Selected Highlights of the Labs21 2007 Annual Conference

Laboratory Based Modifications to ASHRAE 90.1 and What They Mean for You

Itzhak Maor, Ph.D., P.E., PWI-Energy


The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)/Illuminating Engineers Society of North American (IESNA) Standard 90.1 provides minimum requirements for energy-efficient design of buildings (except low rise residential buildings) and building systems.

Although the Standard 90.1-2004 user's manual clearly states that Standard 90.1 “applies to all buildings,” experience suggests that under certain circumstances, and in more specialized buildings (such as laboratories and vivariums), several requirements in Standard 90.1 are inapplicable or unclear. One approach to this problem is to simply apply section 2.5 of Standard 90.1, which states, “This Standard shall not be used to circumvent any safety, health, or environmental requirements.” This “waiver” may lead to inefficient designs, but will be acceptable (by the authorities) as meeting the minimum energy efficiency requirements.

Appendix G in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004 is also utilized by the U.S. Green Building Council in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – New Construction (LEED- NC) Version 2.2, Energy and Atmosphere, credit 1 (Optimize Energy Performance) to demonstrate energy cost savings. Similarly to the other sections of Standard 90.1, Appendix G does not address laboratories and similar applications effectively.

In order to make ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1 more applicable to laboratories, ASHRAE 90.1 Standing Standard Project Committee, the energy cost budget, and the mechanical subcommittees—along with Labs21 and industry experts—have been working for the last two years to modify laboratory related issues. The following are some of the topics that were discussed and presented:

  • Short overview of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1
  • Selected sections and issues pertaining to laboratories and vivariums
    • Section 6 - HVAC
    • Section 11- Energy Cost Budget Method
    • Appendix G – Performance Rating Method
  • Approved Continuous Maintenance proposals to Appendix G –2004 as follows:
    • G3.1.1- Baseline HVAC System Type and Description
    • Table G3.1– HVAC Fan Schedules
    • G. Fan System Operation
    • G. Design Air Flow Rates
    • G3.1.2.10 Exhaust Air Energy Recovery
    • Table G3.1.3.7– Type and Number of Chillers
    • G3.1.3.10 Chilled Water Pumps
    • G3.1.2.9 System Fan Power (also Addendum AC of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1)

  • ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1, Section 6- HVAC
    • Approved Addenda AC -Section 6.5.3 Air Systems Design and Control and - Fan Power Limitation
    • Continuous Maintenance proposals to sections – Dehumidification, exceptions (a) and (d)
  • ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1- 2007 version update
  • ASHRAE 90.1 Laboratory Working Group activities

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Itzhak Maor, Ph.D., P.E, is a principal and director of engineering at PWI Energy, Inc, a full service energy management company specializing in energy purchasing, data management, and energy engineering for large pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Maor has over 27 years of professional experience, which includes design of HVAC systems, design and application of desiccant and heat recovery based HVAC equipment, building energy simulation, energy engineering, and research. Dr. Maor is a voting member of ASHRAE 90.1 Standard Project Committee and the ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Cost Budget subcommittee, vice chair of ASHRAE TC-9.7 (Educational Facilities), and voting member of ASHRAE TC 9.8 (Large Building HVAC Applications). Currently, he is principal investigator of ASHRAE Research Project 1340-RP “Intelligent Control of Combined Heat and Power” and co-principal investigator of ASHRAE Research Project 1051-RP “Procedures for Reconciling Computer Calculated Results With Measured Energy Data” completed in 2006.

Dr. Maor has earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering and a Master of Science in civil engineering from Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, as well as Ph.D in civil engineering from Drexel University. He is a registered mechanical engineer in Maryland and Massachusetts and a Certified Energy Manager and Green Building Engineer by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). The AEE Philadelphia Chapter named Dr. Maor the Energy Engineer of the Year in 2004.