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ASHRAE Journal Podcast Episode 33

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Glenn Friedman, P.E., Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE; Jamie Kono, P.E., Associate Member ASHRAE; and Mike Williams, Member ASHRAE

Live From AHR Expo 2024 - Standard 100-2024 Updates

Live from the 2024 AHR Expo show floor, join Glenn Friedman, Jamie Kono, Mike Williams and Drew Champlin as they discuss recent updates to Standard 100-2024 and how decarbonization initiatives have been shaping the industry. The new edition of Standard 100 addresses key issues of climate change surrounding building performance, including new metrics for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets, continuing to carry the heavy weight of improving our existing building stock and meeting global climate change commitments.

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Interested in reaching the global HVACR engineering leaders with one program? Contact Greg Martin at 01 678-539-1174 | gmartin@ashrae.org.

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  • Host Bio

    Drew Champlin

    Drew Champlin is editor of ASHRAE Journal. He has more than 20 years of experience in the journalism industry, ranging from sports writing to engineering publications.

  • Guest Bio

    Glenn Friedman, P.E., Fellow/Life Member ASHRAE, is a Principal at Taylor Engineers, a renowned mechanical consulting firm in Alameda, California. He has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a Professional Engineer in the State of California. Glenn ran the family design/build contracting business for 20-years before joining Taylor Engineering as a Principal in 1999.

    Glenn is heavily involved in ASHRAE. He serves nationally as the Vice Chair of Standard 100 Energy Efficiency for Existing Buildings; a Voting Member of Technical Committee TC 9.10 Labs; a Voting Member of Standard 15 Safety Standard for Refrigeration Systems; the Standards and Seminar Chair for Technical Committee TC4.1, Load Calculations; and locally as the Golden Gate Chapter President. Glenn is actively involved in several ASHRAE research project committees. His industry experience also includes being the 1996 National Past Chair of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), and he also served for more than a decade on the Board of Directors for the California State ACCA Chapter.

    Glenn is a US Green Building Council (USGBC) LEED® Accredited Professional. His varied experience includes being a certified balance professional and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley Extension Program.

    Jamie Kono, P.E., Associte Member ASHRAE, is a Building Research Engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) where she supports U.S. Department of Energy decarbonization efforts, including building performance standard technical assistance, residential energy efficiency workforce development and decarbonization support for federal agencies. Her background includes energy auditing large existing commercial buildings and residential energy efficiency research. Jamie is an active member of ASHRAE Standard 100 and leads efforts to add GHG emissions performance to the standard. She is the 2022 recipient of Journal Paper of the Year for her ASHRAE Journal article, “Increasing Ventilation in 1980s High-Rise Commercial Office Buildings.”

    Mike Williams, Member ASHRAE, leads the Service Agreement portfolio for Trane Technologies for the North American region. He has held multiple roles within Trane over his 12 years in the commercial HVAC Industry and is a graduate of Virginia Tech. He has expertise in service, maintenance, operations and product management.

  • Transcription

    Drew Champlin:

    Welcome to this ASHRAE Journal Podcast recording. My name's Drew Champlin, I'm the ASHRAE Journal editor. I've got three members of the Standard 100 Committee to talk about recent updates to the standards and how the updates can be applied. And this will be published in early February. You can search for ASHRAE Journal Podcast on any podcast platform, search and subscribe, share with your friends. But yeah, I've got Glenn Friedman, Jamie Kono, and Mike Williams here as guests. I'll let you guys introduce yourselves.

    Glenn Friedman:

    Well, good day everyone. My name's Glenn Friedman and I'm a consulting engineer. I'm the Vice Chair of Standard 100 and have been a voting member of the committee for a good dozen years now. My experience spans new and existing buildings, including commissioning and retro commissioning.

    Jamie Kono:

    And I'm Jamie Kono. I am a research engineer at Pacific Northwest National Lab. I've been with Standard 100 committee about five years now and have been very involved with some of the recent updates.

    Mike Williams:

    Good afternoon. I'm Mike Williams. I'm a senior product manager for Trane, and my background is in service and maintenance of HVAC equipment and controls.

