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Title: DEMONSTRATION OF THE DOE INTERIM ENERGY CONSERVATION STANDARDS FOR NEW FEDERAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS

Abstract

In accordance with federal legislation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has sponsored a study to demonstrate use of its Interim Energy Conservation Standards for New Federal Residential Buildings. The demonstration study was conducted by DOE and the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL). The demonstration is the second step in a three-step process: I) development of interim standards, 2) demonstration of the interim standards, and 3) development of final standards. The standards are mandatory for federal agency housing procurements. Nevertheless, PNL found at the start of the demonstration that agency use of the interim standards had been minimal. The purpose of the standards is to improve the energy efficiency of federal housing and increase the use of nondepletable energy sources. In accordance with the legislation, the standards were to be performance-based rather than prescribing specific energy conservation measures. To fulfill this aspect of the legislation, the standards use a computer software program called COSTSAFR which generates a point system that individualizes the standards to specific projects based on climate, housing type, and fuel costs. The standards generate minimum energy-efficiency requirements by applying the life-cycle cost methodology developed for federal projects. For the demonstration, PNL and DOE chose five federal agency housingmore » projects which had been built in diverse geographic and climate regions. Participating agencies were the Air Force, the Army (which provided two case studies), the Navy, and the Department of Health and Human Services. PNL worked with agency housing procurement officials and designers/architects to hypothetically apply the interim standards to the procurement and design of each housing project. The demonstration started at the point in the project where agencies would establish their energyefficiency requirements for the project and followed the procurement process through the designers' use of the point system to develop a design which would comply with the standards. PNL conducted extensive interviews with the federal agencies and design contractors to determine what impacts the standards would have on the existing agency procurement process as well as on designers. Overall, PNL found that the interim standards met the basic intent of the law. Specific actions were identified, however, that DOE could take to improve the standards and encourage the agencies to implement them. Agency personnel found the minimum efficiency levels established by the standards to be lower than expected, and lower than their existing requirements. Generally, this was because the standards factor in fuel costs, as well as energy savings due to various conservation measures such as insulation, when they determine the minimum efficiency levels required. The demonstration showed that federal agencies often pay low prices for heating fuel and electricity; these lower costs "tipped the scales," allowing designers to meet the efficiency target with designs that were relatively inefficient. It appeared, however, that the low prices paid by agencies directly to suppliers did not capture the agencies' full costs of providing energy, such as the costs of distribution and storage. Agency personnel expressed some concern about the standards' ability to incorporate new energy-efficient technologies and renewable resource technologies like solar heating systems. An alternative compliance procedure was developed to incorporate new technologies; however, demonstration participants said the procedure was not well documented and was difficult and time consuming to use. Despite these concerns, most agency personnel thought that the standards would fit into current procurement procedures with no big changes or cost increases. Many said use of the standards would decrease the time and effort they now spend to establish energy-efficiency requirements and to confirm that proposed designs comply. Personnel praised the software and documentation for being easy to use and providing energy efficiency requirements in energy dollars. Personnel were concerned about how the standards could be modified to analyze unusual design features. A centralized information source for agencies using the standards was suggested. Housing designers agreed that the DOE standards were easy to use to determine that their designs meet energy efficiency goals. They noted that the information provided by the standards could be useful in their design process. Most designers agreed with agency personnel that the alternative compliance procedure was too time consuming. They suggested that assistance be available so that the proposal and procurement process would not be interrupted. Additional conclusions were that training and assistance is needed by field office personnel because much of the federal agency procurement activity occurs at the field offices. Agency training needs fall into three categories: 1) specific improvements in the documentation, 2) materials and courses to educate users, and 3) mechanisms for providing information to users. Designers will need additional help, particularly in understanding how to design housing with improved energy-efficiency. A procedure to update the standards will be needed. DOE has met its legal requirement for obtaining public input but successful implementation of the standards will depend on mechanisms for continued public, industry, and agency feedback. Based on the demonstration, PNL recommends establishing task forces that will actively involve agency personnel and others in future revisions and development of the final standards. PNL also recommends that agencies use fuel and energy prices in the standards that reflect total costs better than the direct fuel prices that the agencies pay their suppliers. A number of ways are recommended to improve communications and the tools for implementing the standards. Several recommendations are made for increasing the number of renewable resource options that are included in the standards. Finally, PNL recommends on-going monitoring activities to continue to identify ways in which the standards can be improved.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1086695
Report Number(s):
PNL-7956
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION

