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Webinar: America's Model Energy Code
Hosted by ICLEI/Local Governments for Sustainability, the National Association of Regional Councils (NARC), and the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN)

Tune in tomorrow, February 17th, at 2pm EST to learn about how to put America's building energy codes on a glide path to steady gains.

Local and state officials will cast what is arguably the most critical energy/environmental policy votes in 2016 when the International Code Council (ICC) updates the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) to the 2018 edition. Mayors have played a pivotal role in energy efficiency gains over the past several editions. This webinar will discuss what cities must do to be eligible to cast their votes during the upcoming code cycle.
DOE Launches Energy Code Commentator Training Series
Starting this month, the US Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program (BECP) is launching a new training webinar series. The webinars will be hosted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and will cover a variety of special topics pertaining to residential and commercial buildings. The Energy Code Commentator series will be held regularly on the second Thursday of every month at 1pm EST.

Register here for Envelope Air Sealing for Residential Buildings, which will be held on March 10th. Additional events are coming soon!

For more information, including training presentations and other resources, visit the training portal.
Alliance to Save Energy Blogs Highlight Building Codes Policy

"Residential buildings make up a significant portion of our built environment, which is the nation’s greatest energy-consuming sector. If passed, the SAVE Act would incorporate energy efficiency into residential mortgage underwriting. This, in turn, would ensure that homeowners fully realize a monetary return on investment in energy efficiency." (Click here to read more about building energy codes and the SAVE Act.)

"Building energy codes should not enable over-investment in generation, which could happen if efficiency is ignored. Efficiency measures in building technologies and systems improve overall comfort and livability, and can last as long as the structure stands." (Click here to read more about building energy codes and renewable energy.)
Share of HERS-rated homes surged to 38% in 2015
According to the Residential Services Network (RESNET), more than 190,000 new homes in the United States were rated by certified RESNET HERS Raters and issued a HERS score. RESNET reports that this represents 38% of all new homes sold in the nation, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. For a breakdown on which states had the most ratings done and more information, see the RESNET blog post here.
ASHRAE Announces ECB Automation, Changes to Appendix G
Last month, ASHRAE unveiled a new web application designed to automate Energy Cost Budget (ECB) calculations needed to show compliance with Standard 90.1-2010. Several states currently use this standard as a commercial energy code, including Florida, Iowa, New York, and Virginia. 

In advance of the 90.1-2016 updates, ASHRAE has also announced that the Performance Rating Method, also known as Appendix G, will now be accepted as a method of demonstrating code compliance. The revised standalone appendix is available for purchase now in advance of the full code publication for those who wish to get ahead of the curve.
Midwest Code Adoptions Include Energy Rating Index

Since the start of 2016, two Midwest states - Illinois and Michigan - have adopted amended versions of the 2015 IECC, including the Energy Rating Index (ERI). In addition to the traditional prescriptive and performance paths, the ERI provides a third way for builders to show compliance with the energy code using the home's HERS Index Score.

Watch a video on how the HERS Index can be used to demonstrate code compliance.

Learn more about the Illinois ERI option.

Learn more about the Michigan energy code.
Spotlight on the South-Central: Adoption and Compliance Updates

At the beginning of 2016, Texas amended the 34 Texas Administrative Code §19.53, establishing the 2015 IECC as the effective energy code for non-residential construction as of November 1, 2016. The legislature also established 2015 IRC as the effective energy code for single-family residential construction, effective September 1, 2016. Since Texas is a home-rule state that requires local jurisdictions to adopt and enforce building codes, the South-Central Partnership for Energy Efficiency as a Resource (SPEER) has made available an online resource: an Adoption Toolkit to help city code officials adopt and enforce these codes.

The Texas State Energy Conservation Office is providing free training workshops in various cities from February through August 2016 to familiarize stakeholders with the requirements of the new codes, and will also be providing them with a free code book and CEUs. SPEER provides additional webinars and trainings on the details of building to code, code adoption, and code enforcement. See SPEER’s calendar of events for more information.

In an effort to better determine how many homes are in full compliance with the energy code, Texas is one of eight states participating in a three-year Department of Energy (DOE) residential energy code field study, the goal of which is to determine if investments in certain programs can yield a measurable improvement in residential building energy savings. Residential new construction in Texas represents 16% of nationwide new home construction in the country despite the fact that Texans only make up about 9% of the population. This disproportionately large share of the housing market, combined with the state’s home rule status, make this market very interesting to study.

For the field study, SPEER is working in collaboration with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO), and the Electric Utility Marketing Managers of Texas (EUMMOT).  The first phase of the study was to gather “current energy efficiency practices in new construction” via field inspections.  The findings will be used as a “baseline” for the study and will be published in the first quarter of 2016. The next step involves outreach and education to target deficiencies identified in phase one. To view an introductory presentation on the entire Texas project, click here.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America Solutions Center publishes guides on construction topics to help code officials and builders ensure that specific measures will be in compliance with the energy code. The code compliance briefs included as part of these guides can help building professionals during plan reviews and field inspections.

This month, we feature: Window and Frame Replacement.
BCAP recently partnered with the Appraisal Institute (AI) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) to create a guide for making sure that energy efficiency is taken into consideration during the residential property appraisal process: Appraised Value and Energy Efficiency: Getting it Right.
Congratulations to Pam Cole for being the first Energy Code Champion of 2016!

Pam Cole has served as a Research Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National laboratory for over fifteen years. Pam is a valuable resource within the DOE’s Building Energy Codes Program (BECP), overseeing compliance and technical assistance for national model and state specific energy codes. She offers states and local jurisdictions expert guidance on the adoption and compliance of residential and commercial building energy codes.

Read more about Pam and our previous Energy Code Champions here.
  • Did you miss Greenbuild 2015? Catch up with videos from plenaries and sessions here.
  • The International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC), in partnership with the Global Building Performance Network (GBPN) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has launched the Building Energy Codes Portal to support an efficient international knowledge exchange on building energy code implementation.
  • ICC cdpACCESS is the International Code Council’s new cloud-based system for the code development process (cdp). Log in with your username and password to collaborate, review, submit and vote on code change proposals and public comments.
  • ISO has released their National Building Code Assessment Report on the status of the nation's building codes.
  • ASHRAE has published a User's Manual for Standard 189.1-2014. This book, available for purchase here, is "intended to help engineers, architects, and contractors understand and comply with the standard and to help code officials and others enforce its requirements".
American Architectural Manufacturers Association 79th Annual Conference
Huntington Beach, CA
2/14 - 2/17

Midwest Energy Solutions Conference
Chicago, IL
2/24 - 2/26

RESNET Building Performance Conference
Scottsdale, AZ
2/29 - 3/2

Better Buildings: Better Business
Wisconsin Dells, WI
3/2 - 3/4

Building Energy Summit
Washington, DC

Air Barrier Association of America Conference and Tradeshow
Baltimore, MD
3/22 - 3/24

SPEER's Fourth Annual Summit
Austin, TX
3/29 - 3/30

View all upcoming events.

Time to reserve your spot!
Energy Codes WORK! will focus on compliance but sessions will also cover development, adoption, policy, tools and research.
Virginia's Department of Housing and Community Development is currently seeking a Director for the State Building Codes Office. Click here for a full description of the position and to apply online. This position will be open until March 1st.
Copyright © 2016 Building Codes Assistance Project, All rights reserved.

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