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The following article was published in ASHRAE Journal, January 1997. Copyright 1997 American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. It is presented for educational purposes only. This article may not be copied and/or distributed electronically or in paper form without permission of ASHRAE.

EPA Program Impacts Office Zoning

By Robert J. Rose and Jack Dozier
Life Member ASHRAE

y the 1950s individual room temperature control was favored by many engineers in the exterior spaces of office buildings. Of major concern was a problem that some called traveling shadows, meaning that some buildings shaded other buildings at times. This could result in wide variation in loads on the same exposure. In some cases there could be a heating load in one module of space adjacent to a significant cooling load in another. The air-water induction system was one that addressed this problem, offering individual temperature selection and control on a modular basis, typically with 4- to 6-foot- (1.22 to 1.82 m) wide modules. Lighting dominated the interior load, and the building that had many zones on the exterior of a floor might have but one or very few zones in the interior. In the 1960s, temperature selection and control were provided for interior modules of space by design that included variable air volume terminals that could be individually controlled by systempowered or pneumatic equipment. Energy conservation became a much higher priority in the early 1970s, which contributed to building designs and materials that reduced solar loading, also reducing the impact of traveling shadows. Individual temperature selection became regarded as energy-wasteful and helped lead to regulations that limited allowable room temperatures. Later these regulations were relaxed in most buildings. Less costly multi-room zoning increased in design practice and

for several years has been regarded as adequate by many engineers. Now the need for modular control has again appeared, but this time the need is due to the distribution of internal heat gains in both interior and exterior spaces of both new and existing buildings. A sharp acceleration of this trend is occurring today due to the Energy Star Office Equipment Program of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Energy (DOE). This article will address: 1. A choice for HVAC system designers. 2. The nature of the changes. 3. The Energy Star Office Equipment Program sponsored by the EPA and by the DOE. 4. Impact on meeting ASHRAE Standard 62-1989. 5. How energy cost savings alone will pay for meeting these changes while dramatically improving comfort and worker productivity. A Choice for System Designers As a designing engineer, imagine you have two sets of plans on your desk. One plan provides traditional thermal zoning. The other plan provides individual room control (IRC) in which the individual can control the temperature of their own space. Also, assume you know that the relative first costs, energy costs and maintenance costs result in an owning cost that favors IRC. So you have the choice of providing a single uniform temperature or individual

room control. Which plan do you choose? All other things being equal, you choose the IRC based on the notion that the occupants will be happier. You know that people prefer different space temperatures. In fact even the same person prefers different space temperatures depending on their own level of activity, health, etc. The above example serves as evidence, and we can all agree IRC is a desirable HVAC feature. With this in mind, this paper will discuss how the changing office environment will all but require IRC. Traditional thermal zoning can no longer be depended upon to provide a single uniform temperature conAbout the Authors
Robert J. Rose is a mechanical engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. His work with the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Division focuses on profitable pollution prevention. His work involves HVAC systems as well as lighting and office equipment. He received his bachelors degree in 1990 and masters degree in 1992, both in mechanical engineering, from the University of Maryland. Jack Dozier, Life Member ASHRAE, resides in Shreveport, La. and has been involved in the design and sales of HVAC products since 1948. He has a strong interest in system concepts and has been heavily involved in major equipment, controls, and computer room environmental systems. ASHRAE Journal 37

January, 1997

Figure 1: Diagram at top shows a common system that blends outdoor air and return air and serves rooms through a single duct. Diagram at bottom shows a dedicated system that serves room through two separate duct systems.

