Officials Back Big Boost for Building Energy Efficiency Code

November 10, 2010

Building code officials from across the nation recently voted to the increase energy savings of the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Officials believe the decision represents the largest single-step efficiency increase in the history of the national energy code. Voting members of the International Code Council approved a series of proposals at the council's final action hearings held in Charlotte, North Carolina, on October 27-31. The energy saving code changes included DOE sponsored proposals; EC13 for residential buildings and EC 147 for commercial buildings, a collaborative effort with the New Buildings Institute (NBI), and the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The residential changes address measures such as mandatory air infiltration, tighter duct leakage standards, stranding; while the commercial changes address cooling, lighting, quality assurance, and renewable energy standards. The final package is anticipated to achieve DOE’s 30% goal of energy savings in both residential and commercial buildings compared to the 2006 baseline. The changes mean that new and renovated buildings constructed in jurisdictions that adopt the 2012 IECC will use less energy than those built to current standards. Additionally, the 2012 IECC will serve as the baseline standard for the International Green Construction Code currently under development. The 2012 IECC will be published in early 2011 for adoption by state and local agencies. See the DOE Progress Alert, which updated this story on November 15.