Lighting efficiency improvements proposed for ASHRAE 90.1

Proposed changes to ASHRAE 90.1 will require automatic lighting controls in more space types and shorten the times before lighting is automatically reduced or shut off.


Addendum by to ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010, Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, was developed in response to requests from the design community, which asked for a tabular structure for specifying the controls requirements. By putting these requirements into an easier-to-use tabular format, the provisions will be clearer, more likely to be complied with and easier to enforce, according to Eric Richman, chair of the standard’s lighting subcommittee.

“The proposed addendum is the product of both the interest in increasing lighting controls use where practical and simplifying the standard,” Richman said.

The 2010 version of the standard includes basic shutoff and occupancy sensor type controls in selected spaces. The addendum will increase the use of occupancy based control to all spaces in a building where practical. At the same time, additional partial on and partial off controls are added to further reduce full on lighting when spaces are typically unoccupied. For example, many spaces that are not always practical applications for full automatic off (such as corridors) would require at least partial automatic off when the space is unoccupied.

The new tabular format allows users to see all requirements for most interior space types and categories in one simple look-up table.

“This new representation and update of control requirements will reduce the time that lighting is on at full levels in many spaces and make the requirements easier to understand and therefore comply with and inspect to,” he said. “Both of these conditions will improve energy efficiency of the building.”

The addendum is open for public review till April 1, 2013. For more information, visit

Also open for public review is addendum ay till March 17, 2013. The proposed addendum corrects a couple of small editorial issues and raises the threshold for when daylight responsive controls are required so that they are cost effective in all climate zones.

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