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An energy-efficient building envelope, coupled with a state-of-the-art lighting system and efficient, properly-sized HVAC equipment will cost less to purchase and operate than a building whose systems are selected in isolation from each other.A building that only meets energy code requirements will often have a different HVAC system than one that uses 40% less energy than the code.And the difference is likely to be not only component size, but also basic system type. Safety factors for HVAC systems allow for uncertainties in the final design, construction and use of the building, but should be used reasonably.Greatly oversized equipment operates less efficiently and costs more than properly sized equipment.

Most heating and cooling equipment only operate at their rated, peak efficiency when fully loaded (that is, working near their maximum output).In fact, most systems operate at 50% or less of their capacity.Many electric utilities offer lower rates during off-peak periods that typically occur at night.For example, a typical office building minimally complying with the ASHRAE Standard 90.1 might use 75,000 Btu//yr.The goal for many federal buildings is 50,000 Btu//yr.

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