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Size and Design Right: How Standard 169 Helps Engineers With Updated Climate Data

Size and Design Right: How Standard 169 Helps Engineers With Updated Climate Data

From ASHRAE Journal Newsletter, Dec. 28, 2021

The climate is changing, affecting load calculations and equipment sizing, said Dru Crawley, Ph.D., BEMP, Fellow ASHRAE. And engineers need access to up-to-date climate data to help them properly design and size building systems and equipment.

“Ten of the last 15 years are the hottest on record. Climate is already changing, and this is reflected in the design conditions in the ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals,” he said.  

Because of the complexity of acquiring and processing global climate data, many climate data sources lag current data and quickly become out of date. Thanks to the work that went into updating and developing the “Climatic Design Information” chapter in 2021 ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals and ASHRAE RP-1847, Updating climatic design information for the 2021 ASHRAE Handbook, Standard 169, and the Handbook of Smoke Control Engineering, engineers now have the latest climate data for design.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 169-2021, Climatic Data for Building Design Standards, provides engineers with the design condition data for 9,237 locations throughout the world, ensuring they have the most up-to-date information. The latest ASHRAE Handbook—Fundamentals includes historical trends for individual stations, which show an increase in design condition temperatures over the past 30 years for many locations. The 2021 version of the standard brings the 12 most recent years of climate data for use by engineers, said Crawley, chair of the committee that creates Standard 169.

Standard 169 serves as a comprehensive source of climate data for building design professionals and provides a variety of climatic information used primarily for the design, planning and sizing of building energy systems and equipment. In addition to the design condition temperature, humidity and wind data, Standard 169 provides global climate zones.