Energy Legislation

ENERGY CODES AND FUTURE IMPACT
FEDERAL / STATE / LOCAL ENERGY CODES

The ongoing evolution in Building Code upgrades in the United States will continue to push the envelope on energy efficiency for building construction and operations.  Although the pace of these changes may seem faster than what you can keep informed about, they certainly are not yet the most aggressive energy codes already in use around the globe.

For more than 3 decades, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1 has been used as the basis for building energy codes in the United States and as a resource for codes elsewhere around the world.   The recently released 2010 version of ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is some 30% more stringent than 90.1-2004.  This soon to be adopted (by state and local jurisdictions) level of energy efficiency will not be easy to comply with by simply using high efficiency HVAC equipment.  Overall building systems integration will be a mandate.  Under ASHRAE 90.1-2010, lighting controls will play a significant role, there will be extensive building envelope and glass orientation revisions and sub-metering of Lighting, Plug Loads and HVAC Systems will be required.  (Building computer rooms will also be covered by the revised Standard).

The International Code Council (ICC) is the organization that creates the building construction codes related to life safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency that are used throughout the United States.  The ICC, in concert with the American Institute of Architects, ASTM International, ASHRAE, the USGBC and the Illuminating Engineering Society, has created the International Green Construction Code (IgCC).  This collaboration is not yet another “green” rating system, but it uses the “model” code approach and in a single code is applicable to new and existing building construction and the myriad of building occupancy classifications.

The IgCC recognizes the new ANSI 189.1 Sustainability Standard as an alternative compliance path.  ASHRAE, IES and the USGBC collaborated on the creation of this new Sustainability Standard. (www.ashrae.org/greenstandard).  Along with the various LEED Rating Systems, the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 Energy Standard is a basis for Standard 189.1.   However, ANSI/ASHRAE 189.1 will be 30% more “energy stringent” than Standard 90.1-2007 and it is expected to produce an approximate 40% reduction in water usage versus the baseline established by the U.S. EPAct 1992.

As defined by ASHRAE, “Standard 189.1 provides a ‘total building sustainability package’ for those who strive to design, build and operate green buildings. From site location to energy use to recycling, this standard sets the foundation for green buildings by addressing site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources”.

Achieving these continuously increasing levels of energy efficiency will require using an integrated approach to projects.  This process brings the collective wisdom of all members of the design and construction teams together.  In an integrated process, synergy among the various building systems (envelope, mechanical, electrical, etc.) is created.   It is in this (integrated) process that Heapy Engineering brings considerable expertise, innovation and creativity to your project!

OHIO LEGISLATION – HB 7, HB 251 and SB 221

House Bill 7 requires that buildings built using state funding must be one of the following: LEED Silver certified; certified at two green globes level or higher; or certified under any other nationally recognized green building rating standard equivalent to LEED or green globes.  In addition, HB 7 requires the achievement of an energy efficiency level of two either: 30% less than the ASHRAE current energy efficiency standards or have an Energy Star rating of 77 or greater.  The buildings that are exempt from this standard are: buildings less than 5,000 square feet, buildings that do not consume energy for HVAC purposes, or buildings that have construction costs less than $500,000.

House Bill 251 requires that State Colleges and Universities develop and implement strategies to achieve a 20% reduction in building energy consumption by 2014 using 2004 as the baseline year.

Senate Bill 221, passed in 2008, makes statewide changes to energy pricing and sources.   This Bill will significantly impact how utility providers in Ohio approach Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Projects.  Sinclair Community College needs to be well positioned to take advantage of the rebate and inventive programs that the utilities will offer.  Part of this legislation establishes an alternative energy portfolio standard that requires 25% of all electricity produced in Ohio to be generated from alternative fuel sources.  One-half (12.5%) must be met using renewable sources (ie: wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and biomass), the other half (12.5%) can be met via Energy Conservation strategies.

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