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User’s Manual Helps Professionals Navigate Standard 90.1-2019

User’s Manual Helps Professionals Navigate Standard 90.1-2019

From ASHRAE Journal Newsletter, Feb. 9, 2021

“A standard that readers don’t know how to use will not be used,” says Roger Hedrick, Member ASHRAE, principal engineer at Noresco, and developer of the new Standard 90.1 User's Manual.

The recently released User’s Manual was written to provide information on how to use ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2019, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings. It explains requirements of Standard 90.1-2019 and offers designers guidance on how to comply, including functional performance testing and commissioning.

Hedrick discussed the Standard 90.1 User’s Manual with ASHRAE Journal staff.

1. Why is a User's Manual for Standard 90.1 needed?

Standard 90.1 is necessarily a complicated document; many aspects to the design, construction and operation of a building must be addressed for energy-efficient building performance to be achieved. The standard addresses each of these areas in ways that consider the huge variety of buildings that are being built every day. The User’s Manual is intended to explain the requirements of the standard and provide guidance to designers on how to comply. It is also intended to be helpful to anyone else involved in the construction of new buildings—not just the design team but also contractors, code officials and building owners and operators.

2. What will engineers who work in the field learn from the technical information in the manual?

The User’s Manual explains the requirements in Standard 90.1 and provides guidance on how to comply. In some cases, the reason for the requirement is also explained. The technical basis for some requirements is also included.

3. What topics found in the manual will be particularly helpful for engineers in the field?

Standard 90.1-2019 includes requirements for functional performance testing and commissioning in every chapter. Understanding what is required to comply with these requirements can be confusing. The User’s Manual attempts to guide readers to what must be done to comply with these requirements, many of which are new or revised in the 2019 edition of the standard.

4. How can the technical information in this manual further the use of Standard 90.1?

A standard that readers don’t know how to use will not be used. Increasing understanding and explaining what is required to achieve compliance can only encourage adoption and use of the standard, increasing the energy performance of new buildings everywhere.

5. Did you experience any challenges or surprises when preparing this manual?

I have developed user’s manuals for earlier versions of Standard 90.1 and for other ASHRAE standards. Developing the user’s manual for more complex standards, such as Standard 90.1, is obviously going to be more challenging. Developing some aspects of the user’s manual requires close cooperation with the project committee that develops the standard to ensure the rationale and compliance requirements are clearly understood and communicated to readers. Nearly all user’s manual development projects also result in recommendations to the project committee on changes to clarify or simplify the standard. Development of the Standard 90.1-2019 User’s Manual was no different. While challenging at times, it was not unusually so.