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 common weakness BCAP identified was a lack of awareness, understanding, and involvement in the building energy code development process by design professionals.

Design professionals, especially architects, bear large responsibility in the development of our built environment. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognizes the importance of improving the energy performance of the built environment and has made a commitment to the 2030 Challenge. With architects’ increased awareness and dedication to energy efficiency and sustainable design, they not only can help raise the compliance rate but can also increase their influence over their design by using the energy code to take ownership of building performance, and encourage other building industry stakeholders to value the impact of the energy code.

Understanding the tremendous potential that architects have in helping ensure efficient building performance, BCAP began a project directed to increase their role in the energy code world. The project aims to strengthen architects’ commitment to: better accommodate energy code requirements and details in their designs; communicate the value to owners; and to become more aggressive in their efforts to see their projects through full compliance with energy codes. The project is on-going and BCAP continues to work with partners to develop resources to better engage the architectural profession in energy code-compliant design and construction.

For more information about the project, contact info@bcapcodes.org.