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New ASHRAE guide addresses cold climates

Thursday, October 15, 2015

ASHRAE has recently published its “Cold-Climate Buildings Design Guide,” to help designers face particular challenges related to buildings in colder, remote locales with limited utilities.

Quite often, such buildings in arctic and subarctic climates also face permafrost and extreme temperature changes and designers have to balance this with maintaining occupant comfort and lowering environmental impact.

“Harmonizing human comfort with the climatic realities of these environments is a balancing act,” said Erich Binder, team leader on the guide. “Strategic design is key to building, commissioning and operating efficient and long-lasting cold-climate structures.”

ASHRAE defines a cold climate as a combination of factors that create a unique set of building design obstacles. Such factors range from temperature and wind to humidity and thermal comfort. Guide writer Frank Mills says the book applies to all climates that have a heating season.

“We do cover the extreme cold climates very well, but we also have very useful information for any buildings which have heating for part of the year,” he said. “This covers a lot of climate regions – including Europe where I am.”

The book also covers sustainability, controls, building design, and commissioning, all from this climatic perspective. The book also includes an appendix with seven case studies of leading buildings located in cold and extreme cold climates.

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