evenly distributed internal heat gain was reasonable for zoning too, as the lighting load was dominant. With the energy awareness of recent years, lighting loads have been reduced while the Table 1: Table from Fundamentals Handbook of 1993 use of heat generatshows the variety of loads that may appear almost anying office equipwhere in the modern office. ment has increased. It is important to sistently. Lastly, this paper will conclude recognize that each piece of office that the time spent to further analyze equipment represents a spot load, as IRC and its effects would be better spent contrasted to the even load distribution from a symmetrical pattern of light fixdesigning and implementing IRC. tures. The Nature of the Changes The ASHRAE Fundamentals HandHistorically HVAC designers have book of 1993, Table 9, Chapter 26 (Table considered internal heat gains as being 1) lists the recommended rate of heat gain evenly distributed in office space. Load for selected office equipment, for the purcalculation has typically input heat gains poses of load calculation. Scanning the from lighting and office equipment as a right hand column of the table, one single watts-per-square-foot value. No becomes aware of the variety of loads that change in that practice is likely unless may appear almost anywhere in the modcloser detail is known at the time of ern office. One microcomputer may condesign, and expected to be permanent. tribute 300 BTU/h (88 W) to the load of its Also, such an approach is generally ade- module of space, while the microcomputer quate for the sizing of major equipment. in another module of space contributes six Until recent years the expectation of an times that amount. Still another module of
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space may have a minicomputer that releases 15,000 BTU/h (4397 W). We Simply do not know what load to expect in a location, and when (not if) this mobile load will change. As a frame of reference to the significance of the office equipment in room sensible load, the same chapter of the handbook lists the sensible heat gain from an occupant as 250 BTU/h (73 W). For the student who may not have looked beyond the sizing of the system to meet maximum load, the basic function of room temperature control is to match the capacity being delivered to the actual load that exists. When capacity and load are not equal, temperature change occurs. Considering (for simplicity) interior zones, the multi-room zone of control and the large multi-outlet zone are usually designed, built and balanced for uniform air delivery throughout. When temperature excursion signals a different load in some location, the system operators may attempt manual adjustment of air flow (re-balancing) to restore a uniform and stable temperature. This is and must be a cut and try operation, and several attempts may be required. Zone temperature set point may be adjusted to satisfy the most persuasive current complaint, but that change will probably trigger the next complaint(s).
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Contributing heavily to the change is the migration of the loads of electronic data processing. Take for example a high rise in 1985 that had an entire floor dedicated to data processing. Large mainframes and peripherals were served by computer room air-conditioning equipment, not a part of the loads or zoning of office space. Today the mainframes and computer room a/c units are gone. As much (probably more) data is processed in that building now by smaller computers, printers and the like scattered throughout the office space. Now the loads of data processing clearly influence zoning needs of office space. The rate of change in office equipment can be seen by comparing information on that subject in the three most recent ASHRAE Handbooks of Fundamentals. Attention is called to Page 26.22 in 1985, Page 26.11 in 1989 and Page 26.14 in 1993. There is office equipment out there today that simply did not exist a short while ago. Where each office load change has been recognized and promptly met with careful air-flow adjustment, room temperature has been more stable. Fortunately (for room temperature stability), many computers have been left on. Announced in late 1993 for Federal Agencies, office equipment with the Energy Star logo is now advancing into the private sector. Energy Star Program According to the findings of U.S. EPA Energy Star Office Equipment Program personal computers account for 5% of commercial energy use and could double by Year 2000. In fact, energy consumption by office equipment represents the fastest growing use of electricity in the country. Worse yet, office equipment is often in use only half of the time and 30% to 40% are left on overnight and on weekends. In response, the EPA and DOE have implemented the Energy Star Office Equipment Program. Under this program manufacturers of computers, monitors, printers, copiers and faxes volunteer to produce equipment which power down to a nominal power level when not in use. This powered-down state is referred to as the sleep mode. In return, manufacturers use an Energy
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Star logo identifying the equipment as energy saving. As a result, currently 80% of new computers, 95% of new monitors and 95% of new printers made today have these power-down features. Historically, the

epending on the

equipment, Energy Star Office Equipment can power down anywhere from 66% to 94%, presenting a significant task load change in the workstation, occupied or unoccupied. Sleep mode is entered minutes after the last print request, keystroke, mouse movement, fax, etc. Because these electric loads are largely convective, the resulting reduction in cooling load is nearly instantaneous.