Citation Formats

Lee, A. D., Baechler, H. C., Di Massa, F. V., Lucas, R. G., and Shankle, D. L. DEMONSTRATION OF THE DOE INTERIM ENERGY CONSERVATION STANDARDS FOR NEW FEDERAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS. United States: N. p., 1992. Web. doi:10.2172/1086695.
Lee, A. D., Baechler, H. C., Di Massa, F. V., Lucas, R. G., & Shankle, D. L. DEMONSTRATION OF THE DOE INTERIM ENERGY CONSERVATION STANDARDS FOR NEW FEDERAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS. United States. doi:10.2172/1086695.
Lee, A. D., Baechler, H. C., Di Massa, F. V., Lucas, R. G., and Shankle, D. L. Wed . "DEMONSTRATION OF THE DOE INTERIM ENERGY CONSERVATION STANDARDS FOR NEW FEDERAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS". United States. doi:10.2172/1086695. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1086695.
@article{osti_1086695,
title = {DEMONSTRATION OF THE DOE INTERIM ENERGY CONSERVATION STANDARDS FOR NEW FEDERAL RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS},
author = {Lee, A. D. and Baechler, H. C. and Di Massa, F. V. and Lucas, R. G. and Shankle, D. L.},
abstractNote = {In accordance with federal legislation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has sponsored a study to demonstrate use of its Interim Energy Conservation Standards for New Federal Residential Buildings. The demonstration study was conducted by DOE and the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL). The demonstration is the second step in a three-step process: I) development of interim standards, 2) demonstration of the interim standards, and 3) development of final standards. The standards are mandatory for federal agency housing procurements. Nevertheless, PNL found at the start of the demonstration that agency use of the interim standards had been minimal. The purpose of the standards is to improve the energy efficiency of federal housing and increase the use of nondepletable energy sources. In accordance with the legislation, the standards were to be performance-based rather than prescribing specific energy conservation measures. To fulfill this aspect of the legislation, the standards use a computer software program called COSTSAFR which generates a point system that individualizes the standards to specific projects based on climate, housing type, and fuel costs. The standards generate minimum energy-efficiency requirements by applying the life-cycle cost methodology developed for federal projects. For the demonstration, PNL and DOE chose five federal agency housing projects which had been built in diverse geographic and climate regions. Participating agencies were the Air Force, the Army (which provided two case studies), the Navy, and the Department of Health and Human Services. PNL worked with agency housing procurement officials and designers/architects to hypothetically apply the interim standards to the procurement and design of each housing project. The demonstration started at the point in the project where agencies would establish their energyefficiency requirements for the project and followed the procurement process through the designers' use of the point system to develop a design which would comply with the standards. PNL conducted extensive interviews with the federal agencies and design contractors to determine what impacts the standards would have on the existing agency procurement process as well as on designers. Overall, PNL found that the interim standards met the basic intent of the law. Specific actions were identified, however, that DOE could take to improve the standards and encourage the agencies to implement them. Agency personnel found the minimum efficiency levels established by the standards to be lower than expected, and lower than their existing requirements. Generally, this was because the standards factor in fuel costs, as well as energy savings due to various conservation measures such as insulation, when they determine the minimum efficiency levels required. The demonstration showed that federal agencies often pay low prices for heating fuel and electricity; these lower costs "tipped the scales," allowing designers to meet the efficiency target with designs that were relatively inefficient. It appeared, however, that the low prices paid by agencies directly to suppliers did not capture the agencies' full costs of providing energy, such as the costs of distribution and storage. Agency personnel expressed some concern about the standards' ability to incorporate new energy-efficient technologies and renewable resource technologies like solar heating systems. An alternative compliance procedure was developed to incorporate new technologies; however, demonstration participants said the procedure was not well documented and was difficult and time consuming to use. Despite these concerns, most agency personnel thought that the standards would fit into current procurement procedures with no big changes or cost increases. Many said use of the standards would decrease the time and effort they now spend to establish energy-efficiency requirements and to confirm that proposed designs comply. Personnel praised the software and documentation for being easy to use and providing energy efficiency requirements in energy dollars. Personnel were concerned about how the standards could be modified to analyze unusual design features. A centralized information source for agencies using the standards was suggested. Housing designers agreed that the DOE standards were easy to use to determine that their designs meet energy efficiency goals. They noted that the information provided by the standards could be useful in their design process. Most designers agreed with agency personnel that the alternative compliance procedure was too time consuming. They suggested that assistance be available so that the proposal and procurement process would not be interrupted. Additional conclusions were that training and assistance is needed by field office personnel because much of the federal agency procurement activity occurs at the field offices. Agency training needs fall into three categories: 1) specific improvements in the documentation, 2) materials and courses to educate users, and 3) mechanisms for providing information to users. Designers will need additional help, particularly in understanding how to design housing with improved energy-efficiency. A procedure to update the standards will be needed. DOE has met its legal requirement for obtaining public input but successful implementation of the standards will depend on mechanisms for continued public, industry, and agency feedback. Based on the demonstration, PNL recommends establishing task forces that will actively involve agency personnel and others in future revisions and development of the final standards. PNL also recommends that agencies use fuel and energy prices in the standards that reflect total costs better than the direct fuel prices that the agencies pay their suppliers. A number of ways are recommended to improve communications and the tools for implementing the standards. Several recommendations are made for increasing the number of renewable resource options that are included in the standards. Finally, PNL recommends on-going monitoring activities to continue to identify ways in which the standards can be improved.},
doi = {10.2172/1086695},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1992},
month = {1}
}