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ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010 Now The National Energy Standard

On October 18, 2013, all states were required by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to put in place a commercial building energy code at least as stringent as the 2010 version of the ASHRAE/IES 90.1 energy standard.

Eight states are in compliance as of October 2013. States are expected to adopt 90.1-2010 in whole or in part; adopt the 2012 version of the International Energy Conservation Code (which references 90.1 as an alternate compliance standard); or, like California, develop their own unique code.

ASHRAE-IES 90.1-2010 adoption


Thirty-seven states are expected to comply based on similar past rulings. Some states, like Colorado, which has a home rule constitution, can’t; nonetheless, significant adoption may occur at the county level.

The new 2010 standard is much more detailed and stringent than its predecessor, featuring stricter lighting power densities and much stronger mandatory lighting control requirements. Additionally, commissioning elements including design documentation and functional testing must be provided. Retrofit projects in which 10+% of the connected lighting load is replaced must satisfy the standard’s lighting power and automatic shutoff provisions.

Regarding lighting controls, major changes include:

* The exemption for automatic shutoff in buildings smaller than 5,000 sq.ft. has been eliminated
* Occupancy sensors must be installed in an expanded list of applications
* Automatic controls must provide manual-ON or auto-ON-to-50% operation
* Spaces using manual controls must enable bilevel switching or dimming
* Automatic bilevel switching or dimming is required in designated stairwell, parking garage and outdoor lighting applications
* Automatic daylight harvesting control is required in primary daylighted spaces
* Adopting more advanced control options is rewarded with lighting power adjustment credits

Learn more in previous LCA whitepapers here and here.

Visit here to purchase the 2010 standard in the organization’s online bookstore here.

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1 comment to ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010 Now The National Energy Standard

  • Larry Spielvogel, PE, FASHRAE, FSLL

    The article should state that very few states and jurisdictions are adopting the 2012 I Codes and/or ASHRAE 90.1-2010, and when they do, they are being amended. The reasons for not adopting are the Codes are that they are too complicated, too expensive, and cannot be fully enforced. Indeed, some states and jurisdictions are looking to move to a six year or longer code adoption cycle for these and other reasons. This move concerns the code writing groups, whose income is heavily dependent on selling books.

    Larry Spielvogel, PE, FASHRAE, FSLL

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