ATLANTA - A new standard that establishes minimum requirements for performing load calculations has been published by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The standard was developed in conjunction with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA).

ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 183-2007, Peak Cooling and Heating Load Calculations in Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, is available for purchase at

Proper load calculations are the first step in any design process, said Chris Wilkins, chair of the committee that wrote the standard. “Efficiency and comfort are only possible if the equipment is selected to match the load.”

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. Requirements are nonprescriptive and are aimed at ensuring that developers of load calculation methodologies observe recognized good practices. The specifics in undertaking a load are left to the discretion of the industry professional by their selection and application of load methodologies that meet the standard.

“The industry recognized that we were the appropriate source for load calculation guidance, but the problem was that the ASHRAE Handbook was never intended to be a standard,” said Wilkins. “Standard 183 now provides an appropriate compliance reference that reconciles each organization’s needs.”

“We are pleased that the standard meets the needs of our members,” said Phil Forner, ACCA chairman. “ACCA wants contractors to have access to the most accurate, efficient, and effective design standards, and this will help contractors with commercial building load calculations.”

Publication date:04/23/2007