National Market Survey for Architects, Engineers, and Design Professionals

The Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) needs insights from architects, engineers, and design professionals across the country. BCAP is conducting a national market evaluation in 2017  to help better inform efforts to develop effective training for design professionals. Our overall goal is to support strong growth in the design industry for the benefit of architects, engineers, and their clients.  Participants who complete the market survey will be entered to win one of six $100 Amazon g...
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Appraised Value and Energy Efficiency for Remodelers

While location, design and price are a home buyer’s main considerations, surveys show that buyers rank energy saving features and equipment (e.g., air and duct sealing, insulation, and high-efficiency heating, ventilation, and air conditioning equipment) as desirable features for which buyers are willing to pay more. The home may also have an addition built to the 2012 or 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (2012 IECC or 2015 IECC), which would make the addition between 15 and 16 percent...
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What does the next chapter of energy efficiency look like for Austin?

by Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP When Texans look to their state capital, they see a diverse and sprawling metropolis of just under a million people, a vibrant cultural and economic hub, and a downtown skyline undergoing rapid transformation. Less visible is the city’s long and continued commitment to the energy efficiency of its built environment. Austin stands as a fine example of how a city can go beyond minimum statewide requirements to give its residents a better, greener future. In addition ...
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Miami takes the next STEP with solar training for design professionals

by Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP As of last summer, Florida’s energy code incorporates Section 406 of the 2015 IECC: the Energy Rating Index. This provision – which includes a backstop to ensure an efficient building envelope – represents a huge opportunity to integrate the power of renewable energy into new building designs. With over 100,000 new housing unit permits authorized in 2015 alone, Florida is a state poised to have a huge impact on national building energy usage patterns in the coming ...
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Drumroll, Please: Results of the 2018 IECC Are In…

by Maureen Guttman, AIA The votes have been counted and while some folks will be happy with the results, others are very disappointed.  No, we’re not talking about the presidential election, but about the Online Governmental Consensus Vote that will determine the content of the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The bad news is that it appears that there will not be even a modest jump in the level of efficiency for the next energy code. Most of the proposals tha...
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How these 22 cities could shape the future of solar photovoltaics

by Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP The year 2030 is a meaningful one across the world of energy efficiency and renewable energy. The Architecture 2030 challenge aims to have all new buildings, developments, and major renovations be carbon neutral by this date. As a result of the Paris climate agreement, many countries have made pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions on this same timeframe. And last month, the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative announced their own 2030 targets: a ...
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Where Are They Now? Kansas

by Charlotte Volpe, BCAP In 2010, BCAP created a list of Places to Watch that were making strides in enacting energy efficient building codes. Now, we are going back to these nine jurisdictions to track their progress and see what other innovations they've added six years later. We will be looking for other places to watch in the future as cities lead the way with sustainability plans and energy saving goals.   In 2010, BCAP identified the State of Kansas as a place to watch in ter...
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Where Are They Now? New Hampshire

by Charlotte Volpe and Kamaria Greenfield, BCAP In 2010, BCAP created a list of Places to Watch that were making strides in enacting energy efficient building codes. Now, we are going back to these nine jurisdictions to track their progress and see what other innovations they've added six years later. We will be looking for other places to watch in the future as cities lead the way with sustainability plans and energy saving goals.   In 2010, BCAP identified New Hampshire as one it...
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Northern Nevada Welcomes a New Compliance Path

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...
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Where Are They Now? Santa Fe, NM

by Charlotte Volpe, BCAP In 2010, BCAP created a list of Places to Watch that were making strides in enacting energy efficient building codes. Now, we are going back to these nine jurisdictions to track their progress and see what other innovations they’ve added six years later. We will be looking for other places to watch in the future as cities lead the way with sustainability plans and energy saving goals.   BCAP identified Santa Fe as a place to watch due to their residential g...
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Timely Solar Training for Design Professionals Coming Soon

by Maria Ellingson, BCAP Program Director NOTE: This blog post is part of the SunShot Initiative’s series on solar and real estate. Read all the posts here. Learn more about the SunShot Initiative and register for training hereAmerica’s demand for solar energy is spreading - and fast. In just the last eight years, solar electricity generation has increased 30 fold and solar jobs are growing 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. Recent federal policies are making solar even more favorab...
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Appraised Value and Energy Efficiency for REALTORS®

