The Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDGs) are a series of publications providing recommendations for achieving energy savings over the minimum code requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1 in 3 different levels of 30% saving, 50% saving, and zero energy buildings. Following these validated guides is a great way to reduce energy use in your projects! cove.tool can help visualize the impacts of strategies early in the design process to gain buy-in from the entire design team and owner!

The first level (30% energy guide) provides energy saving strategies to achieve 30% energy saving compared to minimum energy requirements of Standard 90.1-1999.

30% Energy saving includes energy saving recommendations for following building categories:

  • Small hospitals and healthcare facilities

  • Highway Lodging

  • Small warehouses and self-storage buildings

  • K12 school buildings

  • Small retail buildings

  • Small office buildings

These guidelines are freely available here.

The second level (50% energy guide) provides energy saving strategies to achieve 50% energy saving compared to minimum code requirements of Standard 90.1 2004. 50% Energy saving includes energy saving recommendations for following building categories:

These guidelines are freely available here.

The highest level, Zero Energy Guides, offer the design recommendation for achieving zero energy buildings. Zero Energy Guide proposes recommendations for practical products and off-the-shelf technology, needed for achieving a zero energy building which is defined as a building that, on an annual basis, draws from outside resources equal or less energy than it provides using on-site renewable energy sources. Zero energy guides are available for the following building types:

  • Multifamily buildings

  • K-12 school buildings

  • Small to medium office buildings

These guidelines are freely available here.

The AEDGs are developed in collaboration with ASHRAE, AIA, IES, USGBC, and supported through the Department of Energy (DOE) via the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

AEDG guidelines offer various design recommendations that include building envelope, fenestration, lighting systems (including electrical lights and daylighting); plug loads; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, building automation and controls; outside air (OA) treatment; and service water heating (SWH). All the mentioned recommendation are climate specific. Additional savings recommendations for items such as renewable energy systems are also included, but are not necessary to achieve 30% or 50% savings.

The energy efficiency measures that were applied to all climate zones and included in resultant energy savings calculations are:

  • Enhanced building opaque envelope insulation

  • Enhanced window glazing with overhangs

  • Reduced lighting power density (LPD) and occupancy control

  • Reduced plug and process loads and improved control of those loads

  • Daylighting

  • Higher efficiency HVAC equipment and systems

  • High-efficiency SWH

A primary focus of AEDG series is to provide users with detailed, climate-specific, prescriptive design recommendations that align with the efficiency target. Recommendations are tabulated and organized by category: envelope, electric lighting, daylighting and, HVAC. Where applicable, recommendations are specific to construction and equipment type, such that the applicability of the prescriptive recommendations is as broad as possible for the stated efficiency goal. For each guide, prescriptive tables of recommendations are provided for each 16 unique U.S. climate zone. To determine energy savings, Typical Meteorological Year 2 weather files for each location were used to simulate the energy models.

The following subsections highlight a few of the building type specific recommendations that are in each 50% AEDG.

Small to Medium Office Buildings

  • Interior lighting recommendations that result in a 25% reduction in whole-building LPD.

  • Guidance for improving energy efficiency in perimeter zones as part of façade zone optimization.

  • Daylighting recommendations for open-plan offices, private offices, conference rooms, and public spaces (lobbies, reception/waiting areas).

  • Sample lighting layouts for open offices, private offices, conference/meeting rooms, corridors, storage areas, and lobbies.

  • Radiant floor heating and cooling strategies.

K-12 School Buildings

  • Interior lighting recommendations that result in a 42% reduction in whole-building LPD.

  • Daylighting strategies for a number of space types, including top- and sidelighting of classrooms and top lighting of gymnasiums.

  • Numerous tips to conserve energy in K-12 kitchens and cafeterias.

  • Cost control strategies and best practices related to high-performance schools, as well as key design strategies for controlling capital costs.

  • Tips for using the building as a teaching tool.

Medium to Big Box Retail Buildings

  • Interior lighting recommendations that result in a 38% reduction in whole-building LPD.

  • Strategies for reducing energy use across a portfolio of retail stores.

  • Tips on successful daylight integration in a retail setting.

  • Perimeter wall accent and LED display lighting tips.

  • Parking lot lighting energy use reduction and control strategies.

  • Sales floor and security system plug load recommendations.

Large Hospitals

  • Interior lighting recommendations that result in a 25% reduction in whole-building LPD, including LED surgery light recommendations that save 60% of the energy used for surgery lighting and significantly reduce the energy demands of cooling the surgeons and warming their patients.

  • Install traction elevators exclusively throughout the building. Install regenerative traction elevators for high use.

  • Aggressive reduction in reheat resulting from decoupling space conditioning loads and ventilation loads; recommending a heat recovery chiller, aggressive supply air temperature reset, and zone airflow setback; airside pressure drop and coil face velocity reductions; elimination of steam boilers; and high delta T chilled water loops.

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