ASHRAE proposes verification for energy standard

Expected to reduce errors from envelope air leakage

The ASHRAE/IES energy standard would have multiple compliance options to ensure verification of delivered building envelope performance under a new proposal.

“Uncontrolled air leakage has long been an unquantified variable in load calculations for buildings large and small,” ASHRAE said in a news release. “It has also been identified as the ‘weak link’ in many otherwise well insulated building enclosures.” Proposed envelope testing, inspection and verification procedures are intended to help deliver better performing building envelopes, and help to reduce errors associated with envelope air leakage in equipment sizing calculations.

This proposal, Addendum l, is one of 14 proposed addenda to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2013, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, now open for public comment. To comment, visit

The proposal provides for multiple compliance methods including whole building air leakage testing, continuous air barrier inspection, and performance verification procedures. The proposed changes would likely have an impact on first costs, but the long-term savings are expected to more than justify these costs. The costs of the verification procedures will go down over time as builders become more familiar with envelope performance testing, inspection and other verification techniques and their construction practices improve due to the important feedback they will provide, ASHRAE says.


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