We are proud to announce a new resource for REALTORS® developed by BCAP, the Appraisal Institute (AI) and the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). As homes are increasingly listed with energy efficient features in Multiple Listing Services (MLSs) around the country, it is important for real estate professionals to both understand the benefits of energy efficiency, and how to best communicate with clients about efficiency. When they understand the impact that efficiency upgrades can have on...
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Your Vote is Needed – and Now It’s Easier Than Ever

Vote online to preserve energy efficiency provisions in the forthcoming 2018 codes. Every three years, hundreds of building industry members from states across the nation convene to develop the next U.S. model building energy code via a consensus process held by the International Code Council. The process, which includes code officials, architects, engineers, product manufacturers, builders and energy efficiency advocates, is designed to ensure that modern-day technology and building practices ...
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Wins and Shortfalls for Energy Codes

On April 20th, the Senate passed a bipartisan S. 2012, which sponsors hope will become the first broad energy bill in almost a decade. In addition to electric grid modernization, the Energy Policy Modernization Act supports energy efficiency in buildings. It directs the Secretary of Energy to "encourage and support the adoption of building energy codes...that meet or exceed the model building energy codes, or achieve equivalent or greater savings, and support full compliance with the state and l...
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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 ...
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Energy Code Adoptions in 2015

Hawaii In July 2015, the Hawaii State Building Code Council unanimously approved the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) with amendments. The code sets energy efficiency requirements for both residential and commercial buildings. Read more about this code here. Maryland On January 1, 2015, the State of Maryland adopted the 2015 IECC with local adoption and enforcement required by July 1, 2015. It was the first state to adopt the most recent model energy code. New Jersey In Se...
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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...
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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 ...
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Homebuyer Demand for Energy Codes

Consumer demand for energy efficiency is a topic energy code advocates need to understand. We want to know the answers to questions like "do consumers believe in conserving energy through increasing energy efficiency in their homes?" and "how much are consumers willing to pay for home improvements for efficiency?" so that we can make a stronger case for our support for energy efficient building codes. Recently, BCAP looked at four major consumer surveys and summarized their findings in a fact ...
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Appraised Value and Energy Efficiency for Builders

Read the press release here. This resource was also featured in a November 25th article in National Mortgage Professional Magazine. It has also been included in Eco Achievers' page on maximizing home values. While location, design, and price are a home buyer’s main considerations, surveys show that buyers rank energy efficiency as one of the most desirable features, and importantly, when there is sufficient energy savings - one they’re willing to pay more for. However, energy efficie...
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Comprehensive State Energy Plans: A Brief Comparison

A majority of states have developed comprehensive energy plans that provide recommendations for increasing efficiencies across numerous sectors. As buildings account for around 40% of national energy consumption, one aspect of these state plans should be building energy codes. This article will provide a brief overview of how several recently published state plans are addressing building concerns. Maine (February 2015) Because of the high demand for home heating oil in the state, one of Main...
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ACEEE State Scorecard Evaluates Building Energy Codes

Earlier this month, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) published their state scorecard rankings. Out of a possible seven points in the building energy codes category, here is how each state fared: 7 Points California, Illinois 6.5 Points Maryland, Oregon, Vermont, Washington 6 Points District of Columbia, Iowa, Massachusetts, Texas ...
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New Report Compares Cost-Effectiveness Methodologies As Congress Considers Requirements For Energy Code Updates

A significant proposal before Congress would require proposed energy code changes to be evaluated for their cost-effectiveness prior to inclusion in a code. The proposal before Congress designates simple payback as the principal basis for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of proposed energy code changes, but two other methods for determining cost-effectiveness are Life Cycle Cost (LCC) and Mortgage Cash-Flow (MCF). When assessing efficiency measures, it is important to include energy and cash sa...
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Report On Florida Circuit Rider Program Now Available

Energy code circuit riders are in-field experts that meet with specific individuals to address code compliance and enforcement needs. Circuit riders travel to individual jurisdictions to provide tailored technical assistance and resources to support energy code compliance. The Florida program aimed to develop a snapshot of code enforcement in the field, and identify needs for future targeted technical assistance to strengthen enforcement of Florida’s commercial code. This report from SEEA...
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Forthcoming 2018 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) To Consolidate ICC And ASHRAE Standards

In a deal nearly two years in the making, the International Code Council (ICC) and ASHRAE have signed the final agreement that outlines each organization’s role in the development and maintenance of the new version of the International Green Construction Code (IgCC). The code, scheduled to be released in 2018, will include ASHRAE Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings developed using the American National Standards In...
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High Performance Schools: Northeast States Paving The Way For This And Future Generations

