Big City Buildings

ASHRAE (the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) have set commercial building codes in the United States since 1959, when the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE) founded in 1894 and The American Society of Refrigerating Engineers (ASRE) founded in 1904, merged. Specifically, their Standard 90.1 has been a benchmark for commercial building energy codes in the U.S. and a key basis for codes and standards around the world for more than 35 years.

ASHRAE has made several updates and amendments since being into effect, but not all states are required to follow or uphold this standard. In May 2013, the state of Michigan instituted changes to the commercial and residential codes meant to increase energy efficiency, which could save the state around $230 million each year. Codes are currently reviewed every 3 years. The most current update to the Michigan Energy Code became effective on September 20, 2017. These changes are equivalent to the ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 with amendments.

What are the new standards for Michigan?

There are a different set of amendments for commercial code and residential code, as follows.

Current Amendments to Commercial Code

These amendments have been added to the original Michigan Energy Code:

  • Commercial buildings must install automatic shutoffs on lighting, including office spaces, sales floors, and common areas.
  • Every space must have a manual local control that users can easily access and operate.
  • Buildings should use bi-level switch lighting to allow the minimum amount of energy use needed.
  • Installation of sensors that automatically reduce lighting by at least 50% when space is unoccupied is now required.
  • Commercial buildings must install automatic daylight responsive controls for side and top lighting.
  • Hotels and motels will use switched receptacles and automatic lighting control to reduce energy waste.

Additional code changes expand the space types in which automatic full-off control by occupancy sensors are needed and update the requirements for parking garage lighting. An amendment also specifies that all new construction and renovations funded by the state of Michigan that exceed $1,000,000 must comply with LEED standards.

Current Amendments to Residential Code

The residential building code has been updated to include these energy efficient requirements:

  • Buildings must be tested and verified to have less than four air changes per hour. The leakage rate testing is performed with a blower door. The pressure should be equivalent to 0.2 wg (50 pascals). Some testing may require a certified third party to confirm results.
  • Insulation and fenestration tables have been amended to decrease reliance on indoor climate control. This includes updated guidelines for thermally isolated sunrooms.
  • Requirements for insulating air distribution systems have been updated for systems with components within and outside the building.

Control Solutions can help you reach these standards!

To all of our clients who own both commercial buildings and residential buildings, Control Solutions can help you upgrade to these new standards if you still need to do so. As the exclusive Alerton, Trend, and Novar dealers in the state of Michigan, with in-depth experience with other systems including Honeywell, Johnson Controls, Trane, Carrier, Siemens, Siebe, and Staefa, we are the fittest controls company to update your system. Email us today to get started.


U.S. Department of Energy
Michigan Builders License & Continuing Competency