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BCAP & IMT’s Quarterly Bulletin for Code Officials - Q2 2016
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THE DECODER

 IMPROVING COMPLIANCE WITH THE ENERGY CODE 

HOT TOPICS IN CODE COMPLIANCE
America’s Building Energy Policy Will Be Determined by Local Government
YOUR VOTE IS CRITICAL as the 2018 energy code policy is developed. This year, the International Code Council (ICC) will administer the year-long process that will update the 2015 IECC to produce the 2018 IECC.

There is an opportunity to put the 2018 and future IECC editions on a glide path of modest but steady gains.

Find out how the power is in your hands!
Standard Bearers Award Applications Due July 15th
The International Code Council and the Institute for Market Transformation are currently seeking candidates for the 2016 Standard Bearers Award, which is a nationally juried program that highlights states, jurisdictions, and individuals who are doing exemplary work to improve building energy code compliance.

Winners receive a travel stipend to the ICC Annual Conference and hearings in October and are honored at the ICC Awards Luncheon. All local and state government energy code compliance programs are eligible, including but not limited to: energy code training programs; programs that depend on third-party compliance companies; and programs supported by utilities. Three awards are given out at the ICC Annual Conference in the following categories: State Level Program, Jurisdictional Level Program, and Energy Code Leader for individual efforts.

If you are interested in applying, or if there are any programs or individuals who you’d like to nominate, reach out to Ryan Meres (ryan@imt.org) to learn a bit more about the recognition and how to apply.

More information about the Standard Bearers Award
Standard Bearers Fact Sheet
2016 Standard Bearers State and Jurisdictional Application
2016 Standard Bearers Energy Code Leader Application
Beware of the Solar Loophole in the 2015 IECC
Building energy codes have cut home heating and cooling costs in half since 1992 by focusing on thermal protection. But now that progress could be undermined through lax interpretation of the Energy Rating Index (ERI) methodology in the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). See the Alliance to Save Energy’s white paper, flyer, and position paper here: http://www.ase.org/buildingenergycodes
BECP NEWS
Two New Code Compliance Briefs from PNNL
These briefs provide code-related information to help ensure that the measure will be accepted as being in compliance with the code. Providing notes for code officials on how to plan review and conduct field inspections can help provide jurisdictional officials with information for acceptance.

Buried Ducts in Vented Attics in Hot-humid and Mixed-humid Climate Zones

Air Sealing and Insulating Common Walls (Party Walls) in Multi-Family Buildings
IN THE NEWS
Forget the Stretch Code; You Need a “Slouch Code”
Massachusetts’ current “stretch code”, adopted by 176 jurisdictions to date, allows local government leaders to decide whether to adopt the more progressive energy standards for building codes. But the automatic default choice – in Massachusetts and in other states such as Oregon – is the more lenient standard, an easier option that minimizes conflict with skeptics and trade groups that feel threatened by energy efficiency rules.

Duane Jonlin, FAIA suggests inverting this way of thinking so that communities use the stretch code by default and have to opt-out in order to drop down to the less efficient “slouch code”. This would help ambitious jurisdictions to more effectively pursue their energy conservation goals. It could also spark debate among communities with more mixed perspectives on energy efficiency.

Read more from the Journal of the National Institute of Building Sciences.
Is Code Enforcement Waning as Model Energy Codes Tighten?
With a surge in new construction in some areas, many locales hired additional inspectors, but the hiring pace has been inadequate. To keep pace with the sheer volume of assessments, it’s not uncommon for inspectors to select a “reference home” – one home that represents a group of similar homes – and then clear all homes in the group. This saves time, but also means that not every home gets inspected.

Read more from the Insulation Institute.
New Energy Codes Adopted in Utah, Washington, and the City of Columbia, MO
The State of Utah adopted the commercial building requirements in the 2015 IECC without any weakening amendments, and an updated hybrid version of the IECC for new homes, including the Energy Rating Index as a compliance option to their residential energy building codes.
Read more from SWEEP

Washington State has adopted the Washington State Energy Code, based on the 2015 IECC.
Read more on BCAP's Code Status Page

The Columbia City Council adopted the 2015 IECC as written, as well as the Solar-Ready Provisions as part of the IECC for residential buildings, making it the first jurisdiction in the Midwest to do so.
Read more on the MEEA blog
2016 Top Cities for ENERGY STAR
The listed cities are the best in the country at cutting emissions through energy efficiency, contributing greatly to stronger economies, healthier living, and cleaner air. The top five cities for 2016 are Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, and New York. 

See the remainder of the top 25 cities here.
FEATURED RESOURCES
RESNET HERS Index and the 2015 IECC
RESNET HERS Index and the 2015 IECC
WEBINARS AND MORE

EnergyWise Roof Calculator | National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA)

Achieving & Evaluating Residential Compliance of Tight Envelopes | Southface Institute

REScheck Basics in 100 minutes | BECP

Energy Code Compliance Paths | PNNL

Lighting Requirements and Compliance with the 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 | PNNL

Qualified builders of new homes are wanted
For a field monitoring study to better understand moisture performance of high-R wall systems. This is primarily geared towards new construction in climate zones 4 and higher. Sign up online here.

New Paper from PNNL
Energy Storage System Guide for Compliance with Safety Codes and Standards
This paper is intended to facilitate the timely deployment of stationary Energy Storage Systems (ESS) within an infrastructure of safety-related regulations, specifications, and other criteria. It is intended to assist those that need to document compliance with current safety-related codes and standards and those who are responsible for verifying compliance with those same codes and standards.

UPCOMING EVENTS
ASHRAE and IBPSA-USA SimBuild 2016
Salt Lake City, UT
August 10-12

ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
Pacific Grove, CA
August 21-26

Getting to Zero National Forum
Denver, CO
October 12-14
2016 ICC Annual Conference
Kansas City, MO
October 16-18

RESNET 2017 Conference
Scottsdale, AZ
Feb 27-March 1

Other events | ICC list of events
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