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ASHRAE’S new  Cold Climate Design Guide

Frank Mills is the project manager for a new design guide which is being published by ASHRAE in 2015. It is the first guide that deals with low energy, low carbon, sustainable design solutions in cold climates which historically have been big energy users with demanding requirements for human comfort and health in cold conditions.

ASHRAE’s Cold Climate Design guide is a comprehensive source of information for anyone involved in the design of HVAC systems in any cold climate whether it be a ‘winter’ climate in seasonal locations or severe cold climates where heating is essential all year round. The guide follows ASHRAE’s successful approach in providing sound base information for designers and installers, such as psychometrics, load calculations to spreadsheet calcs , thermal models and CFD analysis. These are illustrated through case study examples showing how designers have achieved successful buildings meeting design targets whilst using efficient and low cost systems.

People hate being cold. It is uncomfortable, debilitating, brings on illness and makes it difficult to work, rest or play. At one time humans would have had to move seasonally to ‘follow the sun’, avoiding cold winters but have since developed all sorts of heating systems to maintain warmth. ASHRAE Standards have evolved to set down what temperatures and humidity’s are required and ASHRAE Guidance covers equipment, system calculations and methods.
Most heating systems rely on the use of fossil fuels for heat generation and even direct electrical heating, or heat pumps, served by electricity  generated at thermal power plants using fossil fuels.

The desire to use fossil fuels more effectively, prolong their availability and limit the production of carbon emissions in order to limit climate change demand a new updated approach to Cold Climate design in order to preserve human comfort and lifestyle and a sustainable future.
Drawing from current research published at the ASHRAE meetings and presentations at the Cold Climate conference held in Calgary, this guide provides a new approach which reduces costs – capital and operational – improves reliability and performance and explains how to achieve low and zero carbon heating systems.
The guide covers severe cold climates where some places require heating all year round, and the severe conditions in winter require systems that are totally reliable. In such conditions, attention to detail is important and the guide points out issues such as hoare frost on inlet louvres which can in extreme cases block the supply completely and cause problems to the fan which could burn out.
Protecting all parts of  the system against freeze up is also an essential design task because any part of the distribution system that experiences temperatures below 0 deg C (32 deg F) could freeze and burst causing system failure,  flooding and extensive water damage. The loss of the facility could be a major cost and in extreme cases cause a company to fail.
Case Studies in the guide include the Antartica survey complex , built to withstand temperatures near -100 deg C and the new Yukon Hospital with winter design temperatures of -50 deg C.
Wind Chill & Factors can mean lower temperatures still and measures to reduce wind effects are described.
The predicted effects of climate change of colder winters and hotter summers is also covered as designers must anticipate the impacts these changes will have, an make allowances in current designs.

The issues in design related to changeover from cold winter conditions to hot summer is described in detail and various factors which can compromise effective operation raised. The guide highlights the fact that whilst designers can size for the coldest day in winter and the hottest day in summer, buildings operate between these for the other 363 days and in many cases switch from a heating mode to a cooling node in the same day. Design needs to include controls and equipment to ensure comfortable and efficient operation.

The guide will be available online and at the ASHRAE summer meeting in Atlanta in June.Type your paragraph here.

The latest news for lcdc.


Frank Mallon

On 13th March 2016 our Managing Director, Frank Mallon passed away. His death was sudden and unexpected and he is very missed for his leadership and hard work.


Frank's vision for the business has been carried forward and his aims of seeing Liverpool become a low carbon city are being persued.


LCDC ceasing to trade


Since the sudden death of Frank Mallon, LCDC has worked to continue his business plans.  However the shareholders have decided to close the business and have ceased to trade.


Any enquiries regarding LCDC should be directed to Frank Mills, Technical Director of LCDC, at famills@low-carbondesign.com