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Controversy clouds future
When the revised version of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, was published in 1999, it made a lot of headlines. Besides revamping the energy standard, it made for interesting reading because of all the controversy that surrounded it.
The American Gas Association (AGA) was--and is--not happy with the standard. To sum up, the gas and electric utilities do not agree about how building envelopes should be addressed. The first revised draft of the standard differentiated between buildings that used gas heat or electric resistance heat. In a policy decision handed down by the president, ASHRAE eliminated the so-called dual-envelope section of the standard.
While the electric industry is happy about the elimination of the different requirements for resistance heat, the gas industry has been appealing the standard at every conceivable level since hearing of the change, but to no avail--the standard has withstood every appeal.
While that controversy (and others, see sidebar) will most likely simmer for years, the standard has progressed nicely and has been included in the 2001 version of the International Energy Conservation Code. That code is part of the Model Code group, which in turn will be adopted by most jurisdictions nationwide. This means Standard 90.1 will most likely be part of your local building codes very soon.
A New Standard
In the past, Standard 90.1 applied strictly to new construction. Therefore, energy managers and others who manage energy programs in new construction projects …