ATLANTA - The International Code Council (ICC) recently approved several proposals from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Following ICC’s actions, international building codes will now incorporate requirements from a new inspection and maintenance standard from ASHRAE and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) as well as match requirements from Standard 90.1.

Final action hearings took place during the last week of October 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 next 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, which will 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, 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.” He continued, “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.

Publication date:12/20/2010