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The following article was published in ASHRAE Journal, September 2007.

©Copyright 2007 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.


EQc2 Credit
By Tom Hudson, Associate Member ASHRAE

uilding owners seeking to create healthier work environments 62.1-2004, Ventilation for Acceptable
Indoor Air Quality. It has been shown
or to obtain the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Lead- that increasing ventilation rates decreases
respiratory illness and associated sick
ership and Environmental Design (LEED)® certification often want leave,1 reduces sick building syndrome
(SBS) symptoms,2 and improves pro-
to know the effect of higher ventilation levels on energy use and ductivity.3 Lawrence Berkley National
Laboratory reported that almost all stud-
cost. Unfortunately, owner decisions are often based on opinions ies found that ventilation rates below 20
cfm (10 L/s–1) per person in all building
rather than engineering analysis.
types were associated with statistically
This study is an example methodology energy use analysis program designed to significant worsening in one or more
providing energy cost of office buildings estimate energy consumption of proposed health outcomes.4
complying with the LEED credit, EQc2, and existing buildings using an hour-by- Complying with LEED credit EQc2
Increased Ventilation, that prescribes out- hour simulation procedure. won’t necessarily have a negative impact
door airflow rates that exceed ASHRAE For LEED credit EQc2, the outdoor
Standard 62.1-2004 minimum rates by air ventilation rates to the breathing zone About the Author
30%. Office buildings in Portland, Ore., of all occupied spaces are increased by Tom Hudson is an energy engineer and com-
Chicago, Phoenix, and Atlanta, are mod- at least 30% above the minimum rates missioning agent for Green Building Services in
eled using eQUEST®, a freeware building required by ANSI/ASHRAE Standard Portland, Ore.