    Drew Champlin:

    All right, to get us started here, Mike, can you explain to me what Standard 100 is, in a few words, kind of lay the foundation for us?

    Mike Williams:

    Absolutely. I think that's a great place to start, Drew. So Standard 100 is the standard for energy efficiency in existing buildings. It's actually the only ASHRAE standard that is written to be adopted by an authority-habiting jurisdiction that focuses entirely on existing buildings. So the standard provides criteria for both owners and code enforcement officials that will result in reduced energy consumption and reduced carbon emissions through improved energy efficiency and performance in existing buildings. So the standards is directed towards providing procedures and programs essential to energy-efficient operation maintenance, management and monitoring to increase the energy efficiency of the energy-using systems and components as well as the necessary compliance forms to be used as a regulatory standard.

    Jamie Kono:

    And we're used to energy codes for new construction, but we don't have a lot going on with existing buildings. So Standard 100 addresses managing the energy performance of existing buildings, really helping existing buildings that are out here right now really build their energy performance as we have that need with newer carbon goals, newer energy efficiency goals, newer technology that allows buildings to become more energy efficient, but also it helps usher new buildings into becoming efficient operating buildings because of course, the only time that a building consumes energy is when it is an existing building, when it would be under Standard 100.

    Drew Champlin:

    Okay, well, then what's new with Standard 100? Why are we talking to you guys today?

    Glenn Friedman:

    There's some history there and so what's new is a great question, but let me start off with the foundation of Standard 100, has been around since 1995. It's a building efficiency standard and turning into a Building Performance Standard. In 2009, the ASHRAE president, Gordon Holness decided that existing building energy performance was of major impact and he wanted to see an update to Standard 100 to be able to use that as a tool by industry. So Standard 100 was updated and then again updated several times after that with the most recent publication being January 2024. This month is the latest update of Standard 100. So ASHRAE has been a real leadership force in building performance for years in modeling of buildings in minimum requirements for new construction. So Standard 100 was exciting because so much of the existing building stock had been neglected in terms of building performance.

    Drew Champlin:

    The Building Performance Standard, and that's something I've been hearing about more and more recently. Jamie, can you tell us a little bit more about what a Building Performance Standard is and what's happening with them? And then the relationship with the standard?

    Jamie Kono:

    Yeah. At their core, Building Performance Standards are policies that existing buildings, it requires them to reduce their energy use or carbon emissions over time. And the real value with Standard 100 and with Building Performance Standards is that it is based on measured energy use. So you really have to prove you're building performance. It's not, you've got to hold essentially a building accountable for the energy that it's using. The first few BPSs or Building Performance Standards were passed by District of Columbia, New York City, Washington State, and Washington State in particular uses Standard 100 as its basis. As of right now, we have four states and 12 cities in the US that have passed Building Performance Standards, but also we have 34 additional cities and states that are part of the national Building Performance Standard Coalition, and they have made commitments to adopt Building Performance Standards in the future.

    Glenn Friedman:

    So that's getting towards what your original question was, Drew, about what's new. And I do want to highlight what we've done in this latest update, and that was our chance to bring greenhouse gas emissions into the conversation along with energy. So the Building Performance Standard now covers energy and emissions. It's been a model Building Performance Standard the way it was written to be code ready to be brought into use by jurisdictions. And it's very satisfying to see that starting to roll out in numerous places. And with the awareness of greenhouse gas emissions of climate change, it feels like we're just over the hump of adoption, which is very exciting.

    Jamie Kono:

    Yeah. We just had a committee meeting this morning where we heard from Washington State, folks at Washington State and at Oregon State about their Building Performance Standards. Washington's is really in full swing right now and Oregon is just starting up their process. And as people that are really invested in Standard 100 have put a lot of time and effort into it, it's one of the most exciting things.

    Drew Champlin:

    Yeah. To let everybody know, we're talking about the recent updates to ASHRAE Standard 100, three people on the SSPC 100 committee right here. Jamie, you guys mentioned carbon and decarbonization. Why is decarbonization important for existing buildings and how does Standard 100 address this?

