

• Recommendations for walk-in refrigeration equipment, kitchen exhaust hoods, and service water heating.

• Recommendations for commissioning and measurement and verification to ensure that energy savings potentials are realized.

The AEDG also addresses the notion that energy efficient buildings are more expensive.

“Owners should not expect energy-efficient schools to cost more; they can cost more, but they shouldn’t have to. The tips, guidelines, and tables included in the newest AEDG for K-12 schools can set building owners on their way to more energy efficient, productive schools in a cost efficient manner,” Pless said.

The Advanced Energy Design Guide series on 50 percent savings follows an earlier six-book series that provided guidance to achieve 30 percent savings. The ultimate goal is to provide guidance to achieve net zero energy buildings; that is, designing buildings that, on an annual basis, produce as much energy as they consume.

The third guide in the 50 percent series will focus on medium/big box retail, and is targeted for publication this winter. A guide for large hospitals is scheduled for spring of 2012.

Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings: Achieving 50% Energy Savings Toward a Net Zero Energy Building is available for free download at www.ashrae.org/freeaedg.

Publication date: 11/07/2011

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