58 ASHRAE Journal September 2007

on the ability to achieve credits under EAc1. In the ANSI/ Modeling
ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1 2004, Energy Standard for The energy analysis of the example office buildings was
Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, modeling performed using accepted, standard engineering calculation
protocol, Appendix G3.1.2.5 ventilation rates are considered procedures and eQUEST, which is an interface to the DOE-2.2
energy neutral between the proposed and base model. You may energy simulation engine. DOE-2.2 is the latest privately sup-
find a net increase in energy savings over baseline when you ported extension of DOE-2. While DOE-2 is generally accepted
condition more air with better equipment.5 as the most accurate energy simulation program available, the
This is a modeling study, subject to all the limitations and predicted energy consumption is not meant to be an absolute
inadequacies inherent in using models to reflect real-world prediction of the actual usage.
conditions that are complex and considerably more varied For this example, the main emphasis is on the associated
than can be fully represented in a single study. Nevertheless, costs to increase ventilation rates 30% above the Standard
it is hoped that this example can contribute to understanding 62.1-2004 baseline.
the relationship between ventilation and energy consumption, The wall and roof insulation, glazing properties, and HVAC
so that engineers will be able to provide owners with a valid efficiencies conform to the baseline prescribed by Standard
assessment of energy costs. 90.1-2004. The economizer is controlled via a dry-bulb set-
point in accordance with the standard, which varies from 65°F
Office Building (18°C) in Atlanta to 75°F (24°C) in Portland and Phoenix. The
The four-story office building selected for this discussion is cost per kWh and cost per therm were gathered from the “EIA
a multiple-zone variable air volume (VAV) system. Each floor 2006 Commercial Sector Average Energy Costs by State.” The
has a central air handler, with cost per kWh varied by less than
an outdoor air economizer; a a penny across the four locations
variable-volume supply fan; and Zone 8 with an average cost of $0.074 per
Zone 6
throttling VAV boxes with hot kWh. The average cost of natural
water reheat. Heating and reheat Zone 4 gas was $1.22 per therm and var-
are provided at the zone. A hot ied by as much as $0.15.
water boiler and a centrifugal,
water-cooled chiller serve the Zone 1 Zone Ventilation Calculations
building. Zone 5 Buildings and spaces comply-
The minimum outside air- ing with the LEED rating system
flow at the central air handler must meet the minimum require-
is determined by the designer Zone 3 ments of Sections 4 through 7 of
(in accordance with the Ventila- Standard 62.1-2004. To comply
tion Rate Procedure in Standard Zone 7 with EQc2, our design calcula-
62.1-2004) and set by the testing, Zone 2 tions begin by finding the base-
adjusting and balancing (TAB) N line ventilation rates required
contractor. Likewise, the TAB Figure 1: Typical 25,000 ft2 (2322 m2) floor plan. by Standard 62.1-2004 and then
contractor verif ies that VAV adjusting those ventilation rates
boxes actuate between a design maximum and minimum flow. upwards by 30%.
In heating mode, the VAV box discharge temperature shall reset The Ventilation Rate Procedure in Standard 62.1-2004 has
to a maximum heating setpoint at minimum design flow. Upon a specific calculations for multizone systems6 and a spreadsheet
continued call for heat, the VAV box resets the zone airflow set- is available at The zone and
point from minimum to maximum design heating flow setpoints. system characteristics are entered into the spreadsheet and
In cooling mode, zone temperature is sensed and maintained at ventilation rates are calculated at heating and cooling design
the cooling setpoint by adjusting the VAV box primary airflow. conditions. The worst-case or highest required intake airflow
VAV box airflow is sensed and maintained at the setpoint by may occur at the design cooling condition or design heating
adjusting the position of the VAV box damper. condition and, therefore, it is necessary to check both. In a VAV
The total building size is 100,000 ft2 (9290 m2) with each system, the highest required intake airflow typically occurs in
25,000 ft2 (2322 m2) floor plan consisting of identical pro- the cooling mode and this condition is reflected here.
gramming (Figure 1). Each floor has eight spaces including Standard 62, Table 6.1 (not shown) prescribes minimum
high-density conference rooms and low-density office spaces. people outdoor air rate (Rp) and minimum building area
Each space is an HVAC zone with a thermostat controlling one outdoor-air rate (Ra). Each space consists of office area and
or more VAV boxes. conference area. Both spaces require 5 cfm/person (2.4 L/s per

September 2007 ASHRAE Journal 59

Ventilation Rate Procedure 1 2 3 4 5

Rp Pz Ra Az Vbz Ez Voz Voz Vpz Vpz-min

Ventilation Zone
cfm/p pop. cfm/ft2 ft2 cfm cfm cfm cfm cfm
System Level
1 Office Area 5 70 0.06 10,498 980 1 980 1,274 7,175 2,153
2 Conference Room 5 44 0.06 1,000 282 1 282 367 1,422 569
3 Office Area 5 21 0.06 3,124 292 1 292 379 2,557 767
4 Office Area 5 21 0.06 3,124 292 1 292 379 2,348 704
5 Office Area 5 21 0.06 3,125 292 1 292 379 1,797 539
6 Office Area 5 10 0.06 1,572 147 1 147 191 982 295
7 Office Area 5 10 0.06 1,563 146 1 146 190 1,301 390
8 Conference Room 5 44 0.06 1,000 282 1 282 367 1,302 521

1. The required minimum breathing zone outdoor airflow, Vbz, is found by solving Equation 6-1 and multiplying the zone area and zone population by their respective outdoor air rates.
For the south conference room (Zone 2), Vbz = 5 x 44 + 1,000 x 0.06 = 282 cfm.
2. The zone air-distribution effectiveness (Ez) is selected based on air-distribution design and is Ez = 0.8 for heating and Ez = 1.0 for cooling.
3. The zone air-distribution effectiveness modifies the breathing-zone outdoor airflow by solving Equation 6-2 to determine the minimum zone outdoor airflow, Voz. In cooling mode, the
south conference room (Zone 2) remains unchanged Voz = 282 /1.0 = 282 cfm.
3-adj. To satisfy the requirements of LEED EQc2, the breathing-zone outdoor airflow rates are increased by 30%. The minimum zone outdoor airflow, Voz (Step 3), therefore, is increased
30%. In cooling mode, the new minimum zone outdoor airflow for the south conference room (Zone 2) becomes Voz = 282 x 130% = 367 cfm.
4. eQUEST was used to estimate the design cooling load and associated design flow rate or zone primary airflow (Vpz ).
5. The minimum primary airflow settings (Vpz-min) were chosen at 30% of design cooling airflow except where noted below.

