ATLANTA - International building codes may soon incorporate requirements from a new load calculation standard from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) under several recent proposals now under consideration.

ASHRAE made 15 proposals to the International Code Council (ICC), which develops model codes that may be adopted by code jurisdictions in the United States or internationally. After a public comment period of the committee recommendations of proposals, final hearings for the code change proposals will take place in September 2008. If the proposals are accepted, they would be included in the 2009 code.

Under a proposal to both the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), references to load calculation guidance in the ASHRAE Handbook, Fundamentals, would be replaced with requirements from a new ASHRAE standard developed with ACCA, ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 183-2007, Peak Cooling and Heating Load Calculations in Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. The standard establishes minimum requirements for building loads that are inclusive of as many procedural methods as possible while identifying core elements that impact heat loss and gains.

“The guidance in the ASHRAE Handbook was never intended to serve as a reference document to codes,” said Steve Ferguson, ASHRAE assistant manager of standards – codes. “Standard 183 provides an appropriate consensus reference standard that is appropriate for adoption in the ICC codes.”

Also, related to ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, was a proposal to modify chiller requirements. The proposal calls for, effective Jan. 1, 2010, an additional path of compliance for water-cooled chillers and consolidation of, and new requirements, for some of the existing categories.

Also approved was a proposal from ASHRAE to add new refrigerant classifications to the IMC from ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2007, Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants.

Publication date:03/24/2008