ASHRAE design guide aims to simplify energy efficiency design for K-12 schools

April 02, 2009 |



The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009, provides significant funding and financing opportunities to modernize, renovate, and repair public schools. Under the “State Fiscal Stabilization Fund,” up to $48.3 billion can be allocated to schools. An additional $25 billion in eligible bonds also have been authorized.

To help Building Teams meet energy efficiency design goals, ASHRAE and other building industry organizations have developed the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings. The guide provides recommendations for achieving 30% energy savings over the minimum code requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999. Estimates show that a full 16% of schools districts’ controllable costs is spent on energy.

“Beyond energy savings, by implementing the recommendations, schools may benefit from an improved learning environment, reduced operating costs, reduced environmental and climate impacts, and enhanced teaching opportunities on the environment,” ASHRAE President Bill Harrison said.

The recommendations in the guide allow those involved in designing or constructing school buildings to easily achieve advanced levels of energy savings without having to resort to detailed calculations or analysis. All of the energy-saving recommendations for each of the eight U.S. climate zones are summarized in a single table. Additional recommendations point to other opportunities to incorporate greater savings into the design of the building.

More than 14,000 free copies of the Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 School Buildings were sent to school systems in the United States last spring. Copies of the guide are available for free download at; Print copies may be ordered from the ASHRAE Bookstore at

Details on the stimulus funding for educational facilities can be found at:

ASHRAE, founded in 1894, is an international organization of some 50,000 persons. ASHRAE fulfills its mission of advancing heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world through research, standards writing, publishing and continuing education.

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