Do Energy Codes apply to replacing HVAC equipment?

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Does a condo bldg (400,000 sf, 28 flrs, built 1985, Minneapolis) have to comply with the energy code when replacing the plant equipment? The residential units (250,000 sf) have WSHPs which is the owner's responsibility. It is proposed to replace the supplemental cooling tower & boiler and upgrade the controls serving the unit HPs and the systems & equipment serving 150,000 sf of the common (indoor pool, fitness & business center, enclosed garage, etc.. The extent of replacement can be gauged by its estimated cost of $720,000. Does a project of this size qualify for Energy Savings Performance Contracting?
Varkie Thomas

Varkie Thomas's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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Varkie, not sure if you got any replies to this one. in 90.1-2007
says that direct replacement equipment should still meet the mandatory

David S. Eldridge, Jr., P.E., LEED AP BD+C, BEMP, HBDP

*From:* bldg-sim-bounces at
[mailto:bldg-sim-bounces at] *On Behalf Of *Varkie C
*Sent:* Wednesday, January 26, 2011 1:20 PM
*To:* 'bldg-sim at'
*Subject:* [Bldg-sim] Do Energy Codes apply to replacing HVAC equipment?

Does a condo bldg (400,000 sf, 28 flrs, built 1985, Minneapolis) have to
comply with the energy code when replacing the plant equipment?

Varkie Thomas

David S Eldridge's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 2000

Virtually all Building Codes (which trump ASHRAE Standards) require ALL new
work and alterations to existing buildings to meet the current codes,
including energy codes. Some jurisdictions allow replacement equipment to
have lower efficiencies than for new work. So the answer to your question
is a definite "maybe".

Probably your best approach is to search online for the MN building codes to
see if it is one of those jurisdictions that differentiate between
replacement and new equipment. Many jurisdictions post their codes, or at
least the revisions to the model codes online.

Best of luck.

Michael Hardy, PE, F.NSPE

MLHardy's picture
Joined: 2010-12-08
Reputation: 0

Hi Dr. Varkie!

Your question hinges directly on which energy code/standard is being

While someone on these lists might know definitively... this is a
question that is probably best answered by the local planning department
that issues permits. I would advise calling, ask what energy
standard/code (if any) is adopted and whether review of that
code/standard is part of the permit review process (energy codes in some
areas are adopted, but not enforced). You may be able to speak directly
to the person who performs these reviews and if so she/he may be able to
give you a direct answer to your specific question of scope.


Nick-Caton's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
Reputation: 805

Thanks for all the replies. I should have done my homework before asking the question. ASHRAE Std90 is clear on this topic but with the Minnesota Energy Code you have interpret ?remodeled elements? to include everything besides the structure

Minnesota Energy Code Chapter 7676 ? All Buildings except low-rise residential
2. New & remodeled elements of buildings. This Chapter applies to all new and remodeled elements of commercial and all other buildings.
3. Existing Buildings. Additions, alterations and repairs to existing buildings or structures must comply with part 7676.1400.

ASHRAE Std90-2004 Changes in Space Conditioning. Whenever unconditioned and semi-heated spaces are converted to conditioned spaces, such conditioned spaces shall be brought into compliance with all the applicable requirements of this standard that would apply to the building envelope, heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, service water heating, power, lighting, and other systems and equipment of the space as if the building were new.

I would like to have your views and opinions on Articles 1 and 2 (open website click on tab Articles at the top and then the articles to open the file.
Article-1 Architectural Design and the Perimeter Zone.
Article-2 Mechanical Design and Percent Energy Savings
The website contains the teaching notes and examples of building energy use that I used for graduate courses and advising doctoral candidates. I put them on a website, before throwing it all away, in case it might useful to others. The objectives are in the Introduction.


Varkie Thomas's picture
Joined: 2011-09-30
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