Each year, K-12 schools spend around $8 billion on energy nationwide. They use 10% of the energy used by all commercial buildings and are the third biggest energy user of all commercial building types (U.S. EPA, 2011). What if these schools were built to be more energy-efficient and sustainable? What if building and operating high-performance school buildings were a natural part of the school design and construction practice? Carolyn Sarno Goldthwaite, Senior Program Manager for the Northeast E...
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Measuring The Real Impact Of Building Design

Last month, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) had its national annual convention in Atlanta, Georgia. At the convention, BCAP’s President, Maureen Guttman, along with three other architects, gave a presentation on building commissioning to make one thing clear: building commissioning is here to stay and architects have big business opportunities to help shape the future direction of commissioning. In the session, Architects Leading the Commissioning Process, the presenters provid...
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DOE Issues Final Determination On The 2015 IECC

The Department of Energy has announced findings on energy savings from adopting and complying with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Compared with residential buildings meeting the 2012 IECC, the 2015 edition achieves national source energy savings of approximately 0.87 percent, site energy savings of approximately 0.98 percent, and energy cost savings of 0.73 percent of residential building energy consumption. With the final determination established, each state is now req...
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My View: Utah Needs New Energy Codes That Make Buildings, Homes More Efficient

By David Brems and Kevin Emerson via Deseret News Air pollution is a top concern for Utah citizens. So is financial stability. Improving our air quality while saving money for Utahns is a win-win opportunity. This summer, decision-makers will be voting whether or not to adopt up-to-date building energy codes that will help new homes and buildings constructed in Utah cut energy waste, lower air pollution and reduce Utahns’ energy bills. The average Utah home wastes far too much energy bec...
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New Calculator Tool Empowers States To Use Building Energy Codes To Comply With The Clean Power Plan

MEDIA CONTACT: William D. Fay; bfay@ase.org; 202-530-2214 CARBON REDUCTIONS A SIGNIFICANT BY-PRODUCT OF EFFECTIVE ENERGY CODES THAT ALSO SAVE BUILDING AND HOMEOWNERS MONEY Washington, D.C., May 12, 2015 – Building energy codes – which have the potential to cut tens of thousands of dollars from the utility bills of home and commercial building owners – also have an interesting by-product: they can reduce hundreds of millions of metric tons of CO2. Today, the Alliance to S...
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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...
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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...
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DOE’s Three Year Residential Energy Code Field Study

In September 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced eight states that would participate in a three year Residential Energy Code Field Study. The states include: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas. Through the project, DOE plans to establish a sufficient data set to represent statewide construction trends and detect significant changes in energy use from training, education and outreach activities. The study comprises three main ...
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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 ...
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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...
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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...
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Taking a Closer Look at Commercial Construction Data

More regional energy efficiency organizations are examining commercial construction data to gain insights into the commercial construction trends and the economic impact of building energy code adoption and implementation on the construction trends. Raw construction data on permits can provide valuable information especially when paired with volume and accuracy. Permit data helps understand the state of both current and future market. It helps understand what kind of impact newer state-level ene...
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New Year, New Codes

Energy efficiency rang in the New Year with seven states implementing new and improved building energy codes. The 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), the latest version of the energy code, is now enforced in Maryland and Vermont; the 2012 IECC is implemented in Idaho, Minnesota, and New York; and the 2009 IECC is used in Arkansas and Louisiana. Here, some key facts about the new state code updates: 2015 IECC Maryland is the first state to enforce the newest and most effici...
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Outreach to Architects in Pennsylvania

by Maria Ellingson, BCAP As often the first point of contact with prospective owners of new homes and buildings, architects are a key influencer in determining the level of energy efficiency that is included in new construction and major renovation projects. But architects have been largely absent from an important issue that’s left Pennsylvania unable to adopt an updated building code. The process for adopting the state building code - the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) - is currentl...
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Energy Codes Boost Development

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (12/31/2014), written by Mandy Mahoney, Judy Knight and Lauren Westmoreland This op-ed highlights the results of the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance's (SEEA) recent codes research, confirming that the adoption of stronger energy codes across the Southeast has no adverse effect on commercial construction activity. In Georgia, when the state adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) with Georgia State Supplements and Amendments in 2011, i...
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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...
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The City Energy Project Assessment Methodology For Energy Code Compliance In Medium To Large Cities

