Exceeding the Energy Code
New provisions in the IRC and IECC are making houses greener
9 Steps to A Greener Code
New homes built using the 2009 International Residential Code (IRCInternational Residential Code. The one- and two-family dwelling model building code copyrighted by the International Code Council. The IRC is meant to be a stand-alone code compatible with the three national building codes—the Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) National code, the Southern Building Code Congress International (SBCCI) code and the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) code.) or International Energy Conservation Code (IECC International Energy Conservation Code.) will be more energy efficient than ever. As a consequence, a builder’s world may become a bit more complex and, in some cases, a bit more expensive.
STEP 8: EXCEEDING THE ENERGY CODE (IECC)
Code: N1101.8 A code official or local jurisdiction is permitted to allow a national, state, or
local green-building or energy-efficiency program to exceed the energy efficiency required by the IRC or IECC. A building approved in writing by such a program will be considered compliant.
What it means to you: This update ensures that builders who use LEEDLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED for Homes is the residential green building program from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). While this program is primarily designed for and applicable to new home projects, major gut rehabs can qualify. , Energy StarLabeling system sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Energy for labeling the most energy-efficient products on the market; applies to a wide range of products, from computers and office equipment to refrigerators and air conditioners., or a local green-building program may be able to comply with all energy-code provisions of the IRC and IECC. The above code provision allows a building official to deem the energy-efficient program as exceeding the energy efficiency required by the code. The value of this provision is that while the energy requirements of both the IRC and the IECC change, other programs initiated by cities, counties, and states sometimes do not—at least not at the same pace. Builders can disregard the energy requirements of the code only if the locality has approved the alternative program.
The 2009 building codes reflect practices that not only increase energy efficiency, like air sealing measures and increased insulation, but also address sustainable building practices, like moisture control.
Other segments of this series:
Part 1: Air Sealing
Part 2: Insulation
Part 3: Lighting
Part 4: Programmable Thermostats
Part 5: Insulating Mass Walls
Part 6: Efficient Windows
Part 7: Insulating Mechanical Pipes
Part 8: Exceeding the Energy Code
Part 9: Vapor Retarders
Dec 14, 2009 1:25 PM ET
Dec 22, 2010 11:58 AM ET
Dec 22, 2010 12:16 PM ET
Dec 24, 2010 3:35 AM ET
Dec 24, 2010 5:50 AM ET