9 Steps to A Greener Code
New homes built using the 2009 International Residential Code (IRC) or International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) 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 LEED, Energy Star, 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:
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