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Behind the Spanish Translation of Standard 100

By: Mary Kate McGowan, Associate Editor, News

From eSociety, March 2018

There is more than one way to translate “building” into Spanish. And the two ASHRAE members who translated ASHRAE/IES Estándar 100-2015, Eficiencia Energética en Construcciones Existentes, had to discern which words worked best.

“You could translate (building) as ‘edificio’ or ‘construcción.’ So we decided to use one or the other depending on the situation, and we used both,” said Verónica Rosón, Member ASHRAE, one of the translators.

The new Spanish translation of ASHRAE Standard 100-2015, Energy Efficiency in Existing Buildings, was published this month to help support Spanish-speaking engineers who are searching to achieve higher levels of energy efficiency in projects.

Rosón and Pablo Espiño, Associate Member ASHRAE, were the two people directly involved with the translation. Both are members of the ASHRAE Argentina Chapter.

The work on the translation began in late 2015, and the pair sent its completed work to ASHRAE for final revisions in July 2017, said Rosón.

“It was really very challenging but at the same time very enriching,” she said. “Translating a standard is always an interesting way to get to know a standard in depth, especially this one, that we think is extremely useful, regarding energy efficiency.”

Throughout the translation process, the translators had to decide which words worked best for the standard’s context. Rosón said they found after the first revision they used different words to translate “mobile home” into Spanish. They decided to consistently translate “mobile home” with “casa rodante,” she said.

The standard provides descriptions of the processes and procedures for the retrofit of existing residential and commercial buildings to achieve greater energy efficiency, among other information such as life-cycle cost analysis procedures. The 2015 version of Standard 100 set a level of Energy Use Intensity (EUI) that applies to “virtually all existing buildings,” she said.

The ASHRAE Argentina Chapter is no stranger to translating ASHRAE standards and guidelines.

Other ASHRAE Argentina Chapter members have translated the following standards and guideline into Spanish: ANSI/ASHRAE/IES/USGBC Standard 189.1–2009, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings; ASHRAE Standard 105–2014, Standard Methods of Determining, Expressing and Comparing Building Energy Performance and Greenhouse Gas Emissions; and ASHRAE Guideline 12–2000, Minimizing the Risk of Legionellosis Associated with Building Water Systems.