New Federal Buildings to Follow Higher Efficiency Standards

The Federal Government has been advising builders and designers to use energy-efficient technologies in new projects and renovations for years. However until now, they have not been following these standards internally.

In a recent announcement by the Department of Energy (DOE), officials stated that all Federal buildings designed after a certain date must meet the 2010 version of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1. According to the DOE, the 2010 set of standards  saves an additional 18.2% in energy costs in comparison to the standards set in 2007.

ASHRAE standards include more precise efficiency of building envelope and mechanical equipment, lower interior lighting power densities, additional occupancy sensor usage, mandatory daylighting requirements, a five-zone exterior lighting power density table, and modified modeling requirements. These standards will apply to all new Federal commercial and multi-family high-rise residential buildings. In 2007, Congress passed legislation directing the Federal Government to “lead by example,” by reducing its energy consumption by 30% from 2003 to 2015.  The new building standards will help to achieve this goal and keep the government’s efficiency standards current with the rest of the building industry.