What’s the Difference Between the Energy Code and the DEA?

Posted on April 25,2015 by CarlSeville in building code

I’ve been on a bit of a rant lately about the poor state of energy code enforcement and its effect on building performance. The rules are there, but not enough people are following them. This misbehavior leads to excessive energy use, providing support to the energy and utility industries, and does nothing to reduce our dependence of foreign oil.

The First National Green Code — or Communism?

Posted on April 25,2015 by Ecovrn in building code

After a few false starts, the International Code Council (the code writing body for the U.S.) finally prevailed with the new International Green Construction Code, to be available in Spring 2012. Already there is media spin about the wonderful leadership shown by the U.S. in setting the example by providing such a code. Hoorah for the U.S.! I think…

Tackling PV’s Red-Tape Roadblocks

Posted on April 25,2015 by Fretboard in administrative costs

Financial prospects for deployment of photovoltaic systems could be brightening. Prices of PV panels from both Asian and domestic manufacturers, for example, have dropped so much recently that many developers of solar power utility projects in California who originally planned to use solar thermal systems are switching to PV, according to a San Jose Mercury News story posted this month.

Judges Dismiss Cases Over Carbon Monoxide Deaths in Aspen

Posted on April 25,2015 by Fretboard in Aspen

Update: This story now includes the information on the dismissal of cases against two defendants who were charged with criminal negligence in the carbon monoxide deaths.

An Overview of the 2012 Energy Code

Posted on April 25,2015 by user-756436 in building code

UPDATED and CORRECTED on 9/22/2011 Are you ready for the 2012 code? Each revision of the International codes tends to ratchet up energy performance requirements, and the 2012 revision is no exception. Although its adoption may be a long ways off in some jurisdictions — after all, many rural areas of the U.S. still have no building codes at all — the 2012 International codes may become law in some areas as soon as next year.

New Air Sealing Requirements in the 2009 International Residential Code

Posted on April 25,2015 by user-756436 in air barrier

One of the most cost-effective ways of lowering residential energy costs is to reduce a home’s air leakage rate, so it makes sense for energy codes to ratchet up air-sealing requirements. The latest (2009) version of the International Residential Code does exactly that.

Are Energy Codes Working?

Posted on April 25,2015 by user-756436 in code

Residential energy codes have evolved rapidly over the last two decades. The origin of many of our current energy codes can be traced back to the Model Energy Code (MEC), which was first introduced in 1992. The MEC eventually evolved into the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

Report from the ICC Code Hearings

Posted on April 25,2015 by ShelterNerd in code

The ICC hearings last week were packed with building inspectors and government officials who received grant funding — both to join the ICC (so they could vote) and to cover the cost of transportation, food and lodging for the trip. Together they managed to vote in a new code that aims for a 30% reduction in energy usage compared to the 2006 code. Voters who were more interested in affordable housing than energy efficiency never had a chance, though the debates were long and redundant. (For example, the blower door test mandate was debated on five separate occasions.)

Congress for the New Urbanism Lands in Atlanta

Posted on April 25,2015 by CarlSeville in code

I had the pleasure of attending the 18th Congress for the New Urbanism in Atlanta this year. I have been following the development of the New Urbanism movement since its early days, having been introduced to it by my friend Peter Katz, who wrote one of the first books on the subject, The New Urbanism, almost 20 years ago.

Forget Vapor Diffusion — Stop the Air Leaks!

Posted on April 25,2015 by user-756436 in air barrier

Last week’s blog answered some common questions about vapor retarders. This elicited a comment from Bill Rose, research director of the Building Research Laboratory at the University of Illinois in Champaign. “We might imagine a future in which the building code sections that address the vapor barrier would all go blank,” Rose wrote.

Michigan Court Rules In Favor Of New Energy Code

Posted on April 25,2015 by user-756436 in code

##Homebuilders' Association Loses, Environment Wins## LANSING, MI — The Ingham County [Michigan] Circuit Court has ruled in favor of the state of Michigan, dismissing a challenge from the Michigan Association of Home Builders (MAHB) that sought to prevent energy-efficiency requirements for new homes. According to the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA), “The new, energy-efficient code, adopted in 2004, had been in limbo due to legal maneuvering by the MAHB, which used the state’s legal system to circumvent the comprehensive administrative process that led to the adoption of a new, more energy efficient code. As a result, Michigan residents lost years of potential energy savings, totaling tens of millions of dollars and contributing to increased releases of environmental pollutants.”

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