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Building Up Energy: DOE Targets Federal Facilities, Schools

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released new standards and guidelines aimed at making schools and federal facilities more energy efficient.

In February, the DOE released the first volume in a series of guidelines, Energy Design Guidelines for High Performance Schools: Hot and Dry Climates. The guidelines are designed to help K-12 schools save on annual energy costs.

The document includes case studies that describe such energy-efficient practices as daylighting and passive solar heating already in place at schools across the country. New construction practices and technologies, and energy-efficient renovations outlined in the series are designed to reduce the $6 billion in energy costs K-12 schools ring up each year.

The DOE will release six more sets of guidelines geared toward specific U.S. climate zones by summer 2002. For more information, visit www.energy.gov

The DOE’s Office of Building Technology, State and Community Programs (BTS) recently announced that the department is developing a more progressive commercial building energy standard called the Next Generation FEDCOM. Also, by 2003, federal facilities will have to meet more stringent energy-efficiency standards.

The existing federal commercial-building energy standard (FEDCOM) is mandatory for federal buildings. The department has updated that standard to reflect the codified version of the ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1989 to be closer to the existing voluntary sector code.

The Next Generation FEDCOM targets the goal of 30 percent energy savings over 1985 building practices and consumption. That goal was not fully met when federal sector life-cycle cost analyses and economic assumptions were applied to traditional code development. The new standard also meets minimum life-cycle cost criteria and can serve as a model code for use by states and local jurisdictions.

The current federal standard covers requirements for: building envelopes; heating, cooling, ventilation, and service water-heating equipment; and lighting systems in all new federal commercial buildings. Plug loads are not covered, leaving a substantial gap in the potential coverage and energy savings potential associated with building energy codes and standards.



Supply Side

New Chiller Service Enables Off-Site Performance Monitoring

A new service program from The Trane Co. allows the company’s engineers to monitor customers’ chillers to ensure they perform to managers’ expectations for comfort, reliability and efficiency.

When a deviation exists and is identified, the local Trane office responsible for managing the system is advised of the situation and then works with the customer to establish a solution.

Trane expects to launch the EarthWiseTM service, which will be available with Trane’s S-series EarthWise CenTraVacTM chiller, in 2003.



Regulatory Alert

Safety Spotlight: Exit Devices, Refrigeration

Managers with recently heightened interest in safety and security should check out a new standard from the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association

Also included are revisions of parts of A156.5 Auxiliary Locks, which include increased performance requirements with respect to the recommended tests and a slam test.

Also, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recently updated the title and scope of ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 15-2001, Safety Standard for Refrigerating Systems. The updated standard includes absorption refrigeration machines and water as a refrigerant.

The standard establishes procedures for operating equipment and systems to ensure the safety of building occupants and system technicians. More information about this action online.

(BHMA) — ANSI/BHMA A156.29 standard for exit devices, locks and alarms — which establishes general requirements, as well as operational tests and finish tests, for exit locks and alarms.

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  posted on 4/1/2002   Article Use Policy

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