Taking the “LEED”
When implementing the LEED® NC (v.3.0) process, there are seven credit categories in which up to 110 total points are earned. The application of infrared heaters can contribute up to 22 points in three of the qualifying categories.
Energy & Atmosphere (EA): Category point total = 37 points.
Establishes energy efficiency and system performance, optimizes energy efficiency, supports ozone protection protocols and encourages renewable/alternate energy sources.
Indoor Environmental Quality (EQ): Category point total = 17 points.
Establishes minimum indoor environmental quality performance to prevent the development of indoor environmental quality problems in buildings.
Innovation & Design (ID): Category point total = 6 points.
Project teams are encouraged to apply for innovation credits if the energy consumption of non-regulated systems are also reduced. One point can be credited if at least one project team participant is a LEED® Accredited Professional (AP).
Energy Modeling and Infrared Heaters
What is Energy Modeling?
Energy modeling is the process in which a building is evaluated through a software program for total building efficiency. This is accomplished by utilizing specialized software with complex algorithms, specific design variables, and weather data. The benefit of performing an energy modeling simulation is that a building can be compared to several different design
alternatives prior to the start of construction. This allows the owner and the design team to select the optimal design.
Energy Modeling and LEED®
The LEED® rating system typically utilizes energy modeling to award points based on a percentage of improvement over a theoretical baseline building. The amount of points awarded is dependent on the percentage of improvement. The energy modeling must be in conformance with ASHRAE 90.1-2004, and the calculation for improvement is taken from appendix G; seen below.
How to Utilize Infrared in an Energy Model
In order to represent the maximum efficiency of infrared, a few key items must be considered prior to entering data into the calculation. These following tips are provided to help maximize the points scheme for a project utilizing infrared.
- TIP #1: According to the ASHRAE Handbook HVAC SYSTEMS AND EQUIPMENT, when utilizing infrared heating, it is recommended to reduce the required heat energy 80 to 85% of the total heat needed according to the calculated heat loss. This reduction in fuel consumption will increase the overall efficiency of the baseline building model.
This allowable reduction in required heat is unique to infrared because of its overall high system efficiency.
- TIP #2: ASHRAE 90.1-2004 Section 6.5.8 states that radiant heating SHALL be used when heating unenclosed spaces. (Examples: loading docks, patios, valet areas, etc.) Infrared heats objects directly without heating the air first – which makes it ideal for areas with high air infiltration.
- TIP #3: Because infrared is a very unique method of heating, it is addressed separately in ASHRAE 90.1-2004 under Section 6.5.8. Therefore, do not look for infrared in Tables 6.8.1 Minimum Efficiency Requirement, as there is no clause for infrared heaters.
Because of the fundamental method in which infrared heats objects, a thermal efficiency rating does not fully depict the effectiveness of the unit.