The City Energy Project Assessment Methodology is designed to assist cities in identifying residential and commercial energy code compliance issues and help identify the areas they should focus on in order to improve their compliance rates. The methodology helps cities identify common areas of non-compliance as well as the causes of non-compliance. Compliance information collected as part of the study can also contribute to larger statewide compliance studies. Strategies to compliance are contai...
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Building a Stronger Local Energy Code Network in Oklahoma and Texas

More people in Oklahoma and Texas will soon enjoy the benefits of a stronger local energy code community through the work of twelve newly-certified Energy Code Ambassadors. These volunteers will work under the auspices of the South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER), the newest regional energy efficiency organization. In December 2014, SPEER doubled the number of its Energy Code Ambassadors from the previous year's inaugural class. John Umphress, Building Code Off...
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What Have We Done Lately?

BCAP asked the National Energy Codes Collaborative:What have we done in 2014? Approval for DOE National Energy Codes Conference in Nashville, TN   Determinations ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 (final) 2015 IECC (preliminary) HUD 2009 (preliminary   Compliance Initiatives Circuit Rider in Florida, Massachusetts, Rhode Island Utility programs in Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, Rhode Island Collaboratives in Minnesota, Oklahoma Baseline studies in Colorado, Michi...
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SWEEP And MEEA Wrap Up Their Regional Conferences

The first Southwest Energy Codes Conference was recently held for one and a half invigorating days in Denver, Colorado on November 5th and 6th. Hosted by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP), this was the first regional energy codes conference held in the SWEEP states. The goal of this event was to bring representatives from each state together to discuss wide-ranging topics related to energy codes. Presenters came from national organizations, regional utilities, HERS providers, ener...
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The Architect as Superhero

Maureen Guttman, President of the Building Codes Assistance Project, exhorts architects to take more responsibility for model energy code adoption and implementation. How can architects build a new world of sustainable communities? By taking more responsibility for model energy code adoption and implementation. At the Hanley Wood Vision 2020 Sustainability Summit, held in conjunction with the 2014 Greenbuild in New Orleans, BCAP President Maureen Guttman encourag...
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Time For Action: Why We Need To Say Yes To Building Energy Codes

At BCAP’s Annual Energy Codes Stakeholders Meeting in Washington D.C. on December 9th, several key threads emerged from the wealth of energy code knowledge and discourse that unfolded during the day. As we as a community push forward to develop new strategies for better buildings in the coming years, we should also work to deploy the information and policies already at our disposal. For example, a glance at one of BCAP’s recent code adoption maps reveals that many states are still...
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Energy Codes Get It Done

If every state began 2015 with the 2012 IECC for residential and commercial construction and moved from 60% compliance to 100% compliance by 2030, how much would the cumulative source energy savings, energy cost savings, and carbon emission reductions be in 2030? Using the energy data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and BCAP's Energy Code Calculator, BCAP calculated the estimated savings and reductions in each state. Cumulative State Savings (view full-size vers...
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The Carrot Or The Stick? Navigating The Balance In Strategies For Improving Energy Code Compliance

Written by Ryan Meres and Seul Rhee Energy efficiency advocates, governments, utilities, and others that fund energy code compliance initiatives often question whether enforcement or training and outreach are more effective at driving higher compliance rates. The answer isn’t obvious. Case in point: a recent energy code auditing initiative of New York City’s Department of Buildings is driving more stakeholders to meet the energy code, proving that more stringent enforcement increas...
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A note from Sam Rashkin: It’s the Window Stupid…

Written by Sam Rashkin, DOE I have personally delivered over 25 zero energy ready home (ZERH) training classes across the country. Consistently, one of the biggest “ah-hah” moments in the four-hour course is the huge impact windows have on overall wall assembly performance. Even with just a 15% window-to-floor-area ratio, windows represent a giant thermal hole that disproportionately upsets all the good work you do on the insulated wall assemblies. Who knew? Below is a table I devel...
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Moving Building Technology To The Era Of Zero-Energy Buildings

Paul Torcellini, principal engineer with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, discusses how we can achieve zero-energy buildings by integrating the cost of energy efficiency into design decisions. This is the first presentation captured from Ecobuilding Review’s 2014 Vision 2020 Sustainability Summit. The original article can be viewed here. For more information on the year-long Vision 2020 project, which aims to establish and tra...
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Codes, Standards and Rating Systems

Are architects unaware of their legal obligations under licensure, or are they simply negligent? Maureen Guttman, AIA In the United States, national model energy codes were created in response to the energy and economic crises of the 1970s. In 1978, Congress passed the National Energy Conservation Policy Act, which required states that received federal financial assistance to initiate energy efficiency standards for new buildings. In 1992, Congress passed the Energy Policy Act (EPAct), whi...
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Happy Energy Action Month!

