The Energy Department published a new rule requiring new federal buildings to meet higher energy efficiency standards. The rule applies to buildings for which design began on or after July 9, 2014.
The rule updates the baseline federal commercial standards to the 2010 version of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 90.1, which the Energy Department determined would save 18.2 percent more energy in commercial buildings than the 2007 version of Standard 90.1.
The ASHRAE Standard 90.1 is developed through an American National Standards Institute consensus process that involves industry, building owners, designers, and government. The process includes extensive public review and comment on each change to Standard 90.1.
The rule, published in the Federal Register, applies to the construction of new Federal commercial and multi-family high-rise buildings.
The Energy Department said it was compelled by federal law to enact the new rule because it must keep federal baseline energy efficiency standards current with industry practices.
The more stringent standard comes just weeks after President Obama unveiled his Climate Action Plan, part of which includes more energy efficiency in federal buildings.
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