energy code

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North Carolina Reverses Building Code Changes

After a homebuilders association objects to the cost of new energy conservation standards, a state panel strikes some changes from the books

Posted on Dec 29 2017 by Scott Gibson

Last June, the North Carolina agency responsible for making changes in state building codes voted in tougher energy efficiency standards for new residential construction. By December, on the urging of the North Carolina Homebuilders Association, the Building Code Council had reversed course, voting 15-1 to junk some of the changes because they would be too costly.


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Image Credits:

  1. Sarah Miller via Flickr

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Three Code-Approved Tricks for Reducing Insulation Thickness

Savvy builders know that there are several legal ways to install less insulation than the minimum requirements in the prescriptive code table

Posted on Dec 15 2017 by Martin Holladay
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How much insulation should you install in a ceiling or a roof? When the question comes up on GBAGreenBuildingAdvisor.com, I usually advise builders to install at least as much insulation as is required in the prescriptive table found in the 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 the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC International Energy Conservation Code.).

This prescriptive table is known as Table N1102.1.1 in the IRC (see Image #2 at the bottom of the page). In the IECC, the identical table is known as Table R402.1.2 (Image #3).


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Image Credits:

  1. Fine Homebuilding
  2. International Code Council

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The Difficulty of Updating Georgia’s Energy Code

Trying to get airtightness below 7 ach50 has been a struggle

Posted on May 10 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
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Seven years ago, Georgia led the nation. Yep. We were the first state to adopt an energy code that made blower door testing mandatory. All new homes built in the state had to show through performance testing that they had an air leakage rate of less than 7 air changes per hour at 50 Pascals of pressure difference (ach50).


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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Buried Ducts Allowed in 2018 Energy Code

The keys are duct leakage, R-values, and the vapor barrier

Posted on Feb 15 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
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Water vapor from the air condenses on air conditioning ducts in humid climates. It's as normal as poorly insulated bonus rooms making occupants uncomfortable or cigarettes causing lung cancer. Condensation on ducts is most common in crawl spaces and basements, where the air is more likely to have a higher dew point.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard
  2. D. Mallay, Home Energy Research Labs, Building America research report

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Should Balanced Ventilation Be Required?

Aspen’s new energy code requires balanced mechanical ventilation with recovery

Posted on Feb 8 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
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"You know where this is going, right? Codes will eventually require balanced ventilationMechanical ventilation system in which separate, balanced fans exhaust stale indoor air and bring in fresh outdoor air in equal amounts; often includes heat recovery or heat and moisture recovery (see heat-recovery ventilator and energy-recovery ventilator). ." I've heard people say this more than once in the past year or so. As someone who has been attending the semiannual meeting of the ASHRAE 62.2A standard for residential mechanical ventilation systems established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Among other requirements, the standard requires a home to have a mechanical ventilation system capable of ventilating at a rate of 1 cfm for every 100 square feet of occupiable space plus 7.5 cfm per occupant. committee, I've been skeptical. Then I read the new Aspen energy code and saw the first evidence that this really could happen.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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The 2018 Building Energy Code Holds the Line for Efficiency

Code officials have approved the latest version of the energy code, upholding the great efficiency gains in past code cycles

Posted on Feb 1 2017 by Anonymous

By LAUREN URBANEK

The newest building energy code, which will govern how much energy and money is saved by new home and commercial building owners, was recently approved by code officials — and by and large, they voted to uphold the great efficiency gains made in past code cycles.


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Image Credits:

  1. PaulBR75 / Pixabay

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City of Aspen Dumps Energy Rating Index

Aspen’s new energy code adopts the “perfect energy code” as the only performance path

Posted on Jan 25 2017 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
prime

The city of Aspen, Colorado has bucked the trend. Well, actually two trends, but first things first.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard

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Using Rooftop Solar to Meet the Energy Code

The Energy Rating Index compliance path could allow builders to trade insulation for solar panels

Posted on Nov 9 2016 by Allison A. Bailes III, PhD
prime

Supply and demand are two different things. When you think of an energy code, say the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC International Energy Conservation Code.), you probably think of demand, not supply. Conserving energy, after all, means reducing demand. It's related to supply only indirectly.

As a result, you might expect an energy conservation code to have requirements that affect only the demand side of the equation. With the 2015 IECC, however, that's not true anymore.


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Image Credits:

  1. Energy Vanguard
  2. International Code Council

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States are Amending, then Adopting, the 2015 IECC

As usual, the code adoption process in the U.S. is a mixed-up mess

Posted on Oct 28 2016 by Martin Holladay
prime

In the U.S., the system for writing, adopting, and enforcing building codes is peculiar. Lots of people are confused about building codes.

Anyone interested in understanding building codes in the U.S. needs to start by learning a few basic facts:

  • The U.S. doesn’t have a national building code. Building codes vary from state to state, and in some cases from city to city.

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Image Credits:

  1. Randy Martin

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Manufactured Homes Will Get a New Energy Code

As proposed, the new HUD rules would save each homeowner thousands of dollars

Posted on Aug 15 2016 by Scott Gibson

New efficiency rules proposed for the nation's manufactured housing industry would reduce energy consumption by an estimated 27% and save homeowners thousands of dollars, according to a member of the committee that helped draft the plan.


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Image Credits:

  1. Riverview Homes via Wikimedia

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