    Jamie Kono:

    So I believe the stat is that worldwide buildings account for about 40% of global carbon emissions. It's a huge portion that's contributing to climate change, to changes in our environment and this operational energy, like I said before, it all comes from existing buildings. We need to remember new construction is the perfect time to make cost-effective decisions about upgrading equipment, but ultimately we're stuck with the buildings that we have. And so when you move, say from ASHRAE 90.1, which is a new construction standard, we now need to move into how are we going to regulate existing buildings as they come out and start using energy.

    Mike Williams:

    And furthermore, in the US and other countries standards like 90.1, we've had great success in lowering building energy use by requiring the efficient construction and the technologies when a building is built. But how do we ensure existing buildings are operating efficiently? So Standard 100 allows jurisdictions to evaluate their actual performance of their built buildings to help them towards their efficiency in emissions goals. A lot of people ask about older buildings that need retrofits to decarbonize. Estimates are saying that 75% of buildings today will still be standing in 2050 and Standard 100 provides the framework to require these buildings to improve efficiency and lower emissions.

    Drew Champlin:

    Well, how does Standard 100 differ from other ASHRAE standards?

    Glenn Friedman:

    The most exciting part about that difference is that it's looking at existing operations. So it's not a model. And you can take a building that was designed to be very efficient, but the proof is what the actual consumption of that building is. So if you leave the doors open to the outdoors, you leave the lights on overnight, you're going to use significantly more energy than if you're careful about your building operations. So whether a building is a new building or an old building, trying to improve the operations of the building is a different approach. So Standard 100 is based on measured consumption, not model consumption, actual measured consumption, but it also means that the data to look at and to comply with Standard 100 is one year's worth of energy consumption for a building. So it's a backward-looking standard rather than a forward-looking standard. And it's a scorecard of how people really are operating their buildings.

    Jamie Kono:

    Yeah, agreed. And it's so important. In my previous job I worked as a commercial building energy auditor. I did, I don't know, maybe walk through at least a couple hundred existing buildings over the five years that I did that work. And the big lesson that I learned is that buildings never operate exactly the way they were intended to. And we were sitting before this and looking at—we're at the AHR Expo, we're in this big convention center, and of course because we're nerds like that, we were looking at the HVAC systems and trying to wonder how they're all working, where's the supply, where's the return? And I was joking about a energy audit I did at a convention center several years ago in Texas.

    I walked in, it was completely empty as convention centers most of the time are, and it was like 68 degrees in there. It was super hot outside. We were keeping it nice and cool inside. The HID lights were bright on and that was probably some manager walked in and said, "Hey, we've got to show this space to a prospective customer. We got to have it cool. We don't know when they're coming. So just override the schedule." Who knows how long it had been like that, and just enormous energy that could be saved just by a little extra, keeping an eye on what's happening in the building and being held accountable by the energy performance of the building.

    Drew Champlin:

    Yeah. It's interesting that buildings don't operate as predicted, but how does Standard 100, how is it used to bring operating buildings into alignment with their model potential?

    Jamie Kono:

    So in the US right now, we're seeing voluntary use of Standard 100. So I would use it in my energy audits at my old job as a benchmark. Is the building that I'm working with operating efficiently? Do I need to do more work on it? But also for buildings that fall under the New Washington State implementation of 100 and others, we're going to see a—this may be the first time that a building's really looking at its energy use or that the decision makers for the building. So you have decision makers, the owner or the property manager that drive retrofits, that drive decisions on what gets spent on energy efficiency changes or just deferred maintenance that needs to happen that can have energy impacts.

    They may be completely disconnected with the utility bills, either because the tenants pay them or because the third assistant property manager pays them once a month or it's sent to another company. Often those dots are not connected. And so this is bringing that information to the forefront. Hey, we've got this energy target, we need to meet it. We need to do something about it. Otherwise, we're not operating efficiently. We didn't really know before. Now we have some metric to go by.

    Mike Williams:

    Yeah. And also, Standard 100 can be coupled with other efforts such as utility rebate programs, green financing programs, or other government grants. All of these can help lower first costs for building owners, especially those lower income communities or small businesses. Also, we've seen a Standard 100, much like other building performance standard be introduced in a graduated manner. So affecting more and more buildings over time and then requiring more stringent performance target over a longer period of time to allow buildings to transition in the most cost-effective way possible.