October is the designated national month for energy efficiency. In 1981, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) initiated American Energy Week to raise energy awareness. Five years later, in 1986, DOE turned the Energy Week into a month-long observance to address the growing concerns regarding energy scarcity and climate change. Since then, October has been declared as the month to raise awareness and promote energy efficiency by two presidents: President George H.W. Bush declared October as Nation...
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BCAP Movers And Shakers

In September, BCAP President Maureen Guttman was elected chairman of the Governing Committee of ICC’s Sustainability Membership Council at the International Code Council 2014 Annual Conference in Fort Lauderdale. The Governing Committee serves to actively engage ICC members in discussions about priorities and opportunities and advises the direction of ICC with regard to green and energy code enforcement.BCAP Program Director Maria Ellingson has been elected to serve as a member of the RESN...
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World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC)

Earlier this month, under the high exposed ceiling of the Washington Convention Center’s Hall A, thousands of energy professionals from around the globe gathered for the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress (WEEC), the 37th event of its kind. It was presented by the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) and featured over 250 speakers. The WEEC conference is the largest gathering of its kind, representing the culmination of remarkable efforts towards a greener, cleaner future. Ideas and produc...
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Closing The Gap Between Architects And Energy

In his book Designing Energy Simulation for Architects: Guide to 3D Graphics, published earlier this year, Kjell Anderson explores how architects have become divorced from thinking about how their designs will actually perform--and how we can fix this disconnect. The publication could not be more timely: as building energy codes become stricter (new commercial buildings compliant with ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013 will have to be nearly 9% more efficient than those under 2010), design professionals ...
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More Evidence Debunking The Myth That Buyers Won’t Pay More For Energy Efficiency

This week at the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) Excellence in Building conference in St. Louis, Missouri, the U.S. Department of Energy presented 28 builders with “Housing Innovation Awards”, including six builders in the affordable housing category. The builders that accepted the awards didn’t repeat the common builder mantra: “it’s too expensive to build to the next model energy code” and “buyers won’t pay more for home that&rs...
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Not Your Father’s Code Development Process

by Todd Sims, Institute for Market Transformation Who remembers logging onto AOL using the old dial-up modems? I am sure you can hear it now. It seemed like a good idea at the time and got the job done, but in in retrospect, the process seems comically slow and inefficient. You could say the same about the state of the model building code development process. The process used to require code officials to commit to a lengthy and expensive pilgrimage to code-geek Mecca: the International Code Co...
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Survey Of Code Professionals Predicts Substantial Retirement Exodus

A recent survey conducted by the National Institute of Building Sciences on behalf of the International Code Council (ICC) reveals information that if not addressed in the coming years, may have an impact on the public safety of thousands of communities in the United States. The survey, which consisted of 25 multiple-choice questions, went out nationwide to building code compliance professionals at the federal, regional, state and local levels this spring. A total of 3,850 code professionals r...
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A Tale of Bright Highs and Dark Lows: The State of Energy Efficiency in the Midwest

by Julia Friedman and Ian Adams, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) The Midwest has a long history of supporting energy efficiency. In 1983, Minnesota was the first state to pilot a statewide energy efficiency program. Since then six Midwestern states have adopted some form of an energy savings target, also known as an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS).[1] Of these states, in 2011 and 2012, Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois all exceeded their energy efficiency targets.[2] These pol...
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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...
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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 ...
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CdpACCESS: A New, Easy Way To Get Your Vote Counted

The International Code Council (ICC) had a problem: Its I-Code Development Hearings were growing longer at the same time that building department budgets and staffs were growing smaller. In 2011, ICC’s Board of Directors took action, forming a Steering Committee and charging them with the daunting mission of bring the complicated code development process into the electronic age to boost the participation of Governmental Members and other stakeholders. Last November, ICC rolled out its much-anti...
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HERS and the IECC Performance Path

