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Mon 4 Feb 2008 04:00 AM

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US legislates ASHRAE 90.1 agreement

Under the federal energy bill signed into law by President Bush in late December, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Agriculture (USDA) must continuously meet the energy efficiency demands of ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1.

Under the federal energy bill signed into law by President Bush in late December, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Agriculture (USDA) must continuously meet the energy efficiency demands of ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1.

Under existing law, HUD and the USDA must write energy efficiency standards for public, assisted housing and housing with federally-insured mortgages.

These standards must be at least as stringent as ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1: 1989 Energy standard for existing buildings except residential and Council of American Building Officials (CABO) 1992.

When either standard is updated, the agencies are given a year to revise their own practices, but this has rarely taken place.

Under the new law, HUD and USDA must implement standards at least as stringent as Standard 90.1: 2004 or the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for all new construction and rehabilitation of the homes.

If Standard 90.1 or IECC are revised, HUD and USDA will have one year to update their version.

If they do not do this, all new and rehabilitation of housing covered by the federal standard will need to meet the revised standards following a positive determination by the US Department of Energy and HUD/USDA determination that it would not negatively impact availability or affordability of housing.

"This move provides additional validation of the importance of energy savings in Standard 90.1 and also provides a baseline for all public and assisted housing and federally insured mortgage property in all states," ASHRAE director of government affairs Doug Read commented.

ASHRAE published the 2007 version of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1 during January 2008.

Upgrades include three mechanical addenda to quantify a portion of the energy savings by 2035.

At its 2008 Winter Meeting in New York during January ASHRAE noted optimism in the US hvac market. Healthcare is expected to be the strongest market sector for 2008, followed by large commercial.

Market growth is expected worldwide; 80% of the exhibitors at the AHR Expo running alongside the ASHRAE Winter Meeting reported plans to expand into the Asia Pacific region in particular.

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