Commercial Building Design Guides
The 50% AEDGs provide practical approaches to achieve 50% energy savings compared to base code requirements.
Download them free from ASHRAE:
- Small and Medium Office Buildings
- K-12 School Buildings
- Medium to Big Box Retail Buildings
The guides on this page will help you to achieve specific energy savings and provide a useful overview of sustainable design. These guides, produced for both new construction and retrofit projects, are the product of ongoing research by the Commercial Buildings Integration Program to help meet the program's goal of advancing technologies and systems that reduce the energy consumption of commercial buildings.
- Advanced Energy Design Guides
- Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides
- Strategies for 50% Energy Savings (Technical Support Documents)
- Sustainable Design Guide
Advanced Energy Design Guides
The Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDGs) accelerate the construction of energy efficient buildings by providing a prescriptive path to achieve significant energy savings over minimum building energy codes. The AEDG project represents a partnership between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), ASHRAE, American Institute of Architects, U.S. Green Building Council, and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA).
The recommendations in the AEDGs are specific to each of the eight U.S. climate zones. Using the AEDGs, those involved with designing or constructing commercial buildings can easily achieve advanced levels of energy savings without running detailed calculations or analyses.
The AEDG series provides design guidance for buildings that use 50% less energy than those built to the requirements of the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004 commercial code. The AEDGs for achieving 50% savings are all available for free download from ASHRAE:
A 50% guide for large hospitals will be released over the next 12 months. Additionally, the previous series of guides to achieve 30% savings (based on ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-1999) is available for small office buildings, small retail buildings, small warehouses and self-storage buildings, highway lodging, hospitals/healthcare, and K-12 schools.
Share your Project
If you've built an energy-efficient building by following the Advanced Energy Design Guides please let us know. Visit the High Performance Buildings Database to share your success.
Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides
The Advanced Energy Retrofit Guides (AERGs) were created to help decision makers plan, design, and implement energy improvement projects in their facilities. With energy managers in mind, they present practical guidance for kick-starting the process and maintaining momentum throughout the project life cycle. These guides are primarily reference documents, allowing energy managers to consult the sections that address the most pertinent topics, without reading the guide from cover to cover. Useful guides developed by other organizations are cited throughout the AERGs when appropriate. Each guide is tailored specifically to the needs of one building type, with an emphasis on the most effective retro-commissioning and retrofit measures identified by experts familiar with those unique opportunities and challenges. The guides present a broad range of proven practices that can help energy managers take specific actions at any stage of the retrofit process, resulting in energy savings for many years to come.
One of the most important gaps in the current literature is reliable and actionable cost and energy savings methods and data. The AERGs address this gap by providing very comprehensive analytical methods for calculating the cost-effectiveness of retrofit measures. These methods are supplemented by examples using DOE's Pre-1980s Commercial Reference Buildings, and by detailed case studies that demonstrate how other organizations have successfully implemented similar measures. All of the AERGs are available for free download:
AERGs for K-12 schools and health care facilities are under development.
Strategies for 50% Energy Savings
DOE, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed recommendations on how to achieve up to 50% energy savings in a variety of commercial building types. These reports will provide the basis for the next series of Advanced Energy Design Guides, which are "how-to" guides that show architects, engineers, and building designers how to achieve above-code exemplary energy performance for buildings using existing technologies available today.
View the 50% Energy Savings Technical Support Documents for the following building types:
- General Merchandise
- Grocery Stores
- Highway Lodging Buildings
- Large Hospitals
- Large Office Buildings
- Medium Box Retail
- Medium Office Buildings
- Quick-Service Restaurants
- Small Office Buildings
Sustainable Design Guide
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) produced a Sustainable Design Guide that describes the issues and design process for 50% more energy-efficient buildings and the added value that sustainable design can provide in architecture, facility construction, operation, and maintenance.
The following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs.
- Chapter 1: Sustainable Development - What and Why?
- Chapter 2: Whole-Building Design
- Chapter 3: Building Siting
- Chapter 4: The Building Architectural Design
- Chapter 5: Lighting, HVAC, and Plumbing
- Chapter 6: Materials
- Chapter 7: Landscape Design and Management
- Chapter 8: Constructing the Building
- Chapter 9: Commissioning the Building
- Chapter 10: Education, Training, and Operation