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Energy Newsbriefs Blog

This current awareness service is prepared by the WSU Energy Program Library with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program. This information is provided for energy professionals and interested members of the public to highlight recent energy-related news, articles, and reports that discuss energy efficiency, energy conservation, and renewable sources of energy in engineering and policy circles.


Category: Codes/Standards


Indoor Air Quality in Hospitals

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, July 2015, by Christopher J. Stipe.

"Hospitals and health care facilities must comply with ASHRAE and other regulatory standards with respect to air change rates, humidity requirements, and pressurization. ASHRAE Standard 62.1 is the most commonly referenced standard to meet appropriate HVAC system design. Other factors to consider include the use of UV light to reduce hospital-acquired infections, unique air requirements, and outdoor air systems."

Methodological Comparison of Cost-effectiveness of IECC Residential Energy Codes

ICF International, submitted to the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition, Jul. 21, 2015.

"ICF was asked to conduct an analysis of building energy codes, comparing life-cycle cost analysis (LCC) – the predominant method used to evaluate the cost effectiveness of energy codes and other public policies – with two other cost-effectiveness methods: simple payback and mortgage cash-flow. Since a significant proposal before Congress would designate simple payback as the principal basis for energy code cost-effectiveness, representing a departure from decades of policy analysis practice, it is important to provide a robust comparison of simple payback to the LCC and mortgage cash-flow methods. ...this study provides a rigorous, consistent, quantified comparison of these three methodologies."

2 Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Motor

Pumps & Systems, June 2015, by Mike Stockman.

"Every pump industry professional faces the challenge of choosing the most efficient system for a particular application. This process is complicated by the uncertainties of efficiency regulations, mandates and parameters, especially when efficiencies alone do not tell the whole story. Sometimes the most efficient motor is not the best choice. By using two simple calculations, pumping professionals can determine the best motor—as well as the best pump and drive—for each application."

Defining Indoor Air Quality: IAQ Means Different Things to Different People, Organizations

Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration News, June 8, 2015, by Joanna R. Turpin.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as "associations, such as ASHRAE, and individual states, including California and New Jersey, have put forward standards and regulations that address IAQ issues, but the definition of IAQ still remains somewhat nebulous. Perhaps that is because so many factors affect IAQ — everything from poor ventilation and high (or low) humidity to pesticides, mold, and radon. In addition, it can be a challenge to quantify proper IAQ, particularly when occupants in a space have varying tolerances to different contaminants and irritants."

LED Renovations and Retrofits: Evaluating Codes and Costs

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, May 2015, by Michael J. Mar and Robbie Chung.

"Clients are asking lighting designers to help them save on energy costs, and replacing fluorescent, HID, or other lights with LEDs is in high demand. Here’s a look at the codes and guidelines that define LED use, including ASHRAE Standard 90.1, California Title 24, Dept. of Energy, and IECC."

U.S. DOE Determination Regarding Energy Efficiency Improvements in the 2015 IECC

U.S. Department of Energy, Building Energy Codes Program, May 2015.

"In May, 2015, DOE issued a determination that the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) would achieve greater energy efficiency in residential buildings subject to the code. DOE estimates national savings in residential buildings of approximately:
  • 0.73% energy cost savings
  • 0.87% source energy savings
  • 0.98% site energy savings"

DOAS Gaining Traction in US [Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems]

Air conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, June 15, 2015, by Jen Anesi.

"Commercial building codes are mandating higher volumes of fresh-air intake than ever before. To help meet these ventilation requirements, more and more HVAC contractors and building owners are turning to dedicated outdoor air systems (DOAS). These systems most often run in parallel with other systems to deliver 100 percent outdoor air and handle latent loads. The units improve occupant health and comfort, and they are quickly gaining popularity in the U.S."

Fan-Efficiency Metrics

HPAC Engineering, May 2015, by Dustin Meredith and Jeanne Harshaw.

"Air Movement and Control Association (AMCA) International estimates fans account for 30 to 40 percent of commercial-building HVAC energy consumption. Improving fan efficiency, therefore, is an important step toward reducing global, overall energy use."

Selecting a Boiler for Heating, Process Loads

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Apr. 2015, by Bradley A. Pankow.

"Boilers for heating and domestic hot water systems are used in many nonresidential buildings and across educational, hospital, and industrial campuses. This article reviews the codes and standards that regulate boiler system specification and design, plus energy efficiency and efficacy of these boiler systems."

What Every TAB [Test-And-Balance] Technician Needs to Know About Indoor Air Quality

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Apr. 2, 2015, by William Carson Judge.

"Poor indoor air quality (IAQ) contributes to a substantial number of health problems. ASHRAE Standard 55-1992 addresses the most common factors related to the comfort of occupants within the space. This article outlines the guidelines."
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