Search Icon White
News Cover Image

New ISO Standard Aids in the Design of Energy-Saving Residences

By Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis, originally published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

Energy consumption in buildings - including climate control, appliances, lighting, and other installed equipment - represents nearly 40% of the world's total energy use. In recent years, rising living expenses and environmental concerns have driven many homeowners to seek new ways to cut down on their household energy use. In response, International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Technical Committee (TC) 205, Building environment design, has developed a new International Standard, ISO 13153:2012, Framework of the design process for energy-saving single-family residential and small commercial buildings, that provides a framework for effective consideration of energy-saving approaches to the building of residences and small commercial buildings during the different stages of the design process.

Under ISO 13153, the predicted reduction of energy consumption in a given residence is used to determine an "energy consumption ratio," allowing for meaningful comparisons of actual energy use and potential energy savings between different design approaches. The standard is applicable to the heating, cooling, and lighting systems of new buildings, as well as hot water, ventilation, and other relevant sources of energy consumption. As part of a growing group of ISO standards for energy efficiency in buildings, ISO 13153 is expected to assist designers in making effective, informed decisions about the use of various energy-saving technologies in light of the specific design conditions and environmental circumstances affecting each individual residence or commercial structure.

ISO 13153 also includes three annexes, which are intended to make it easier to make effective use of the standard. The annexes provide examples of energy-saving elemental technologies and specification options; design guidelines, including details on energy consumption ratios for elemental technologies; and notes on the experimental estimation of systems, based on actual conditions of usage.

Created in 1992, TC 205 focuses on standardization in the design of new buildings and the retrofit of previously constructed building for effective energy conservation and efficiency. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) holds the Secretariat of TC 205, which ANSI has delegated to ASHRAE, an ANSI member and audited designator. Stephen Turner, managing director, northeast region, CTG Energetics, currently serves as the committee's chairperson. The ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) to TC 205 is administered by ASHRAE.

ISO 13153 is available from the ANSI eStandards Store. For more information about all U.S. ISO activities, contact Karen Hughes, ANSI program manager, ISO P membership ([email protected]).


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]