watts and small copiers 1,700 watts to 6,600 watts. Typical office monitors today can consume 90 to 200 watts. Depending on the equipment, Energy Star Office Equipment can power down anywhere from 66% to 94%, presenting a significant task load change in the workstation, occupied or unoccupied. Sleep mode is entered minutes after the last print request, keystroke, mouse movement, fax, etc. Because these electric loads are largely convective, the resulting reduction in cooling load is nearly instantaneous. The Impact of Standards Attorneys to Engineers: Protect Self, ASHRAE Journal, December 1995 addresses the legal exposure of engineers with regard to ASHRAE Standard 62-1989. It is the position of this article that whether or not a design should meet the Standard is no longer just a matter for engineering evaluation. Rather, this has become a matter for consideration by legal and insurance advisors of the owner and all involved in design and construction of the project. This article addresses meeting the Ventilation Rate Procedure of the Standard in a manner that can be demonstrated in the field beyond reasonable doubt. This article will not address the quality of indoor air, nor is the Indoor Air Quality Procedure of the Standard discussed. 6.1.3, Ventilation Requirements of the Standard states Indoor air quality shall be considered acceptable if the required rates of acceptable outdoor air are provided for the occupied space. The standard calls for 20 CFM (9.4 L/s) per person in office application. 5.2 calls for ventilation air to be delivered throughout the occupied zone. An ASHRAE spokesman in the Technical Services Department verified that this means each occupied zone. In HVAC we have occasion to introduce OA to serve system needs, such as to replace air that is being exhausted. The Standard is intended to address the health and safety needs of people. Simply introducing OA into the system does not assure adequate OA delivery to each occupied zone. One magazine article (1) addresses two basic methods of delivering OA to an example of five identical single occupant interior rooms.
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technology to power down equipment had been used in laptop computers to conserve battery power. Due to the everchanging and adaptive nature of the computer industry, the technology was easily incorporated into other equipment. Not surprisingly, the technology is becoming standardized and is spreading even further. In all cases, this technology poses no increase in cost for the consumer. Table 2 outlines the performance specifications for Energy Star Office Equipment. Equipment meeting or exceeding the power levels during sleep mode can label the equipment as Energy Star. As stated earlier, 80% to 95% of office equipment made today meets Energy Star criteria. Currently, the power draw for office equipment when not in sleep mode can vary greatly from one machine to another. Following the 1993 ASHRAE Fundamentals Handbook, Table 9, Chapter 26, microcomputers can consume 90 to 530 watts. Printers can consume roughly 300

Tier 1 Tier 2

Effective Date
July 95 July 97

Sleep Mode (0 cpm1 20)

5W 5W

Sleep Mode (20 cpm1 44)

40W 10W

Sleep Mode (44 cpm)

40W 15W


Effective Date
Oct. 1995

"Sleep Mode" (0 ppm2 7)


"Sleep Mode" (7 ppm 14)


"Sleep Mode" (14 ppm)


Personal Computers/ Monitors

Effective Date
Oct. 1995

"Sleep Mode"

1cpm 2ppm

- copies per minute. Energy Star performance specifications for copiers are a function of cpm - pagers per minute. Energy Star performance specifications for printers are a function of ppm

Table 2: Performance specifications for Energy Star Program are outlined. Eighty to 90% of office equipment being manufactured today now meets specifications.

Figure 1 shows a common system that blends OA and RA, delivering the mixture in a common duct system. Figure 1 also shows the dedicated system which has two separate duct systems supplying each room. One system deals with thermal conditioning, while the second is a dedicated supply of 100% OA. The OA is constant volume conditioned to about room temperature and humidity by a ventilation air treatment unit. This article will not deal with system ramifications such as the need of preheat, or the application of the economizer cycle, either of which may be considered with the common or the dedicated system of ventilation. A basic problem of the common approach as cited in (1) is that total air flow is a function of room sensible load, while the ventilation need is a function of occupancy. Each room needs 20 CFM (9.4 L/s) per person of OA in this example, but room loads may differ widely. For a common mixture to provide enough OA to all rooms the percentage of OA must be high enough to meet the needs of the room with the lowest load. This is true of constant volume systems as well as VAV. In article (1) the system would have to condition almost three times 20 CFM per person to provide the amount needed in each room. Applying ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 Equation 6-1 to this example resulted in 60% of the rooms getting less than 20 CFM of OA, and still exceeded OA need of the dedicated system by over 40%.
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The dedicated system delivers only the OA to each space that is required by ASHRAE Standard 62-1989. A case is cited in (1) where an 1100 ton (3 869 kW) chilled water plant was used to serve all loads of a building using the dedicated system. The added OA to meet ASHRAE Standard 62-1989 Equation 6-1 would have caused the common system to increase that plant to 1474 tons (5 184 kW). The cost of the added capacity exceeded the dedicated systems additional air handling system cost. In first cost and in energy cost, the dedicated system was the best choice, in the circumstances of that system. The dedicated system decouples the thermal and ventilation needs, allowing each system to perform without interfering with or depending upon the other. Hopefully software will soon be available to assist evaluation. Reheat is sometimes mentioned in connection with meeting ASHRAE Standard 62-1989. In the dedicated system of ventilation the ventilation air treatment unit may require reheat at times when dehumidification also involves sensible cooling. Several manufacturers offer equipment that reheats with energy that has been extracted from incoming outdoor air and/or recovered from energy rejected from the building. Such equipment may reheat ventilation air with little or no new energy to become reheat. Reheat to support local ventilation is an entirely different matter. Article (1)

