Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency with which buildings and sites use and harvest energy, water and materials. Green building reduces building impacts on human health and the environment.
SPX Cooling Technologies is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and is an advocate of the LEED Program, a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Evaporative cooling is a central strategy for green building design due to its energy savings and low environmental impact. Also, water treatment strategies to minimize make-up and blow-down can offer the potential to gain water resource credits in LEED.
LEED sets the ASHRAE 90.1 efficiency as the threshold for compliance before being considered for LEED credits. Credits are granted based on improvements in overall building energy efficiency that are better than ASHRAE 90.1.
Towers that are selected larger in physical size with energy efficiency in gallons per minute per horsepower above ASHRAE 90.1 can help to acquire LEED credits. The use of variable frequency drives (VFDs) can also enable significant annual energy savings in most climates, which also can help to enable LEED credits.
Our Tower Sizing and Selection tools can assist you by providing the ASHRAE efficiency calculation on the output of each selection.
ASHRAE 90.1 Minimum Energy Efficiency for Open Cooling Towers
Values of 40.2 gallons per minute per horsepower (12.24 m3/h/kW) for axial fan open cooling towers, and 20 gallons per minute per horsepower (6.09 m3/h/kW) for centrifugal fan open cooling towers are required at standard conditions of 95°F hot water, 85°F cold water, 75°F wet bulb (35/29.5/23.9°C). All U.S. states are now required according to federal law to have adopted these or stricter standards for comfort cooling applications. Standard Marley cooling tower models are available that range from 30 to 400 gpm/hp.
UK-based magazine ACR News published our Q&A article, surveying engineers and design experts, that explains how cooling towers can contribute to successful LEED projects and other sustainability initiatives.