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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


Energy Performance in Mission Critical Facilities

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Mar. 2015, by Bill Kosik.

"Mission critical facilities, such as data centers, are judged carefully on their energy use. Engineers should focus on the codes and standards that dictate energy performance and how building energy performance can be enhanced."

ACCA Initiates New Standard On HVAC System Design For Energy Efficient Homes

Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) Press Release, Mar. 23, 2015.

"The Air Conditioning Contractors of America Educational Institute (ACCA-EI) Standards Task Team (STT) announces the initiation of development of BSR/ACCA 16 Manual E-201x, “HVAC System Design for Energy Efficient Homes” as a new industry standard. This standard will provide procedures to design/select HVAC systems and equipment for low-load homes that will achieve satisfactory indoor conditions with lower equipment capacity; i.e., resolving ventilation and moisture requirements/issues with low air volume systems while addressing occupant comfort, health, and safety."

ACEEE Releases Tool for Including Building Codes in States’ Clean Power Plans

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) Press Release, Mar. 16, 2015.

"Today the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) released a step-by-step guide that helps states document and claim emissions reductions resulting from building energy codes as a means of complying with their obligations under the Clean Power Plan. The paper is the first in a series of guidance documents that demonstrate how a state can take advantage of energy efficiency in its compliance plan."

Industry Prepares for New Residential Water Heater Standards

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, Feb. 9, 2015, by Jen Anesi.

"New minimum energy-efficiency standards go into effect for nearly all residential gas and electric water heaters on April 16, 2015. The set of rigorous rules are the third generation of standards the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued for the equipment under the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987 (NAECA). While the new efficiency standards do not require manufacturers to use any specific technologies to achieve the new EF (energy factor) ratings, they’ve already necessitated a significant redesign effort from manufacturers."

Implications of the 2015 IECC Energy Rating Index (ERI)

Building Codes Assistance Project, Jan. 2015.

"Historically, the residential International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) has offered two main ways (or paths) for builders to demonstrate code compliance: prescriptive and performance. The 2015 IECC includes a third and new compliance path–the Energy Rating Index (ERI). The ERI provides flexibility for builders, but if weakened, becomes the path of least efficiency."

Additional IECC 2013 and 2015 adoption resources are available on the BCAP website at

How ASHRAE Standard 90.1 Contributes to Integrated Design

Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Feb. 2015, by Rodney V. Oathout, and Ruairi Barnwell.

"ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is under continuous maintenance. This article focuses on the recent evolution of this standard, the impact on energy and performance, the design process, and how human interaction can improve energy efficiency."

ASHRAE/IES Proposes Expansion of Climate Zones for Energy Standard [ASHRAE 90.1]

ASHRAE Press Release, Dec. 16, 2014.

"New proposed climate data could make the ASHRAE/IES energy standard more applicable for global use. Addendum w is one of 10 proposed addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, open for public comment starting Dec. 5, 2014. The proposed addendum closes for review Jan. 19, 2015."

[ASHRAE] 90.1 and Designing High Performance Commercial Kitchen Ventilation Systems

ASHRAE Journal, Nov. 2014, by Don Fisher.

"...regardless of the limits to energy efficiency, ASHRAE through its technical committees and industry support has moved the North American CKV design world from the dark ages to the front-of-the-pack. Furthermore, the inclusion of commercial kitchen ventilation within Standard 90.1 has caught the attention of the HVAC design community. We believe that the CKV system design has taken a positive step forward as a result of the Standard 90.1 initiative. Provided the designer understands the implications, limits and subtleties of the best practice options, one can cost-effectively increase the energy efficiency of CKV systems in concert with improving thermal comfort in the kitchen."

Energy Codes for Ultra-Low-Energy Buildings: A Critical Pathway to Zero Net Energy Buildings

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Dec. 2014, by Jennifer Thorne Amann.

"A zero net energy (ZNE) building is a home or commercial building that on average produces as much energy as it uses, achieved through energy efficiency and renewable technologies.  Building energy codes can help us transition to ZNE construction for new residential and commercial buildings by 2030. We will need to expand the scope of codes to capture all building energy uses, address whole building systems instead of focusing on individual components, and shift our focus from building design to actual building energy use by adopting outcome-based codes."

Energy-efficient Design with Masonry Construction

The Construction Specifier, Nov. 2014, by Richard Filloramo.

"Masonry materials and wall assemblies, with their inherent thermal mass characteristics, provide designers with many options to achieve efficient designs. Architects and engineers have to make new decisions to reduce their projects’ energy consumption, requiring close collaboration and coordination with building and energy codes, along with construction documents."


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