ASHRAE explores achievable energy savings

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Researchers exploring achievable energy savings in commercial and multifamily buildings have identified 30 measures that could collectively outperform the ASHRAE 90.1 standard for energy use by nearly 48 per cent. The recently completed ASHRAE-sponsored study, based on the theoretical premise that upfront capital costs would not be a factor in construction decisions, modelled a range of advanced and commonly used building systems and equipment in an effort to gauge technically attainable targets toward the ultimate goal of net-zero energy.

“These targets will indicate to building design professionals what may be achieved if the first cost is not considered, and challenge the creativity of those professionals to achieve similar results in actual designs with the real-world constraints of first costs,” says Jason Glazer, lead researcher and principal engineer with GARD Analytics. “It is useful to understand how far energy efficiency measures can go to reduce the use of energy in the built environment.”

The project is aligned with ASHRAE Vision 2020 for producing net-zero energy buildings. Starting with a list of nearly 400 measures, researchers scoped it to 30 that could be applied in at least one of five energy-saving outcomes: reducing internal loads; reducing building envelope loads; reducing distribution losses in HVAC systems; reducing HVAC equipment energy consumption; and HVAC reconfiguration. Measures were modelled in 16 prototype buildings and tested across 17 climate zones for a total of 272 possible scenarios.

“Many of the measures used in the project are widely available today,” Glazer notes.

These include:

  • LED exterior lighting
  • Highest efficiency office equipment
  • High-performance lighting (LED)
  • Shift from general to task illumination
  • Optimal daylighting control
  • Optimal roof insulation level
  • Optimal choice of vertical fenestration
  • External light shelves
  • Daylighting control by fixture
  • High-performance fans
  • High-performance ducts to reduce static pressure
  • Demand controlled ventilation/CO2 controls
  • Multiple-zone VAV system ventilation optimization
  • Optimal water/air cooling coils
  • Occupant sensors for air handling equipment
  • Energy recovery ventilators
  • Indirect evaporative cooling
  • High-efficiency/variable speed packaged DX cooling
  • High-efficiency heat pumps
  • Ground source heat pump
  • High-efficiency and variable speed chillers
  • Heat recovery from chillers
  • High-efficiency boilers
  • High-efficiency building transformers
  • Chilled/cooled beam
  • Dedicated outside air system with heat recovery
  • Underfloor air distribution
  • Hybrid/mixed mode ventilation
  • Radiant heating and cooling and DOAS
  • Variable refrigerant flow air conditioning

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