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What US jurisdiction first published insulation value tables – for new homes – in a building code?

Marshall Leslie | Posted in Building Code Questions on

I am researching energy efficiency objectives in codes and regulations, in Canada and the US. The first Canadian residential insulation value tables appeared in the (provincial) 1975 Ontario Building Code. I know that California’s 1978 “Title 24” introduced even broader energy conservation measures. However, I do not know what US jurisdiction (state or city) was the first to publish insulation value tables for new homes, in a building code. I would appreciate your suggestions …

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    Here is some information:
    "In 1975, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) developed the first national energy code, 90-75 “Energy Conservation in New Building Design,” for residential and commercial buildings. The next national code to appear was the MCEC 77, a joint effort of multiple organizations under the auspices of the Council of American Building Officials (CABO). MCEC 77 was the precursor to the Model Energy Code (MEC) 1983 Edition."
    “A [Minnesota] state law was enacted in 1975 to require building design and construction standards consistent with the most efficient use of energy. In response, an energy code became effective on January 20, 1976, as part of the state building code.”

  2. Bill Rose | | #2


    My copy of Seichi Konzo's 1939 Winter Air Conditioning has a table of "Recommended conductances and conductivities for computing heat transmission coefficients". It contains about 50 common building materials as well as recommended values for interior and exterior air films and air spaces. The table states: Extracts from Table 2, pp. 107-113, The A.S.H.V.E Guide of 1937, as appearing in "The Technical Code". A footnote describes the Technical Code as "Technical Code for the Design and Installation of Mechanical Warm-Air Heating Systems", National Warm Air Heating and Air Conditioning Association.

    Hope that helps.

  3. Marshall Leslie | | #3

    Martin, thank you very much. I have been searching since I left my post this morning, and found two other sources. The first, "A History of the Building Energy Standards Program" was written by two gentlemen at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory in 1994, see: . The second, "Energy Efficiency Trends in Residential and Commercial Buildings" is a DoE October 2008 report with some historical references in it, see: . FYI, I am going to try to upload a photocopy of a page from the 1944 Canada National Housing Act (NHA) Building Standards (as amended 1947) that describe the insulation requirement for government insured new homes at the time. This is the first regulatory (albeit not code) requirement for insulation that I am aware of in Canada.

  4. Marshall Leslie | | #4

    Bill, thank you. When Mr. Konzo died in 1992, the headline over his obituary in the New York Times read: "Seichi Konzo, 87, Dies; A Home Cooling Expert", see:

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