One of our Mechanical Coordinators, Joan Dierkes, has been designing multifamily HVAC systems for years, and when Energy Star released a new version of their multifamily HVAC Design Report, Joan noticed the differences and thought it would be helpful to share them.
It has been an interesting journey for those involved in providing Energy Star HVAC Design Reports for multifamily projects. Although the Energy Star Multifamily New Construction (MFNC) program was launched in 2019, we are just beginning to use the new reports.
The MFNC HVAC Design Report is required for Multifamily New Construction projects that received permits on/after 2020 07 01. The new HVAC Design Report is already at Version 1 / 1.1 / 1.2 (Rev 02). I have used the various versions of the new report and have outlined what I consider some notable differences between these reports and what was required pre 2020 07 01.
- There is now only one report per building as opposed to each typical unit requiring its own report. While this is a positive change, it needs to be noted that the amount of data being collected by the report has significantly increased. The report now incorporates the design of the Common Areas. The ventilation, heating & cooling loads, and equipment selection for these areas must now be provided.
- Another interesting change is that the phrasing of required inputs in several areas has become more generalized. For example, the new report asks for “AHRI Listed Efficiency” while the pre-MFNC report required SEER, EER, HSPF/COP specifically. There are several items like this where they opted not to be specific. It would be interesting to know why they went that route.
As with everything, there are positives and negatives to the new report. The fact that the report is already up to Rev 2 indicates that they are listening to feedback and will hopefully continue to clarify, simplify, and improve the new document.
Here is a sample HVAC Design Report
Here is a link to some helpful hints when filling out the report