Green Buildings and Automation

ASHRAE recently published a new standard 189.1 for the “Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-rise Residential Buildings” that can be viewed in the java based RealRead Viewer at Of most direct interest to the automation sector is part 7 of the document that deals with Energy Efficiency. Unfortunately, the document prescribes the need for “measurement devices with remote communication capability” for real time recording of the Energy Management component of the facility. Section specifies “at a minimum, measurement devices shall provide daily data and shall record hourly energy profiles. Such hourly energy profiles shall be capable of being used to assess building performance at least monthly” The following clause then stipulates “The data acquisition system shall be capable of electronically storing the data from the measurement devices and other sensing devices, for a minimum of 36 months, and creating user reports showing hourly, daily, monthly and annual energy consumption.”

What is interesting is that this standard specifies that a control system, actually it really only defines the data historian, but the standard does not have any additional indication on what that control system is to do or what forms and types of sensors are required to effectively monitor the building Energy Efficiency. Certainly sounds like an opportunity to me for either shysters to pawn something off that is less than adequate or perhaps an opportunity for control professionals to do something about this and offer to assist in the development of the appropriate standard either under the auspices of ASHRAE, or perhaps as a joint effort with ISA. I’m not a building automation professional, so not a good person to lead the charge here but certainly someone at one of the DCS suppliers or Engineering Companies with a passion for the environment is willing to make a difference. (I can help you get through the ISA Standards process if you need help there.) Time for you to make a difference.