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New ASHRAE Zero Energy Standard

New ASHRAE Zero Energy Standard Could Bring Industry into Agreement

From eSociety, February 2019

A new ASHRAE standard could help the industry come to a consensus of what makes a building zero energy.

During the 2019 ASHRAE Winter Conference in Atlanta, Standard Project Committee 228P, Standard Method of Evaluating Zero Energy Building Performance, was approved and is seeking members.

The standard will provide a consensus document on how to measure where a building is compared to the zero energy goal, said Keith Emerson, P.E., Life Member ASHRAE, and proposed chair of SPC 228P.

“Today a zero energy building is a stretch goal, but one that, for a number of reasons, is desired by a segment of building developers and other interests,” he said.

This standard is expected to set requirements for evaluating whether a building or group of buildings meets a definition of zero energy. It is also expected to provide a consistent method of expressing qualifications for zero energy buildings associated with the design of new buildings and the operation of existing buildings.

The standard will be created through the normal ASHRAE consensus process, Emerson said. Other organizations are defining or have defined what makes a building zero energy, he said, but none of those organizations have used a consensus process.

“Now seems a good time for everyone to come together in agreement,” he said. “I hope we will have input from various outside organizations that are currently involved in defining and promoting zero energy buildings.”

The call for members for SPC 228P was announced in early February. Emerson said he hopes the committee will include members from a number of different organizations including industry, government and research.

He said the committee will decide how much of a “deep dive” they want to take on, so the standard creation process could be simple or could be a lengthy process.

“In any case I hope to accelerate the calendar to the extent possible, so I’m hoping to have committee members who will roll up their sleeves and get the job done,” Emerson said.