    Glenn Friedman:

    It's been very interesting to see how jurisdictions are thinking about using Standard 100 to improve performance. As happens with programs from the government, there can be incentives, a carrot, or there can be a stick, more taxes. And they're looking at using both tools, but rolling them out using a enticement of people to be early adopters to improve their buildings and giving them some advantage rebates for doing that. But with the knowledge that take too long and there will be mandatory obligations and penalties involved. So it's interesting to hear how the different jurisdictions are developing those models.

    Drew Champlin:

    Yeah. We all want to meet these international decarbonization targets. So Glenn, how does a building comply with Standard 100?

    Glenn Friedman:

    Well, there are targets that they're required to comply to, and those targets have to do with what the international climate zone that they're in, along with the actual building type involved. So for the majority of the buildings, they will actually be able to look up on a table and see what is the target that I'm shooting for based on what climate zone I'm in, what type of building I am and what's the area, how many square feet of building am I in, and using that table to come up with a number that they're required to comply to. So the first step is looking at a year's energy bills and applying it to that target. And there's a pass-fail mechanism there. If they've passed that and they're below that target, then their building is compliant. 

    But a big portion of this is, so what does somebody do? How do we help an owner figure out if they don't comply with that target, what the opportunities are? So there's a step-by-step compliance procedure with first doing the test, if you don't comply with the test, doing an energy audit to look at what the opportunities are for energy improvement in the building, making a decision with the owner about what improvements to pursue, followed by the implementation of those improvements, and then an additional year's worth of energy performance to see whether they've passed that test. And it's all an easy set of forms for someone to fill out to verify that they have then complied. So there's very much a step-by-step process laid out as part of the Standard 100, Building Performance Standard.

    Jamie Kono:

    And I've followed this procedure a couple times more informally, and I'm revealing my nerdiness here, but I really get excited about the last part you're talking about, Glenn. Because flashback to my previous work as a commercial energy auditor, we had a lot of clients that would ask us for energy audits, but a large portion of those energy audits were kind of like a compliance audit. They were checking a box, they were being required by their local government. They were being required by some kind of certification that would make their building's portfolio look better. Well, it was once they checked off that box, then they'd done what they needed. And so that energy audit, I would send it off, I'd put my blood, sweat and tears into this energy audit, it would get sent off and oftentimes nothing would get done within it. Because yeah, there's a lot of things.

    No one likes being told to do stuff, right? There are so many things, we'd identify so many things that were so cost-effective, like less than a five-year payback is so lucrative when you consider that the lifetime of a lot of these measures are 20-plus years. Yeah, there's a lot of money essentially that you're leaving on the table by ignoring an energy audit. And of course, I'm invested because I wrote the audit report, right? I want everyone to read my stuff, but ultimately people are losing out. And so what Standard 100 does is require you to perform an audit for the sake of improving the energy performance of the building. Because if you don't do the things in the audit, you can't lower your energy use. You can't meet the target. So I am really hoping that this creates a framework where those energy audits get put to good use, and we get a lot of really good savings out of them. We're going to actually get that measured energy savings from this whole process.

    Drew Champlin:

    We're talking ASHRAE Standard 100, new developments on the podcast here. So this all sounds achievable. How are SSPC 100, the committee you guys are on, and other ASHRAE committees coordinating on greenhouse gas emissions metrics?

    Jamie Kono:

    Well, defining greenhouse gas metrics is a really difficult task. It's just a number, right? It's a simple formula, but there are so many ways to quantify the greenhouse gas impact of energy use. You can draw about 20 different boxes around the different things that result in the energy use of the building, and then you can refer to historical greenhouse gas emissions. You can refer to modeled in the future greenhouse gases. What year are you looking at? What kind of scenario are you looking at? The more I dig into it, the more complex it really is. Additionally, should we be looking at energy efficiency as a kind of backstop measure so that you require a building to have some base level of efficiency, but also require them to meet these direct carbon goals. You achieve the resilience and cost savings with the energy efficiency improvements, and you achieve additional direct carbon goals from reducing your greenhouse gas emissions further.

