Industry overturns proposed revisions to ASHRAE 90.1

Glass Magazine
October 18, 2010

The glazing industry successfully prevented new, unnecessarily restrictive glazing provisions from taking affect this month as part of ASHRAE 90.1-2010’s prescriptive path for code compliance, according to a joint release from the Glass Association of North America, Topeka, Kan.; Aluminum Extruders Council, Wauconda, Ill.; Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Ottawa, Ontario; AGC Flat Glass North America Inc., Alpharetta, Ga.; Guardian Industries Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich.; and Pilkington North America Inc., Toledo, Ohio.

An ASHRAE appeals panel has reversed a decision by ASHRAE’s Standing Project Committee 90.1 to reduce the amount of glass permissible in the envelope of commercial buildings using the prescriptive path by a full 25 percent -- from a maximum window-to-wall ratio of 40 percent to a maximum of 30 percent. It also reversed the proposed inclusion of more restrictive U-factors and solar heat gain coefficient values and the addition of a new minimum for VT/SHGC (of 1.1) in ASHRAE 90.1’s prescriptive path.

Appeals were taken on behalf of the glazing industry on the grounds that: 1) The Project Committee’s decisions were technically flawed since they lacked sound estimates of likely energy saving; and 2) The process used by the Project Committee violated ASHRAE and ANSI procedures since the glazing industry was not provided adequate representation on either the committee or its Envelope Subcommittee, according to the release. 

In its decision, the Appeals Panel held that “Addendum bb to ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 will be returned to the Project Committee to address the portions of this appeal that were upheld [respecting U-factor, SHGC, VT/SHGC and WWR]. The Project Committee will determine what changes, if any, will be made, and addendum bb, or portions thereof, would need to go through the public review process again.” 

“I am extremely pleased with the decision," said Bill Yanek, executive vice president, GANA, in the release. "The glazing industry strongly supports ASHRAE’s efforts to improve energy efficiency in commercial buildings, but all improvements need to be based on sound technical analysis.  As major stakeholders, the glazing industry also needs to be part of the process throughout. This is a major step forward.” 

"The NGA filed comments on behalf of its members at various stages of the process, and commend all who worked at securing this key appeals process victory," said David Walker, vice president, Association Services, National Glass Association, McLean, Va. "This victory is a testament to the unified and vigilant industry action over the better part of a year. In as much the issue is likely to reappear in three years, our industry should remain vigilant."

The industry had filed two coordinated appeals: Thomas S. Zaremba, attorney at law, Roetzel & Andress, Toledo, filed one on behalf of Pilkington North America and AGC Flat Glass North America; and GANA, AEC, IGMA and Guardian Industries Corp. filed another jointly, with Thomas Culp, president, Birch Point Consulting, La Crosse, Wis., and Urmilla Sowell, technical director, GANA, in the lead.

Culp has recently been appointed to voting membership on the ASHRAE 90.1 Committee and its Envelope Subcommittee, and Sowell has been appointed as a consultant to the Envelope Subcommittee.  Culp and Sowell, representing AEC and GANA, will continue to advocate for the commercial glazing industry at ASHRAE, and highlight the positive role glazing plays in building energy efficiency as the Project Committee and its Envelope Subcommittee revisits the commercial glazing issues specified by the appellate panel, according to the release.

Read a Glass Magazine article on the proposed revisions to ASHRAE 90.1.