ASHRAE Offers Free Database of Building Operating Costs

A free online database from ASHRAE will be useful for building owners and managers because it aids their decision-making. The database helps them with equipment information and annual maintenance costs for a variety of building types and HVAC systems. The database can be found at www.ashrae.org/database.

In it are more than 300 building types and more than 38,000 pieces of equipment with service life data. ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers Inc., says the database contains up-to-date information to determine statistical values for equipment owning and operating costs, thus helping users select the best HVAC system for a specific application.

"Life-cycle evaluations provide the most effective method for determining the best value of HVAC system alternatives," said Lynn Bellenger, who chairs ASHRAE's Technology Council. "In order to facilitate the use of life-cycle analysis techniques by decision-makers, the necessary data must be available, current, and correctly applied. This database provides that needed data."

Users are encouraged to contribute their own service life and maintenance cost data to expand the tool's utility. Information from the database also will be used to update the ASHRAE Handbook.

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