KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Three sets of proposals are being developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers to provide energy savings from 30 percent to 75 percent over the group's current Standard 90.1, "Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings."

The proposed savings refer to reductions in energy consumption allowed by 90.1, which sets the minimum energy-efficiency required by most building codes.

For example, if a building built to the minimum requirements of Standard 90.1 uses 1 million units of energy, a building using 30 percent less would use 700,000 units of energy. These percentages are also rough estimates of the energy cost savings in dollars.

"ASHRAE has a strong heritage of developing and promoting the efficient use of energy," ASHRAE President Richard Rooley said. "Our Standard 90.1 continues to be used as the basis for building energy codes worldwide. We realize, however, that we need to do more than just develop minimum requirements."

30 percent savings

The Advanced Energy Guide for Small Office Buildings proposes to achieve 30 percent savings over Standard 90.1-1999. The design guide will be produced as a special publication, not as a standard or guideline.

The guide will provide design assistance for structures less than 20,000 square feet. This size building represents the largest single type of buildings being constructed and occupied.

It will be a how-to design guide targeted for use by contractors, designers or design-build firms. ASHRAE also plans to develop additional design guides for other building types and sizes.

The special project committee developing the document will include representatives from the Standard 90.1 committee, ASHRAE technical committees on systems energy use and building environmental impacts and sustainability, the American Institute of Architects, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, New Buildings Institute and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The committee hopes to have the design guide document approved for publication by the 2004 ASHRAE annual meeting.

ASHRAE also is working on design guidance that targets a 50-percent savings over Standard 90.1. It is being developed as a collaborative effort between ASHRAE, the AIA and the IESNA. Publication would take place 24 to 30 months after funding is secured.

The proposed publication, Development of Next Generation Advanced Design Guidance, will focus on design concepts that integrate building heating, cooling, lighting and envelope systems as well as on new economic criteria that extend those used in Standard 90.1, according to ASHRAE officials.

The existing Standard 90.1 committee and several ASHRAE technical committees will be involved in producing this guidance, also to be released as a special publication.

The third proposed document, an innovative energy conservation application design guide, would achieve up to 75 percent savings over 90.1.

"This document has been approved in concept by ASHRAE but will require comprehensive research as well as possibly building upon the results achieved during the development of the 50-percent advance energy-design guide," Rooley said.

Rooley said the research could take three to five years, unless ASHRAE can collaborate with other groups that have already initiated the effort for this type of advance design guide.