6- 11- 12- 13-

Ventilation Rate Procedure 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
adj adj adj adj

Zd D Vou Vps Xs Evz Evz Ev Ev Vot Vot

Ventilation Zone
cfm 5,882
System Level 75% 2,409 13,219 0.18 0.64 0.53 3,762
1 Office Area 0.59 0.73 0.65
2 Conference Room 0.65 0.69 0.59
3 Office Area 0.49 0.80 0.74
4 Office Area 0.54 0.77 0.70
5 Office Area 0.70 0.64 0.53
6 Office Area 0.65 0.68 0.59
7 Office Area 0.49 0.81 0.75
8 Conference Room 0.70 0.64 0.53

6. The zone primary outdoor air fraction (Zp) is given by Equation 6-5 (Zp = Voz  / Vpz-min ). For the office area (Zone 1), Zp = 1,274/2,153 = 0.59. Standard 62 allows the designer to use
a default or calculated value for system ventilation effectiveness (Zp). Table 6-3 (not shown) specifies the use of Appendix A for zone primary outdoor air fractions above 0.55. Appendix
A is used herein. The table values for zone primary outdoor air fraction (Zp) are disregarded and the zone discharge outdoor air fraction (Zd ) is calculated for each zone. The zone
discharge outdoor air fraction (Zd) is found by Zd = Voz /Vdz. For VAV systems, Vdz is the minimum expected discharge airflow for design purposes (or Vpz-min). For this example Zp = Zd.
6. (cont) When VAV systems serve spaces with varying densities, the high-density ‘critical’ zone drives the fraction of outdoor air that must be sufficient across all zones. For this
example, the highest zone discharge outdoor air fraction (Zd) occurs in the north conference room (Zone 8). The conference room’s minimum damper position was increased from 30%
to 40%. This decreased the maximum Zd (Zone 8) from 0.94 to 0.70.
7. An occupant diversity of 75% was estimated over the building. The sum-of-peak populations was 969, and that actual peak system population was only 727.
8. The uncorrected outdoor air intake flow, Vou, is from Equation 6-6 (Vou = D x [sum(Rp x Pz) + sum(Ra x Az)]).
9. The system primary airflow (Vps) for cooling was taken based on a 70% load diversity factor (LDF). Vps = sum Vpz x 0.70 = 18,884 x 0.7 = 13,219.
10. The average outdoor-air fraction (Xs) is Xs = Vou  / Vps = 2,409/13,219 = 0.18.
11. For each zone, the zone ventilation effectiveness (Evz) is Equation A-1 (Evz = 1 + Xs – Zd).
12. The system ventilation efficiency (Ev) is the minimum zone value found above (Ev = minimum Evz).
13. Finally, the outdoor air intake flow (Vot) for the system is Equation 6-8, Vot = Vou / Ev = 2,409 / 0.64 = 3,762.
13-adj. The new outdoor air intake flow (Vot) for the system is 5,882 cfm.