    Glenn Friedman:

    This brings up an exciting discussion within ASHRAE because we're all engineers and we like the technology side of what we're doing, but we know that the reality of climate change is upon us and is very important. Buildings play a huge role in that. And so we want to do something that's a win-win situation, figure out ways for building owners to save money, to save energy, and to save carbon. So that's been throughout ASHRAE, an important area of emphasis, of course in Standard 100, but in almost every other technical committee I'm involved in, in ASHRAE, that's a big part of the conversation. So then how do we show leadership in that? Well, when we are talking about emissions, one of the areas that was a big decision was how are we going to evaluate the energy consumption of a building? And that was brought up as gross energy versus net energy.

    Without getting too far into the details, the question was, if I have a building and it's not a very well performing building, can I just buy a lot of renewables, put it on the building and say, "Now I have a stellar building." And the decision was made that that takes resources, that the first step towards energy efficiency is always energy reduction. How can we improve our buildings? So a change was made in Standard 100 to go from net energy usage to gross energy usage, meaning that it no longer took into account those photovoltaic panels that you might put on the roof to make your building look good. And it really pushes the point of making your building efficient is the first step towards decarbonization.

    Drew Champlin:

    Where could I or anyone interested find more information on Standard 100?

    Mike Williams:

    Yeah, great question. So our committee has actually authored an article highlighting the changes to Standard 100, and it is set to be published in the March edition of the ASHRAE Journal.

    Drew Champlin:

    Yeah. And we have it on hand, and we're doing some edits on it right now. So looking forward to getting that out there. Where is this standard being used right now?

    Jamie Kono:

    So we just had a meeting this morning. Washington State has implemented Standard 100. I believe buildings will have to start complying with Standard 100 in 2026.

    Glenn Friedman:

    Correct.

    Jamie Kono:

    And then they're gradually increasing more buildings. And so they have used 100. They have made changes to suit their specific goals and their specific needs. And as well, just very recently, Oregon passed a law to adopt a Building Performance Standard, and that will be based off of Standard 100.

    Glenn Friedman:

    It was very exciting to have both representatives from the State of Washington and the State of Oregon come to our meeting today and share. And that to me is like building commissioning that engineers design a building, and unless they're involved in the commissioning, they never know whether the building worked. We've designed what we're very proud of as a great Building Performance Standard, but the proof is going to be the feedback we get from the people who are using it. So we're getting to know the folks in those states who are the implementers, and we're looking forward to working with them for continuous improvement in Standard 100.

    Drew Champlin:

    Well, I guess a good way to wrap this up, this podcast will be published in early February. The article about Standard 100 will be in the March ASHRAE Journal. Last of all, if the listeners could take away a few key points from listening to this, what would those be?

    Glenn Friedman:

    Well, the big, big point is that we moved into the world of decarbonization with our Building Performance Standard. And if there's one thing that I'm proud of that we did with this latest update, that would be the one I would highlight.

    Jamie Kono:

    I think Standard 100 is now positioned as a Building Performance Standard, ready to be a model to any jurisdictions that want to regulate their existing buildings, want to meet their carbon goals, or help people connect the dots between the people that pay the bill and the people that fund the upgrades for the building. I'm really excited to see that in place.

    Drew Champlin:

    Okay. Well, that'll wrap up this episode of the ASHRAE Journal Podcast. Really excited to have Glenn Friedman, Jamie Kono, and Mike Williams on hand. Thank you guys so much for sharing your time and expertise.

    Glenn Friedman:

    Thank you very much, Drew.

    Mike Williams:

    Thank you, Drew.

    Jamie Kono:

    Thank you.

    Drew Champlin:

    All right, I'm Drew Champlin, and that was the ASHRAE Journal Podcast.

    ASHRAE Journal:

    The ASHRAE Journal podcast team is editor Drew Champlin; managing editor Kelly Barraza; producer and associate editor, Chadd Jones; associate editor, Tani Palefski; and technical editor, Rebecca Matyasovski. Copyright ASHRAE. The views expressed in this podcast are those of individuals only and not of ASHRAE, its sponsors or advertisers. Please refer to ASHRAE.org/podcast for the full disclaimer.

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