addresses the Reheat Option. The conclusions of that article state In the future, there just has to be a better way than to return to reheat in office buildings. Energy Cost Savings Pay for System Concept Over-cooling is common in spaces that are unoccupied, unlighted and with office equipment off, when these spaces are part of a multi-room zone. A study was conducted by an independent consulting engineer to determine how much energy is wasted in conditioning and delivering air to spaces in excess of the actual need. Figure 2 shows six single-occupant interior rooms. For the purpose of this study, heat transfer between conditioned spaces is ignored. Each occupied room is considered to be fully loaded while unoccupied rooms (cross-hatched) have zero load. In Figure 2, the thermostat is in an occupied room. To maintain the desired room temperature (yellow) at full load that space must receive 100% capacity, or full air-flow in this VAV example. To deliver full flow to any space the VAV box must deliver full flow to all spaces, as the box cannot discriminate between the rooms of a multi-room zone. Unoccupied rooms over-cool (blue). Even though half of the rooms are unloaded, the multi-room zone VAV (MRZVAV) takes 100% air-flow from the system. Under the same conditions Individual Room Control VAV (IRCVAV) adjusts air flow to the needs of each room taking 50% air-flow from the system.
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Figure 2: Diagram shows six single-occupant interior rooms. Occupied rooms are considered to be fully loaded, and unoccupied rooms (cross-hatched) have zero load.

To quantify energy usage of the two concepts (IRCVAV and MRZVAV), detailed energy analyses were conducted by computer. Hourly loads were calculated, partial load performance of actual equipment selections were considered, and an effort was made to fairly evaluate both zoning concepts. A bulletin (2) outlines the study in some detail. A significant difference was expected because the operating schedule revealed that each office is unoccupied much of the time that the HVAC system is in operation. The first computer run did not show a predicted contrast. It was then learned that the program had considered averaging control for the MRZ system, as shown in Figure 3. With averaging control, the temperature of each (or selected) space(s) is measured and the zone responds to the average of those temperatures. The three unoccupied rooms would over-cool, lowering the average, and causing the box to reduce airflow to all rooms of MRZVAV. Being fully loaded the occupied rooms over-heat (red). Allowing this to continue could produce extremes like 85F (29C) in three rooms and 65F (18C) in the remaining three rooms. The computer sees the 75F (24C) average and calculates energy usage at 50% capacity for the MRZ. While this is possible, it is very unrealistic to assume that humans will tolerate being over-heated just because some rooms are unoccupied. In some manner real-world occupants will cause an adjustment so spaces are comfortable (yellow). With full load that means full airflow to the occupied and 100% air delivery by the system to the box. That
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the unoccupied rooms over-cool is the lesser of the evils presented by MRZVAV. To achieve reality-in for Figure 3: With a multi-room zone, the temperature of reality-out, the each space is measured and the zone responds to the avstudy was adjusted erage of those temperatures. to simulate discriminator control of the MRZVAV. In One architect said give them individual this case that means that no room is control and they will use more energy allowed to over-heat due to reduction of than they need. A first cost addition for IRCVAV airflow. The study was input in an effort to (over MRZVAV) will be repaid from represent the operating schedule and energy savings, whether very quickly or procedures of a typical building man- less quickly. This is not a situation that aged by the General Services Adminis- calls for an analysis of the payback tration. IRCVAV used 29% to 57% less period, as is appropriate for machines energy than MRZVAV in this example, that have different costs and efficiencies, depending on the location in the building but that do the same job. The really fast payback is in occupant comfort, and in of the spaces considered. This was only one example of one the productivity increase that results building, but the example was by no from individual temperature selection means a worst-case scenario. The sav- and control. ings were due to the ability of IRCVAV Productivity and Comfort to take advantage of the load change in Recent scientific studies have individual rooms. In the study the load change was due to rooms being unoccu- addressed the influence of individual pied. Now, with the Energy Star pro- control as a means to minimize worker gram, occupied rooms will experience distraction by thermal conditions. Providing personal control on a oneload change too, and IRCVAV will enjoy a greater advantage over MRZVAV than to-one basis (one person per diffuser and controller) yielded a measured producthe study revealed. This energy contrast was presented to tivity increase of 2-3% in an actual many groups in 1995 including engi- project, as cited by Prof. Volker Hartneers, architects, utilities and end users. kopf at Carnegie Mellon University. As The comment of one consulting engi- contrasted to the conditions experienced neer was this is obvious when you look in the typical multi-room zone, or the at it, but few of us have looked. How- large multi-diffuser zone. This evaluaever, some who are not that close to tion was made when most computers HVAC design simply assume that were left on during occupency. With greater comfort means energy waste. such equipment going in and out of a
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sleep mode worker distraction due to temperature change is observed to be greater. An ASHRAE Journal article (3) uses an occupancy density level of 7 persons per 1000 ft2 (93 m2) in connection with office ventilation. In the writers experience modular zoning that involves one diffuser and one controller for a single occupant office costs about $1.50 per square foot more than the typical multiroom zone. Combining these factors with the lower percentage of productivity increase from the CMU research (2%), and assuming the total cost of an employee to be $30,000 per year yields a simple payback on the investment in 4.3 months. If the these figures are applied to an owner-occupied office building of 100,000 ft2 (9 290 m2), the productivity increase would reward the owneremployer on the order of $420,000 per year after the first cost of $150,000 has been repaid. This article will not attempt to refine these rough figures to the net gain of individual control to a building owner, or to a tenant. It is obvious without costly research that there is great value in individual control that minimizes worker distraction due to thermal discomfort. Payback prediction (based on worker productivity) really may not be within the engineers scope of responsibility or expertise. The client may have other means to evaluate the cost of employee distraction. Where the engineer can help his client (architect and/or end user) is to clearly explain the limitations of the traditional multi-room zone when faced with the widely varying internal loads that have developed in the modern office. The client expects the system to provide a consistent room temperature, and the MRZ may no longer provide that with load changes that are taking place. The client will recognize that office equipment has changed dramatically, he may have heard of the Energy Star Program, but he may not have related these changes to an increase in worker distraction due to discomfort. How can the engineer prepare his client to invest more than he might pay for the obsolete multi-room zone? A start is to explain why the design of the past is not adequate for the needs of today. Further, the client may believe that improved comfort means energy cost
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increase, when the opposite is true with individual room control by VAV. On energy cost alone a payback will result. If the client will not invest in a design that assures comfort, the results become his or her responsibility. If the