Table 1: Standard 62.1-2004, Section 6.2, The Ventilation Rate Procedure.

person) and 0.06 cfm/ft2 (0.3 L/[s·m2]). For this example, the is at 7 persons/1,000 ft2 (93 m2).
architect has provided the intended programming and densities The Table 1 zone calculations follow the Ventilation Rate
for the spaces. The design zone population (Pz) for the confer- Procedure for Portland. The procedural Steps 1 through 3 are
ence rooms is 44 persons/1,000 ft2 (93 m2) and the office space common for all locations. The population density being con-

60 ASHRAE Journal September 2007

For LEED credit EQc2, the outdoor air ventilation rates to

the breathing zone of all occupied spaces are increased

by at least 30% above the minimum rates required by

ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 62.1-2004, Ventilation for Ac-

ceptable Indoor Air Quality.

stant, the differences in the ventilation quires the reheat coil to cycle on. Another
rates occur based on differences in design exercise beyond the scope of this article
cooling load and associated design flow is to solve, with eQUEST, the energy bal-
rate (Step 4). eQUEST was used to esti- ance between increasing the critical zone
mate these values. The design flow values ventilation verses increasing the overall
varied from 0.58 cfm/ft2 (2.9 L/[s·m2])for outdoor air intake flow.
the interior office (zone 5) to 1.42 cfm/ft2 A more energy-efficient technique Advertisement formerly in this space.
(7.2 L/[s·m2]) for the south conference is to use transfer air on critical zones.
room (Zone 2). Appendix A and the spreadsheet both
When VAV systems serve spaces with allow credit to be taken for devices such
varying densities, the high-density criti- as transfer fans or fan-powered mixing
cal zones drive the fraction of outdoor air boxes that transfer return air from other
that must be sufficient across all zones. zones to the critical zone. Depending on
For this floor plan, the high-density the quality of the return air, this technique
conference rooms returned the highest can substantially reduce or even eliminate
outdoor air fraction (Zd). The confer- the need for primary air to the zone.
ence rooms drive the minimum damper Demand-controlled ventilation (DCV)
position at the air-handling unit and as- based on CO2 or other sensors should be
sociated outdoor air intake flow (Vot). By considered to reduce the minimum VAV
increasing the minimum position of the box flow when applicable.
critical zone’s VAV box, the critical zone
receives additional ventilation rates and Operations Summary Results
the damper position at the air-handling Table 2 lists the ventilation summary
unit is decreased. and simulated runtimes of various modes
For this floor plan both conference of operation. eQUEST’s estimates for
rooms minimum damper position was design flow rates showed increasing de-
increased from 30% to 40%. sign flow in locations with higher cooling
Table 1’s results show that the percent degree days. Phoenix returned the largest
outside air intake at the air-handling unit design flow. Adjusting ventilation rates
can be decreased by increasing the mini- upwards by 30%, increased the ratio of
mum airflow of the VAV box that serves outside air to design flow by ~10% at
the critical zone. Other considerations each location. As expected, locations
include air-distribution design, accept- with more heating degree days experi-
able diffuser air speed at the terminal unit, enced more hours at minimum outside
the first cost of increasing the terminal air introduction. Portland and Chicago
units’ capacity and/or duct size, and an experienced more hours at minimum out-
energy balance between increased airflow side air during heating mode than either
versus increased ventilation. In the above Atlanta or Phoenix. In Phoenix, 97.4%
case, during times the conference room of the hours that operated at minimum
is not occupied, increasing the minimum ventilation were due to the outside air
airflow may cause cycling. Increasing dry-bulb limit being exceeded (see Note
supply rates to an unoccupied space re- 2, Table 2).

