ASHRAE Publishes Easier-to-Use Residential Energy Standard

A newly published residential energy standard from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) now contains only the essential information necessary to design and enforce energy conservation requirements.

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.2-2004, Energy-Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings, provides minimum requirements for the energy-efficient design of residential buildings.

Compared to the 2001 standard, ASHRAE reduced the number of tables needed to apply the envelope provisions and simplified their application.

"Those who use energy codes that govern one- and two-family dwellings and low-rise multifamily structures indicated that they needed a standard that was simpler and less design intensive," says Steve Skalko, chair of the committee that wrote the standard.

"Standard 90.2-2004 represents a major overhaul in formatting and improvements in energy conservation provisions."

Among the changes:

  • More than 45 figures and tables regarding thermal envelope provisions were replaced with two tables
  • A new appendix, with a simpler format and easier application, has been added. This will allow users to comply with the prescriptive envelope provisions by applying an envelope trade-off procedure as an alternative
  • Existing climate tables were deleted and replaced with a new map and tables of the U.S. that illustrate the eight primary zones considered representative of climate zones most applicable for current-day energy standards.

To order ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 90.2-2004, contact ASHRAE Customer Service at 800/527-4723 or visit the Bookstore at

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