Energy Efficiency In Buildings: Big Changes In 2016

Energy efficiency standards are changing, and for the engineers and contractors who are essential to seeing these standards implemented, staying up to speed is critical. At the start of 2016, new energy efficiency standards were implemented that dictate some major increases in energy efficiency for new federal, commercial and residential buildings. 

In new commercial and residential builds, these standards require a mandatory 30% decrease from the baseline levels established in ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1.  Federal buildings have a somewhat less stringent requirement that indicates that the 30% improvement over the 90.1 standard must be implemented only when doing so is cost-effective during the lifecycle of the building. That said, if it is not a cost-effective solution, then engineers and contractors will need to adapt the designs at decreasing increments until the building design becomes cost-effective.

These standards can mean significant changes in terms of building design, construction, and cost, affecting everyone from building owners to engineers to contractors. To get full details on what the new standards and requirements mean, visit the Building Energy Codes Program page on U.S. Department of Energy’s website.