Several municipalities and counties in Northern Nevada recently joined states around the nation by adopting the 2015 IECC Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance option. The state’s current residential energy code – the 2012 IECC – is still in effect, but has been amended in these locations to include an ERI compliance path and a 2009 IECC thermal envelope backstop. This path requires an ERI score of 63 or below, about 12% less efficient than the score of 51 required for complianc...More
The Decoder is a quarterly newsletter produced by IMT and BCAP that delivers targeted, technical information on energy code enforcement and compliance to building officials, plans examiners, and inspectors. Click here to view previous issues and to subscribe.
The Energy Rating Index: What does the future hold?
By Ryan Meres, IMT A little over a year ago, I wrote a blog about the Energy Rating Index (ERI), the new compliance path included in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). With the 2018 version of the IECC being developed this year, it seems appropriate to look at the success of the ERI and what the future may hold. A Quick RefresherThe voluntary ERI path for the 2015 IECC gives builders the option of complying with the code by meeting a target Energy Rating Index score. This ...More
Do Energy Codes Work?
Preliminary results from the largest residential energy code field study ever conducted in the U.S. show they do. By Ryan Meres, IMT Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that eight states would be part of a three-year Residential Energy Code Field Study. Once completed, the study will provide an unprecedented opportunity to develop new strategies for education, training, and outreach for improving the energy efficiency of single-family homes, as well as a measurement of t...More
What to expect in the 2015 IECC Commercial Provisions, Part II
By Ryan Meres, IMT The first installment of this article was published in the May 2015 edition of The Decoder. Part I discussed the improved provisions for commissioning, HVAC equipment, water heating, and lighting. In this article, we'll cover some important changes to: Additional efficiency package options Rooms with fuel burning appliances Walk-in coolers and freezers Refrigerated display cases Equipment buildings More Efficiency Package Options The 2015 IECC now has ...More
Florida’s New Train-The-Trainer Program Launches
The Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) and the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) have teamed up to prepare building code trainers to deliver effective energy code training for the Florida construction industry. The organizations developed a curriculum in early 2015 and held the first train-the-trainer series in late February. The train-the-trainer session’s purpose is to introduce the curriculum, training techniques, and valuable skills to new and existing local trainers as...More
New Homes Must Meet 2009 IECC to Qualify For Federal Mortgage Insurance
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined last week that the adoption of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for single family homes and the 2007 edition of ASHRAE 90.1 for multifamily buildings will have zero negative impact on the affordability and availability of certain HUD- and USDA-assisted housing, specified in section 481 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). 2009 IECC and A...More
What’s New in the 2015 IECC Commercial Provisions?
There was a lot of buzz around the residential provisions in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) last year but not enough around the commercial provisions. So what are some major changes for commercial buildings in the 2015 IECC? Here is a summary: Increased Commissioning! One of the major changes to the 2015 IECC that would help improve code compliance is the scope of increased commissioning. In the new code, commissioning is applied to HVAC, all lighting systems including ...More
Energy Codes Preserve Homeowner Health And Comfort
Problems like leaky ducts, oversized HVAC systems, and uninsulated hot water pipes negatively affect more than just energy consumption. By Ryan Meres Following up on my last blog post in which I covered some of the non-energy benefits of complying with up-to-date building energy codes, in this post, I’ll highlight a few more important areas where the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the most widely adopted energy code for residential construction, aligns with other building...More
2015 National Energy Codes Conference Recap
After a three-year hiatus, the Department of Energy's National Energy Codes Conference returned in March 2015 for two and half days of inspiring education and a reminder of the importance of energy code support in our country. The March 23-26, 2015 conference was a great success thanks to the over 250 attendees, session speakers, moderators, and plenary speakers who brought so much enthusiasm to the conference. For those who missed the conference, this article brings you insights from our plenar...More
Highlights of the 2015 IECC Residential Code Changes
Written by Ryan Meres Looking at what makes the 2015 IECC different from the 2012 version, the biggest change that will affect builders is the addition of an Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance path. This article will outline some other important changes. Five of the major changes in the 2015 IECC that will affect new home construction include specifying required inspections; revised requirements for vertical access doors; a new requirement for combustion closets; revisions to the building en...More
Less Than 100 Days To Comment On EPA’s Clean Power Plan
In June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a historic plan under the Clean Air Act’s Section 111(d) to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the nation’s largest source: existing power plants. Because 71 percent of America’s electricity is consumed by residential and commercial buildings, building energy codes – which have proven to be among the most cost effective measures to reduce carbon emissions – should be a prominent part of the menu of options tha...More
The Growth Of DET Verifier Programs
Duct and Envelope Tightness (DET) Verifiers are individuals certified to perform duct and envelope tightness testing on residential construction. The term and concept first appeared in the 2011 Georgia Amendments to the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Georgia amended the 2009 IECC to require building envelope leakage testing and eliminated the visual inspection option. Since the 2009 IECC already required duct leakage testing, this meant that both a duct and envelope leakage ...More
The Energy Code Ambassador Program: A Network Of Peer-To-Peer Support
Energy Code Ambassadors are experienced building code officials who have been specially trained and certified on the energy code, and volunteer to offer their expertise and assistance to other code professionals in their state. They provide customized assistance to other code professionals or the construction and design industry. For example, in working with neighboring building departments, they provide an overview of the state energy code, assist with a plan review or site inspection, discuss ...More