September 2007 ASHRAE Journal 61

Simulation Results used to simulate the energy cost of LEED
The energy use to comply with the credit, EQc2, Increased Ventilation on
increased ventilation rates correlated to office buildings with VAV multiple-zone
the amount of hours the HVAC system systems. The credit requires minimum
was operating at minimum outside air outdoor airflow rates increased 30%
ventilation and in heating mode. This above Standard 62-2004 minimums. The
varied widely by location. Portland primary impact on energy consumption
showed the highest proportion of hours was increased natural gas consumption
(78%, Table 2), operating in heating mode during the heating season. In cooling
and at minimum outside air ventilation. dominated climates, the energy required
eQuest returned the highest proportional to meet the internal heat gains and solar
increase in energy consumption for this heat gain overshadow the energy associ-
location. When the minimum OSA rate ated with OSA conditioning.
was increased for the Portland location, The increase in heating energy to com-
the building’s natural gas consumption ply with LEED EQc2 ranged from 4% in
increased 50% (Table 3). The natural gas Phoenix to 50% in Portland. On a per-
consumption for all buildings is for the person basis, the additional cost ranged
hot water boiler serving VAV box reheat from $2.94 per occupant in Phoenix to
coils at the zone level. In heating mode, $25.50 per occupant in Portland. The
as outside air is introduced to the space, cost to improve indoor air quality may
the reheat coils maintain discharge air be insignificant based on documented
temperature. increases in productivity and decreased
In Phoenix, the HVAC system operated sick days. It is important for engineers
Advertisement formerly in this space.
at the minimum outside air rate for more to provide a valid cost estimate so that
than 60% of the operating hours. Of those owners can make an informed decision on
hours, only 2.7% (Table 2) were in heat- whether to seek the LEED credit.
ing mode. When the minimum outside The increase in energy consumption
air was increased, eQuest returned a neg- may not be small and will increase site
ligible increase in energy consumption. energy use intensity (EUI) and associ-
The system was in cooling mode for the ated green house gas emissions. Using
majority of hours the system operated at Appendix A in Standard 62 allowed a
minimum outside air. While operating more precise calculation of the required
in cooling mode, increased introduction outside air intake. Increasing the mini-
of OSA incurs a cooling penalty. The mum design flow or transfer return air
majority of the supply air is recirculated to the critical zone are options worthy of
and conditioned to meet internal heat further investigation and energy study.
gains and solar heat gain. The energy Adjusting the distribution of air to the
required to meet the internal heat gains critical zone has a dramatic effect on the
and solar heat gain overshadow the energy percent outside air required at the system
associated with outside air conditioning. level. Using heat recovery ventilators to
When multiple zones require cooling, decouple the ventilation system from the
the quantity of airflow introduced to the heating and cooling system is also worth
mechanical equipment is small. considering.
The simulated cost to comply with The first cost to comply with this credit
LEED EQc2 during all occupied hours may be negligible. In heating-dominated
ranged from $2.94 per occupant per climates, equipment may need to be
year in Phoenix to $25.50 in Portland. upsized or life-cycle assessments may
The largest impact was on the heating justify heat recovery equipment. In cool-
system. The heating energy consump- ing-dominated climates, the loads may
tion increased close to 45% and 48% in be sufficiently diversified not to affect the
Atlanta and Portland respectively. total system sizing.

Summary References
The simulation program eQUEST was 1. Milton, K., et al. 2000. “Risk of sick leave

62 ASHRAE Journal September 2007

Advertisement formerly in this space.
Design Minimum Minimum LEED % Hours at Heating
Location HDD CDD
Flow 62.1-2004 EQc2 Minimum cfm1 Mode2

cfm cfm cfm Base 65 Base 65 62.1 EQc2

Portland 18,884 3,762 20% 5,882 31% 4,400 398 10.4% 35.2% 78.0%
Chicago 19,323 3,690 19% 5,707 30% 6,498 835 47.5% 67.6% 57.2%
Atlanta 22,400 3,803 17% 5,982 27% 2,827 1,810 53.1% 60.1% 15.4%
Phoenix 26,078 3,937 15% 6,322 24% 1,027 4,355 56.5% 58.0% 2.6%

1. As expected, the percent of hours the system runs at minimum OSA increases when the minimum volume of OSA is increased. This correlates to more hours at minimum OSA rates
in lieu of economizer operation.
2. This percentage is the ratio of hours the system is operating in heating mode and minimum OSA to the number of hours the system is operating at minimum OSA. The remaining hours
at minimum occur when the drybulb limit is surpassed; i.e., cooling mode.
3. Flow rates are for a typical 25,000 ft2 (2322 m2) floor plan.

