Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law: Dept. of Energy and ASHRAE Sign Memorandum of Agreement to Develop Energy Efficiency Standards for Buildings

Columbia Law School Center for Climate Change Law

 Cullen Howe   By J. Cullen Howe, Environmental Law Specialist, Arnold & Porter LLP

 On July 25, 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) announced that they had signed a memorandum of agreement stating that they will work together to develop energy efficiency standards and cooperate on energy programs.

The memorandum, which is an update of a 2007 memorandum between the two entities, states that it will promote several standards developed by ASHRAE, including ones concerning the design of low-rise residential buildings (Standard 90.2); ventilation and indoor air quality in commercial, institutional, industrial, and high-rise and low-rise residential buildings (Standards 62.1 and 62.2); energy efficiency in existing buildings (Standard 100); the design of high-performance green buildings (Standard 189.1); and a smart grid information model (Proposed Standard 201).  The memorandum also states that DOE and ASHRAE will agree to work cooperatively on ways to improve the efficient use of energy, the visibility and widespread use of renewable energy sources, and ways to minimize the impact of energy use on the environment.

Many of the goals outlined in the memorandum support ASHRAE Standard 90.1, which is a energy efficiency standard developed by ASHRAE for use in commercial buildings.  For example, ASHRAE will provide self-directed online learning opportunities and hands-on training programs at buildings that meet or exceed Standard 90.1.  ASHRAE and DOE also will work on an update to Standard 90.1 for release in 2013 that improves the energy efficiency of commercial buildings by 50 percent compared with the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004.

The memorandum also calls for collaboration to promote the transfer of new technologies to building owners and managers, ensure the compatibility of building energy software, and implement counterterrorism design features in buildings.


Energy Efficient Building

Reprinted with permission from Green Building Law Update Service.

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J. Cullen Howe is an environmental law specialist at Arnold & Porter LLP. Much of Cullen's work focuses on climate change, where he attempts to educate lawyers and the public at large on the enormous cooperation necessary to adequately address this problem. In addition to his work on climate change, Cullen is the managing editor of Environmental Law in New York, edits the Environmental Law Practice Guide, Brownfields Law and Practice, the Environmental Impact Review in New York, and has drafted chapters in the Environmental Law Practice Guide on climate change and green building. Mr. Howe is a graduate of Vermont Law School, where he was the managing editor of the Vermont Law Review, and a graduate of DePauw University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

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