The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) analyzed the relationship between the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index and the traditional simulation-based Performance Path used in the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The analysis evaluates, for a single-family residence with various characteristics, the ranges of HERS Index values that would imply compliance with the 2012 IECC Performance Path. While this analysis does not attemp...
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Taking Aim At Barriers To Innovations From Codes And Standards

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America Program is taking aim at barriers to innovations from codes and standards. Building America will release Code Compliance Briefs to facilitate the conversation between builders, installers, and code officials when an innovative product or technique is used in the field. The new content will reside under the Compliance Tab in the Building America Solution Center labeled Code Compliance Brief. The intent of the Building America Code Compliance Brie...
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Going for the Next 20 Years

by Maureen Guttman, AIA When I first came to BCAP two and half years ago, there was a staff of 11 people in four locations, 23 active projects happening in 11 states and a $1.5 million budget. Trying to absorb the details of everything that this team was managing, I was impressed, excited, overwhelmed, and certain I would never catch up to these folks. From modest beginnings in 1994 until now, the BCAP team has grown in expertise and effectiveness in promoting the adoption and administration o...
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Health, Safety, And Welfare Also Includes Building Performance

Hanley Wood Sustainability Council members Steven Winter and Maureen Guttman discuss the role of incentives and regulations in moving high-performance building into mainstream practice. By Katie Weeks This article also appeared in EcoBuilding Pulse. What's more successful in moving an industry forward: Carrots or sticks? Or is a specific combination of the two? Since 2012, Hanley Wood has consulted building and architecture experts under its Vision 2020 program to discuss the role of sustain...
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Code Officials Become Energy Code Ambassadors In The State Of Texas

The South-central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) and BCAP provided thirteen building code professionals advanced training to become certified Energy Code Ambassadors in the state of Texas. These experienced code enforcement professionals have stepped forward to offer their expertise and assistance to other building departments and the construction industry, to assure that construction of buildings and homes comply with the energy code, providing greater energy efficiency...
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High-R Wall Construction Strategies: Reducing Costs And Risk While Increasing Energy Performance

by Seul Rhee The U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America research program has been a source of innovations in residential building energy performance, durability, quality, affordability and comfort for nearly 20 years. This world-class research program partners with industry (including many of the top U.S. homebuilders) to bring cutting-edge innovations and resources to market. The NAHB Research Center Building America industry team's high-R wall system research focuses primarily on incre...
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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 ...
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Are Architects and Building Professionals Overlooking a Critical Role?

Stop avoiding the conversation: Policy makers need to hear from people who design buildings, says the Alliance to Save Energy's Maureen Guttman. by Katie Weeks Maureen Guttman is the vice president for buildings and utilities at the Alliance to Save Energy and the executive director of the organization's Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). As part of the Hanley Wood Sustainability Council for 2014, she will lead the Vision 2020 initiative in Green Building Codes, Standards + Rating Syste...
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Engaging More Architects To Meet The Compliance Goal

by Seul Rhee While many states have worked hard to adopt the 2009 or 2012 International Energy Conservation Code, implementation and compliance are sometimes overlooked. But that is changing. National, regional, and local focus is shifting to address meeting the 90 percent compliance goal set by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Working with numerous state energy offices (22 states and counting) to investigate and assess a state’s existing energy code infrastructure, one comm...
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The Energy Productivity Innovation Challenge Can Do Better By Codes

By Cosimina Panetti If you were going to install a renewable energy system on your house, you would first make sure your house was as energy efficient as possible. At minimum, you would want your house to meet current model energy codes and you would probably go above and beyond the code. If you were the federal government providing incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy systems to states, wouldn’t you expect that states adopt a minimum energy efficiency code? And yet the f...
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Understanding (a Few) of the Challenges of Implementing the Energy Code in Existing Buildings

