Canadian Consulting Engineer

Building standard measures net-zero carbon and energy goals

May 3, 2023

It draws from ASHRAE Standard 105.

ASHRAE Standard 228

Cover image courtesy ASHRAE.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has published its first zero-energy and -carbon building evaluation standard.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 228-2023, Standard Method of Evaluating Zero Net Energy and Zero Net Carbon Building Performance, sets requirements for evaluating whether or not a building (or group of buildings) meets a definition of ‘zero net energy’ or ‘zero net carbon’ during its operations. It draws from ASHRAE Standard 105, among others, to address energy and carbon flows across a site boundary, their measurement and their balance.

“Standard 228 provides a consistent method,” explains Keith Emerson, P.E., chair of ASHRAE’s project committee behind the new standard. “We hope it will become a helpful resource for building professionals in strategic decarbonization planning.”

The standard includes allowances for sites that lack the opportunity to produce adequate renewable energy, while placing additional requirements on the use of external carbon and renewable energy in calculations; defines the calculation of energy in terms of source, as a multiplier on the energy crossing the site boundary to include energy used or lost in extraction, generation and transit to the site; and makes the main energy calculation in terms of annual average factors, with an allowance for the calculation of individual hours where such data is available.

Standard 228 does not apply to the establishment of building energy performance goals or limits; design guidance or design requirements; embodied energy of building materials and systems; and transportation to and from a building. The standard is also not intended to circumvent any safety, health or environmental requirements.


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