Table 2: Ventilation summary results and simulated results of modes of operation.

Space Heat Space Vent. All Electricity Natural

Pumps Energy Cost/
Cool Reject. Heat Fans Energy EUI1 Gas EUI1
(kWh) Cost person
(kWh) (kWh) (kBtu) (kWh) (kWh) (kWh) (kBtu)
Base Ventilation 167,900 1,700 1,603,068 79,800 62,600 781,832 3.1 16.0 $41,527
Plus 30% 169,100 1,700 3,086,646 82,500 62,900 1,220,844 3.2 30.9 $60,068
Difference 0.7% 0.0% 48.1% 3.3% 0.5% 36.0% 1.3% 48.1% $18,541 $25.50
Base Ventilation 207,100 4,600 2,792,085 85,300 68,900 1,184,213 3.7 27.9 $58,263
Plus 30% 216,600 4,800 4,099,622 86,300 71,000 1,580,230 3.8 41.0 $73,562
Difference 4.4% 4.2% 31.9% 1.2% 3.0% 25.1% 3.4% 31.9% $15,299 $21.04
Base Ventilation 307,800 7,800 795,304 102,700 82,000 733,390 12.3 8.0 $50,193
Plus 30% 325,800 8,300 1,440,041 104,700 85,000 945,952 14.7 14.4 $60,898
Difference 5.5% 6.0% 44.8% 1.9% 3.5% 22.5% 16.1% 44.8% $10,705 $14.72
Base Ventilation 376,600 8,500 1,530,476 135,100 86,600 1,055,357 16.6 15.3 $61,859
Plus 30% 391,800 9,000 1,589,509 136,900 89,000 1,092,558 17.2 15.9 $63,994
Difference 3.9% 5.6% 3.7% 1.3% 2.7% 3.4% 3.3% 3.7% $2,135 $2.94

1. Energy Use Intensity (EUI) in terms of kWh/ft2 for electric EUI and kBtu/ft2 for natural gas EUI.
The initial eQUEST run returned low values for natural gas consumption at all office locations. To provide realistic values for this study, the energy consumption was normalized against
energy use from metered office buildings in similar climate zones. The Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey (CBECS) provided natural gas EUIs for office buildings in similar
climate zones. The percentage increase in energy consumption between the minimum OSA rates and increased OSA rates were not altered.
(2003 “Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey [CBECS]” Table C20. Electricity Consumption and Conditional Energy Intensity by Climate Zone. Energy Information Associa-
tion, U.S. Department of Energy.

Table 3: Annual energy costs for the simulated office buildings.

associated with outdoor air supply rate, humidification, and oc- Technologies Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,
cupant complaints.” Indoor Air 10:212–221. Berkeley, Calif.
2. Apte, M.G., et al. 2002. “Indoor Carbon Dioxide Concentrations, viewEE2000.pdf.
VOCs, Environmental Sensitivity Association with Mucous 4. “Sick Building Syndrome, Commercial Building Ventilation and
Membrane and Lower Respiratory Sick Building Syndrome Indoor Environmental Quality.” Indoor Environmental Depart-
Symptoms in the BASE Study: Analyses of the 100 Building ment, Environmental Energy Technologies Division. Lawrence
Dataset.” Indoor Environment Department, Lawrence Berkeley Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif. Mar. 30, 2007.
National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., LBNL-51570. http://eetd. 5. Taylor, S.T. 2005. “LEED® and Standard 62.1.” ASHRAE Journal
3. Fisk, W.J. 2000. “Health and Productivity Gains from Better Indoor 47(9):S4–S8.
Environments and Their Relationship with Building Energy Ef- 6. Stanke, D. 2005. “Standard 62-2001 Addendum 62n: Single-path
ficiency.” Indoor Environment Department, Environmental Energy multiple-zone system design.” ASHRAE Journal 47(1):28–35.

64 ASHRAE Journal September 2007