By Dennis Hidalgo Addressing building energy code compliance has proven to be a difficult task, one that becomes considerably more daunting when the subject is existing buildings. In the past year, BCAP has increased its focus on examining the challenges facing the implementation of the energy code in existing commercial buildings. The countless possibilities in existing building modifications underscore the impact that they can have on building energy performance. Because of this, an emphasis ...
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Not Taking “No Can Do” For An Answer

by Maria Ellingson, BCAP These days it seems that all states are taking some flak as they work toward meeting their Recovery Act obligations by the year 2017, but some aren’t taking “no can do” for an answer. It’s not always easy, especially in home-rule states where current law prohibits the state from adopting a statewide code. But that didn’t stop the state of Illinois, which passed legislation in 2009 to remove the local home-rule jurisdiction over residential energy standards, and adopt th...
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Nebraska Energy Code Compliance Collaborative: A Case Study On An Emerging Best Practice

by Paul Karrer In the wake of the Great Recession in 2009, Congress passed the Recovery Act to stimulate the national economy. Within that legislation, a pot of $3.1 billion in expanded State Energy Program (SEP) funding was linked to commitments from states to update their building energy codes and to develop plans to achieve greater rates of compliance by 2017. By January 2014, BCAP projects that about two of every three U.S. states will have implemented building energy codes that meet or ex...
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Code Officials Defeat Proposals To Rollback Historic Efficiency Gains In America’s Model Energy Code

Atlantic City, N.J., October 8, 2013 – Sound energy policy prevailed as local and state governmental officials rejected dozens of builder-sponsored home efficiency rollback proposals in a three-day marathon meeting convened by the International Code Council (ICC) to develop the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). "Today was a victory for America’s homebuyers," said Bill Fay, Executive Director of the Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC). "By dismissing efforts to roll back ...
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New and Improved Energy Code Ambassador Program Launched In Ohio

In May 2013, eight code enforcement professionals from across Ohio were trained to become Energy Code Ambassadors for the state in a newly improved program offered by the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) and the International Code Council (ICC). BCAP and ICC partnered with the Ohio Development Services Agency’s Office of Energy to launch the Ohio Energy Code Ambassador Program (ECAP) in coordination with the Ohio Board of Building Standards (BBS). With support from two utilities in the s...
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Compliance Collaboratives Convene To Share Lessons Learned

On August 22, BCAP hosted an information sharing webinar on an emerging best practice in building energy codes: state Energy Code Compliance Collaboratives. A compliance collaborative is a forum for experts from diverse stakeholder groups impacted by energy codes to come together to work toward common interests and goals. The collaborative is a long-term, multi-year initiative to assist its state in implementing a plan to achieve full compliance with energy codes. The webinar featured progress ...
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Omaha Residents Want Better Energy Codes

And 72% Would Pay More For It A new survey found that Omaha residents overwhelmingly favor improved energy efficiency through updated energy codes for new homes and buildings. The study comes at a key time as Omaha’s City Council is set to vote on requiring greater energy efficiency in new homes, allowing homeowners to keep thousands of dollars in reduced energy bills as early as August. The survey found the vast majority of residents - 72 percent - would be willing to pay more for a home that...
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2013 Mayors Resolution Supports Stronger 2015 IECC

By William D. Fay, Executive Director, Energy Efficient Codes Coalition With hard-fought efficiency gains at stake, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) voted unanimously to encourage municipal support for all eligible code officials to attend the ICC’s Final Action Hearings this October in Atlantic City to support continued efficiency gains for America’s model energy code, the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The local and state code and other officials voting at the hearings w...
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Alliance Announces SEEA’s ‘Graduation’ Into Standalone Entity

Alliance to Save Energy Press Release Washington, D.C., May 20, 2013 - Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan announced that the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA), the Alliance’s wholly-owned subsidiary created to advance energy efficiency in the Southeast, will become a standalone entity on January 1, 2014. Callahan made the announcement about the future of SEEA during the Alliance’s EE Global Forum held in Washington, DC. "When the Alliance started SEEA in 2006, the Sout...
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BCAP Promotes Consumer Awareness Campaign In Capitol Briefing

On March 20th, BCAP participated in a congressional briefing hosted by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) on consumer attitudes toward energy codes. The event included presentations by Maureen Guttman of the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP), Stacy Weisfeld of Consumers Union, and Laura Richardson of the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning. The briefing examined the results of a survey of 5,000 U.S. households on residential energy codes conducted by Consumers Uni...
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2009 Energy Code Adoptions Required by ARRA – Where Are They Now?

by Shari Shapiro A long time ago in a first term far away, there was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), a.k.a the Stimulus. As explained by the DOE, the ARRA section on State Energy Program funding included a statutory provision (Section 410) linking SEP funding to building energy code adoption and enforcement. As a condition of accepting the ARRA funding, the states provided assurances through governor’s letters indicating their state would comply with the terms of Secti...
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2012 Winners Of The Excellence In Energy Code Compliance Award

