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Shaping the Next...Building and Energy

©2014 This excerpt taken from the article of the same name which appeared in ASHRAE Journal, vol. 56, no. 1, January 2014.

About the Authors
William P. Bahnfleth, 2013–14 ASHRAE President, Paul Torcellini, Ph.D., P.E., Member ASHRAE, Eric Richman, Member ASHRAE, Steven Baumgartner, P.E., Member ASHRAE, David W. Wade, P.E., Member ASHRAE, RDA Engineering, Marietta, Ga., Harry Misuriello, Member ASHRAE, Larry J. Brackney, Ph.D., Member ASHRAE, Tim Wentz, P.E., Member ASHRAE.

ASHRAE Journal is highlighting the 2013–14 Presidential theme “Shaping the Next—Our World, Ourselves, Our Work” (http://tinyurl.com/bahnfleththeme) by publishing groups of forward-looking essays about the future of areas of high importance to ASHRAE, our industry, and society. We began in the August issue with a group of articles focused on indoor air quality, a subject that I believe needs to be more in the center of our thinking. This group addresses a subject that has been very much in the center of ASHRAE’s strategic goals and efforts for several decades: building and energy.

Paul Torcellini makes the argument that we must strive to get to a level of energy use 50% lower than current standards to make net zero energy buildings feasible and that we can do it with integrated design, but this will require control of plug loads. Larry Brackney highlights the importance of positively influencing occupant behavior to create a “conversation” between occupant and building. I wonder whether this can be extended to other areas like IEQ?

David Wade discusses the role of district energy in a cost-effective, low-energy future and holds up the ideal of low energy communities for our consideration. Eric Richman discusses the next generation of low-energy lighting technology and what needs to be done to realize its promise. Harry Misuriello comments on the important role of “minimum” standards like ASHRAE/IES 90.1 in improving the efficiency of new construction—a 60% reduction in energy use requirements since 1975. He gives a glimpse of a future in which performance-based standards lead in the direction of a net zero energy 90.1 by 2034.

In a related discussion, Steve Baumgartner questions whether energy use intensity, EUI, is the right metric to drive energy use reduction and proposes an interesting alternative. I hope that these short, but provocative reflections stimulate your own thinking.

Finally, Tim Wentz imagines a future in which commissioning and energy labeling work together to minimize energy wasted due to suboptimal operation and maintenance. What could we accomplish if all 50,000+ ASHRAE members put their best efforts into seeing and realizing a future of energy self-sufficient buildings and communities? I hope to find out.


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