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Presents a study which questions a basic assumption regarding office plug loads (electrical equipment loads), which account for 15% to 20% of an office cooling load. Most designers assume 2 to 5 watts per ft2 (21.5 to 53.8 W/m2) for office equipment. Presents data from 44 office buildings selected as being typical, which shows that office electrical equipment loads are actually 1.1 watts per ft2 (11 W/m2). Notes a trend for these loads to decrease from now until about 2002. Notes that even in very equipment-intensive settings such as commodity trading floors, plug loads have been measured at 3 W/ft2 (32.3 W/m2) rather than the 8 to 10 W/ft2 (86.1 to 107.6 W/m2 specified).

Citation: ASHRAE Journal, vol. 39, no. 12, December 1997