On October 22, 2012, the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the Global Buildings Performance Network (GBPN) recognized the inaugural winners of the Excellence in Energy Code Compliance Award at the International Code Council’s Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon. This new award program honors state and local jurisdictions that have raised compliance with energy codes using smart, cost-effective strategies. Congratulations to the winners of the 2012 Excellence in Energy Code Complia...
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Success Story: California Dreams: Title 24 Energy Code On Target For Net Zero Energy Standards Goal By 2020

by Paul Karrer In May 2012, California approved its next building energy code update, the 2013 Building Energy Efficiency Standards (BEES, also referred to as Title 24, Part 6), setting the stage to once again claim one of the most efficient energy codes in the nation. The update’s timing is considered crucial given California’s population growth projections of 12% over the next eight years and the significant additions to its building stock expected to follow. BCAP is proud to have been a part...
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Success Story: Kansas City Pushes Strong Energy Code Update To Spur Metropolitan Area In Home Rule State

by Paul Karrer The states of Missouri and Kansas present unique challenges to building energy code adoption support. As home rule states, they do not adopt mandatory statewide codes, necessitating local adoption strategies. The two states also share a major metropolitan area comprised of many municipalities with code enforcement authority. As such, market efficiencies in the building industry have developed in recent years and incentivized local jurisdictions adopting regulations identical or s...
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South Carolina – A Model Of Successful Stakeholder Collaboration In Energy Code Adoption

by Paul Karrer For over a year, the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP) has focused on South Carolina as a target state for the adoption of an updated building energy code. South Carolina regulates its building codes through a regulatory process, except for the South Carolina Energy Standard, which the state legislature must approve. The state’s previous energy code update legislation, House Bill 3550, enacted the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and became effective Janu...
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Alabama Energy Code Ambassadors Program To Expand In 2012

As Alabama looks to adopt its first mandatory statewide energy code in 2012, several stakeholder groups also look forward to expanding the Alabama Energy Codes Ambassadors Program (ECAP). Through an additional grant, PNNL has provided funds for travel expenses for ECAP trainees through April 2012. ECAP was established to train code officials who can provide technical assistance and training to code officials in other local jurisdictions. The program aims to train code officials to act as “peer-t...
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Alliance Names Architect Maureen Guttman Head Of Building Codes Assistance Project and Sr. Director Of Buildings Programs

Author: Ronnie Kweller and Allyson Schmutter The Alliance to Save Energy is pleased to announce that Maureen Guttman, AIA, is the new executive director of its Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP), a joint initiative of the Alliance, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and the Natural Resources Defense Council. An architect by training with 25 years’ experience in energy-efficient and green building design, Guttman is also the Alliance’s new senior director of building prog...
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New Online Guides Teach Consumers How Building Codes Make Homes More Energy Efficient

Thanks to the new partnership between BCAP and Consumers Union, user-friendly, interactive online guides and downloadable publications are helping homeowners and buyers save energy and money by teaching them the potential of building energy codes to address and improve home energy performance. "Everyone should have the right to an energy-efficient home that meets national standards," said Cosimina Panetti, advocacy director of BCAP. "Energy codes – minimum requirements for efficient design and ...
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Just Released: The Combined 2012 IECC/ASHRAE 90.1-2010

The International Code Council (ICC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have collaborated to create a publication containing both the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and ANSI/ASHRAE/IES Standard 90.1-2010 Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings in one volume. This book, containing the most up-to-date and innovative energy-efficiency requirements for both commercial and residential buildings, w...
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Alliance To Save Energy Hails 25-30% Advance In 2012 Energy Code For New and Renovated Residential, Commercial Buildings

Washington, D.C., July 28, 2011 -- The Alliance to Save Energy today hailed a newly-released model building energy code upgrade that will improve energy use in commercial and residential buildings in the United States by as much as 30%. The landmark 30% improvement for new and renovated residential buildings is included in the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which also would increase the energy efficiency of commercial buildings by about 25% when compared to the 2006 versio...
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New Model Energy Code Will Boost Energy Efficiency

The votes that will have the most profound impact on national energy and environmental policy this year were not held in Washington or a state capital, but by governmental officials assembled by the International Code Council (ICC) in Charlotte, NC," said William Fay, Executive Director of the broad-based Energy Efficient Codes Coalition (EECC). The ICC votes to improve the efficiency of the next edition of America’s model energy code governing home and commercial building constructi...
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