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Advanced Energy Design Guides 

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To promote building energy efficiency, ASHRAE and its partners are making the Advanced Energy Design Guides available for free download (PDF). The zero energy Guides offer designers and contractors the tools needed for achieving zero energy buildings. The 50% Guides offer designers and contractors the tools needed for achieving a 50% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum requirements of Standard 90.1-2004, and the 30% Guides offer a 30% energy savings compared to buildings that meet the minimum energy requirements of Standard 90.1-1999.

ASHRAE, in collaboration with AIA (American Institute of Architects), IES (Illuminating Engineering Society), USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) and the DOE (Department of Energy) continues to develop the Advanced Energy Design Guide (AEDG) Series.  

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ZERO ENERGY50% Energy30% Energy

Sponsoring Partners

Published Guides

Two Zero Energy Guides have been published. Hard copies are available for purchase.

Five 50% Guides have been published | Six 30% Guides have been published.

Two Existing Building Guides have been completed:
Energy Efficiency Guides for Existing Commercial Buildings - a two-volume set.

  • The Business Case for Building Owners and Managers
    Provides the rational for making economic decisions related to improving and sustaining energy efficiency in existing buildings.
  • Technical Implementation
    Provides technical guidance for implementing energy efficiency measures in existing buildings.
         Order these Design Guides as a package

Visit the Publications Updates page for updates and errata on these and other publications.

Additional Guides being considered at this time include a zero energy AEDG for multifamily residential buildings. Check back for more information on updates and progress.

LEED Compliance Path 
The Advanced Energy Design Guides provide a prescriptive compliance path for LEED New Construction EA points.  The specific points available for use of the AEDGs is described in the LEED documentation and may vary by Guide type.  More details are available at the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED website.
For information on LEED Rating System

Technical Support Documents


Technical Support Documents - 50%
Preliminary and/or final Technical Support Documents have been completed for each of the 50% Advanced Energy Design Guide building types as exploratory work to determine the types of equipment and design elements that may be needed to reach the 50% energy savings level as compared to Standard 90.1-2004.

View 50% AEDG Technical Support Documents


Technical Support Documents - 30%
All of the 30% Advanced Energy Design Guides have a corresponding Technical Support Document prepared by the National Lab that did the analysis for the development of that Guide.   These documents contain additional details about the analysis and development process.

View AEDG Technical Support Documents

Print editions of each Guide are available for purchase in the ASHRAE Bookstore.

Additional Tools and Resources

AEDG Toolkit

Useful links and libraries

Frequently Asked Questions

A list of frequently asked questions is provided as a service to ASHRAE members, users of the AEDG publications, and the general public. While every effort has been made to ensure their accuracy and reliability, the answers are advisory and provided for informational purposes only. They are not intended and should not be relied on as an official statement of ASHRAE. If you do not find the answer to your question in this list, please use the feedback form above to contact us with your question.
Frequently Asked Questions

Related Courses

Advanced Designs for Net Zero Buildings

Background Information


The Advanced Energy Design Guides (AEDGs) are a series of publications designed to provide recommendations for achieving zero energy buildings or building energy savings over the minimum code requirements of ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1. A zero energy building is defined as a building that, on an annual basis, draws from outside resources equal or less energy than it provides using on-site, renewable energy sources. The Guides have been developed in collaboration with these partnering organizations: The American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The New Building Institute (NBI) participated in the development of the initial Guide.

The partnership agreement between the organizations can be viewed here:
Advanced Energy Design Guides (AIA, ASHRAE, IES, USGBC) (PDF)

The original series of Guides have an energy savings target of 30% over 90.1-1999.  Each 30% Guide addresses a specific building type.

The second series of Guides have an energy savings of 50% over 90.1-2004. Each 50% Guide addresses a specific building type.

The third series of Guides provide recommendations for achieving zero energy buildings. Each ZE Guide addresses a specific building type.


The recommendations in the Guides allow those involved in designing or constructing the various building types to easily achieve advanced levels of energy savings without having to resort to detailed calculations or analyses. Prescriptive energy-saving recommendations are contained in a single table for each of the eight U.S. climate zones for the 30% and 50% Guides. The ZE Guides provide recommendations that are detailed in tables throughout the How-to Strategies.

Help in implementing the recommendations of the Guides can be found in an expanded section of how-to tips in the "How to Implement Recommendations" or “How-to Strategies” chapter of each Guide. The how-to information is cross-referenced with numbered tips and, in the 30% and 50% Guides, color-coded climate zone maps. Examples of advanced building designs and technologies are also provided to illustrate the points made and to demonstrate the flexibility offered in achieving the advanced energy savings provided within the Guides. In some Guides, additional bonus recommendations point out other opportunities to incorporate greater energy savings into the design of the building, and in the ZE Guides, there is an entire section addressing renewable energy.

Feedback on the use of any of the Guides is welcomed and encouraged by ASHRAE. Please let us know your thoughts on the Guide itself and/or what impact the recommendations had on your building. How important was the Guide in your energy savings efforts? What energy savings have you experienced as a result of using the AEDG? ASHRAE is always interested in results that can be used as case studies in future publications. Please contact us in Technical Activities with your feedback or technical questions.