International building codes soon might incorporate requirements from a new load-calculation standard from the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) under several recent proposals.
ASHRAE made 15 proposals to the International Code Council (ICC), which develops model codes jurisdictions in the United States or internationally can adopt. After a public-comment period on the committee recommendations of proposals, final hearings for the code-change proposals will take place in September 2008. If accepted, the proposals would become part of the 2009 code.
Under a proposal to both the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), requirements from a new ASHRAE standard developed with ACCA, ANSI/ASHRAE/ACCA Standard 183-2007, Peak Cooling and Heating Load Calculations in Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, would replace references to load-calculation guidance in the ASHRAE handbook, Fundamentals.
The standard establishes minimum requirements for building loads that include as many procedural methods as possible, while identifying core elements that impact heat loss and gains.
The ICC also approved proposed changes regarding lighting stringency based on requirements in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. These changes include:
• Adding exceptions for typical lighting requirements, which would eliminate conflicts with the code and with commonly applied and accepted lighting-design practices
• Allowing calculation of track-lighting wattage, which provides an important practical application. Without this provision, users might have to claim more wattage than the maximum of amount of the application.
• Modifying lighting-power allowances, which would eliminate issues in the allowance section through appropriate and practical application of these additional allowances. While simplifying the application, it also will increase energy savings.
Also related to 90.1 was a proposal to modify chiller requirements. The proposal calls for, effective Jan. 1, 2010, an additional path of compliance for water-cooled chillers and consolidation of, and new requirements, for some of the existing categories.
The ICC also approved a proposal from ASHRAE to add new refrigerant classifications to the IMC from ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 34-2007, Designation and Safety Classification of Refrigerants.