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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Advances to ASHRAE Standard 55 to encourage more effective building practice

  • Author(s): Arens, Edward
  • Heinzerling, David
  • Liu, Shichao
  • Paliaga, Gwelen
  • Pande, Abhijeet
  • Schiavon, Stefano
  • Zhai, Yongchao
  • Zhang, Hui
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 4.0 license

ASHRAE Standard 55 has been evolving in recent years to encourage more sustainable building designs and operational practices. A series of changes address issues for which past design practice has been deficient or overly constrained. Some of the changes were enabled by findings from field studies of comfort and energy-efficiency, and others by new developments in the design- and building-management professions.  The changes have been influencing practice and spurring follow-on research.

The Standard now addresses effects of elevated air movement, solar gain on the occupant, and draft at the ankles, each with several impacts on energy-efficient design and operation. It also addresses the most important source of discomfort in modern buildings, the large inter- and intra-personal variability in thermal comfort requirements, by classifying the occupants’ personal control and adaptive options in a form that can be used in building rating systems. In order to facilitate design, new computer tools extend the use of the standard toward direct use in designers’ workflow. The standard also includes provisions for monitoring and evaluating buildings in operation. This paper summarizes these developments and their underlying research, and attempts to look ahead.

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