From the desk of George Kopf, Training & Employment Manager at Rising Sun Energy Center, Berkeley CA:
If you were relieved when BPI announced the delay of the implementation of ASHRAE 62.2.2010, you're not alone. I am right there with you. I don't know about you, but I struggled with 62.2.2010. I like to think of myself as fairly intelligent and resourceful but, after hours of study and research, I am still unable to fully understand how 62.2.2010 works. 62.89 makes sense to me and I have used it accurately for years. 62.2.2010 is, IMHO, unnecessarily complex, confusing and difficult to use.
Well, imagine my joy when I discovered ResVent's 62.2 app for my iPod! For only $19.99, this handy little app will perform all the 62.2.2010 calculations for me. All I have to do is input the data into the right boxes and off it goes to perform its magic. Overall, I found the app user friendly but, sadly, I still have no better understanding of how 62.2.2010 works. Call me old fashioned, but I like to understand what I am doing and why I am doing it. You know, just in case the battery in my iPod fails.
When I remarked to a colleague about my joy of having resolved my 62.2.2010 woes, she was kind enough to point out to me that, lo and behold, one of the committee members responsible for crafting 62.2.2010 is also one of the folks who developed, and is now selling, the ResVent 62.2 app.
The fact that someone on the committee responsible for crafting an overly complex standard is now directly profiting from helping me out of the jam they created seems a little odd to me.
I respect ASHRAE and all the hard work they do. I recognize that I didn't have to spend $20 on the ResVent app. I also believe in free enterprise. But, to be perfectly honest, when I discovered someone on the 62.2.2010 committee got at least a portion of my $20, I felt a little disappointed.
But then again, I am a little old fashioned.
Is this just a case of buyer's remorse? Regardless, I felt a compulsion to share this information.
In the interests of full disclosure I will start by letting you know that I am a member of the 62.2 committee. I would to know what parts of 62.2 are confusing because we want a usable standard. If you could elaborate, maybe I (or other committee members could help). There is a 62.2 User Guide available from ASHRAE that provides lots of worked examples.
If you want a really simple approach in case of battery failure - the standard boils down to a simple look up table based on floor area and occupants that you could carry on a wallet card + 100cfm kitchen exhaust + 50 cfm bathroom exhaust. If this isn't clear - let me know.
an app should be 99 cents, and then a few cents per each use of app!
I see there is no Android version for the app however.
I have an android 62.2 2010 app to be released in the next two weeks. It will be much cheaper.
I am very interested in the Android app. Please let me know when it is available. I have 20 years experience in the software industry and would be happy to beta test.
Rob, Please let me know when this is available. Nick@cec-mi.org
As another member of the committee, I agree with Iain. The fundamentals of the 62.2-2010 Standard are very simple - the whole building ventilation rate has shifted slightly, but the local exhaust ventilation requirements are the same as what is in 62-89. And you could stop there. Applying the 62-89 Standard properly is extremely complex with multiple tables and multiple procedures and tests for the quality of the outside source air required. Traditionally only one small element of the 62-89 standard is applied. The heat loss for a house seems simple if the only thing you look at the insulation in the attic! (Note that the BAS calculation is not in the 62-89 Standard.)
BPI is another story. The Building Analyst Standard has a number of issues which should have been adjusted some time ago. It was unfortunate that simple amendments weren't made earlier to adopt the fundamentals of the 62.2-2010 standard.
It is very difficult to create a simple, flexible, national standard for anything. Personally, I think the 62.2 SSPC has done a pretty good job of it, but we would always welcome input for improvements.
To respond to Iain and Paul:
From the moment BPI announced the move to 62.2.2010, I started reading up on it. When I didn't understand what I was reading, I went to my network of Building Scientists for help. "Who understands 62.2.2010 and can help me understand it?" I asked. All I got was a bunch of shrugged shoulders, half-answers and folks saying they didn't understand it either. Ok, so off to the internet I go looking for resources - any resources - that could help me understand the new standard well enough so that I could teach it. I am in a position where it's not good enough for me to just know how to use the new standard, I have to understand it well enough to teach it.
The actual standard from ASHRAE is next to useless. Sorry. It is useless. I have read it cover to cover no less than 3 times and I still have no idea what it's trying to tell me. It was clearly written by engineers, for engineers. An engineer I am not. And neither are many of my colleagues and peers.
I guess my main complaint is not in the standard itself. My main complaint is with the absolute and utter absence of supporting documents or trainings. And when there were supporting documents, I found them useless.
If ASHRAE is going to put out a standard and BPI is going to adopt and mandate it, please, please for the sake of the industry, accompany the standard with tried and tested training.
My concern here is this:
I work with many Building Performance contractors. Some have been doing this for years, others are just getting started. If our governing bodies are going to put out standards without without any assistance to understand them, the standards will not be used. They will become background noise and irrelevant. The best standards in the world mean nothing if no one understands them well enough to use them. And I can guarantee that if I don't understand 62.2.2010 after hours of trying, the folks who are expected to use it in the field don't get it either.
I am unfamiliar with the 62.2.committee's modus operandi, but I would suggest that they add a step before releasing a new standard: test drive the standard with some folks unfamiliar with it. If the members of the committee can't explain it someone in under an hour, then it won't work.
Again, I want to reiterate my deepest appreciation and gratitude for the hard work the ASHRAE committee does. I can only imagine how hard it is putting an industry wide standard on something as important as airflow standards. My goal with this discussion is to further the industry in a way that ensures our standards are widely adopted and implemented for the safety of our customers and the prosperity of our contractors.
Sounds like a bit of collaborative curriculum development may be in order.
Thank you for bringing this up, George.
Rick Karg, one of the developers of the ResVent app, has always been very generous with his time when enhancing the standard, and in educating the building science community on using it.
In fact, he offers a free web-based tool to do the 62.2 calculations, which I access from my iPhone, http://www.residentialenergydynamics.com/REDCalcFree/Tools, if you don't need the convenience of the native app.
Personally, I feel better knowing that industry consensus standards are being developed by people with either a personal or financial stake in the outcome. I don't trust standards that seem like they come out of a lab without the expectation that they'll work in the real world. We need HP contractors, raters, builders, software developers and more, all pushing their perspective; if you have time to contribute, and something to offer, please get on the committee.
Knowing Rick as I do, I'm confident he would never manipulate the standards development process in order to sell more product.
Ethan - thanks for the link to the free calculator!