ow can the engineer

prepare his client to invest more than he might pay for the obsolete multi-room zone? A start is to explain why the design of the past is not adequate for the needs of today. Further, the client may believe that improved comfort means energy cost increase, when the opposite is true with individual room control by VAV.

engineer does not alert the client to these changes, it is the engineer who will be responsible for the clients disappointment. This is no hard choice that the engineer offers. This is more like offering a luxury vehicle that will pay for itself at the gas pump when compared to basic transportation that has become inadequate. Conclusion There is clearly a determined and effective effort on the part of the EPA to minimize energy use. In this effort, adequate indoor air quality will be provided, but over-ventilation is recognized as wasteful. By decoupling the ventilation system from the system that conditions thermally we are free to consider options that ventilate to actual rather than to potential needs. An excellent article in ASHRAE Journal (4) has addressed the fact that the power consumption data of office equipment manufacturers is not accurate and significantly overstates the heat generation of automatic data processing

(ADP) equipment. This does not contradict the fact that ADP and other office equipment have impacted the zoning needs of the modern office. That equipment loads do differ widely is seen by the example in Figure 1 of that article (4), where actual measured maximum power ranged from 55 watts in some locations to 660 watts in others. Nameplate power ratings at the same location are shown as 180 and 875 respectively. Further in Tables 3a, b, c, and d actual maximum watts of ADP items ranged from 26 to 840. Where will these spot loads be located, and when will they be moved? As to change, this (1994) article was apparently written before the EPA Energy Star Program could be considered, as maximum watts and idle watts are shown as the same for computers and monitors. Obviously the office load today is modular and ever-changing. The only way to consistently control temperature in each module of space is to meet modular load change with individual control of each module of space. To do this with energy efficiency and maximum diversity of capacity calls for control by variable air volume. A system that meets these needs is called modular vav. For the purposes of this article a module of space could be a small office or an individual workstation within a larger office. References
1. Meeting ASHRAE 62-89 at Lowest Cost Heating/Piping/Air Conditioning January, 1995, Dozier 2. Acutherm Form 2.3G494. For a copy, call (800) 544-1840 3. Determining Ventilation Rates: Revisions to Standard 62-1989, ASHRAE Journal, February 1996, Taylor 4. Measuring Computer Equipment Loads In Office Buildings Wilkens and McGaffin, ASHRAE Journal, August 1994 Please circle the appropriate number on the Reader Service Card at the back of the publication. Extremely Helpful ........................ 708 Helpful ....................................... 709 Somewhat Helpful ....................... 710 Not Helpful................................. 711
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