U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
WIP – Events
Energy Code Compliance and Enforcement Best Practices (Text Version)
Curtis Framel: Good afternoon, and good morning on the West. Sorry for the delay. Welcome today's Department of Energy-sponsored webinar. My name is Curtis Framel, technical assistance program lead with the Southwest Energy Efficiently Project.
We're based in Boulder, Colorado, a nonprofit public interest organization promoting greater energy efficiency in the southwest and they're part of the US Department of Energy's recovery act, technical assistance provider network.
I'll be serving as moderator for today's presentation on energy code compliance and enforcement best practices. Our speakers for today's presentation include Jim Meyers, director of building efficiency programs, also with the Southwest Efficiency Project; Eric Makela, who is with the building codes program at the Pacific Northwest laboratories based in Richmond, Washington, and Bruce Dimmig, sole proprietor of Project Resource Orgins, an architectural and governmental consulting firm in Arizona.
Collectively, these speakers bring over 70 years of experience to the subject of building codes, and I'll further introduce them shortly. But first let's go over the agenda for the day. And I think I lost control of the screen. Well, I got it. Okay. Thank you.
I'll give a short intro into the technical assistance program for those not aware of our service, and then we'll spend the bulk of our time addressing these three areas of building code.
Jim will cover current practices, Eric will talk about compliance, and Bruce will conclude with ______. We'll then talk further resources and go to questions.
The webinar will work like this. Everyone's muted as you know here, except the three presenters. We'll go to the presentation in about 45 minutes and are leaving questions for the end. You'll have to wait to the end for entering the questions. So when you have a question, go ahead and put it in the question box on the right hand corner.
It's the orange ______, which by clicking will go in and out. Of course, the blue button is just to get both screens. If there's a specific person you would like the question to go to, indicate that, or I'll open it to all speakers.
If you wanna speak, use raise hand function and type question in question box. When you're recognized, you'll ______ muted. And a copy of both the presentation and the transcripts will be posted in the Solution Center Web site afterwards. Also, just so you know, listeners will receive a questionnaire evaluation when the webinar's over, and we appreciate any comment.
So with that, what is the technical assistance center? It's over 200 ______ represented through several dozen organization through TAP, the Technical Assistance Program, ______ with FEP and EDCP grantees and subgrantees ______ ______ ______ who are eligible to receive free direct assistance from the technical experts.
I know here at the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, we've received questions from state municipalities on a wide variety of requests for assistance with state and local building codes to funding our piece for managing equipment.
We're working on a ______ study now, and hopefully an inventory will ______. Being asked ______ by offering businesses an energy efficient rebate, an incentive, on ______. And how to ______ ______ _______ for commercial properties or land goes back to financial ______ for energy-efficiency measures.
And the on and off. The key is - the ______ is the one on one you get with that. We do have our change meeting coming up soon across the country. And that's an effort to hear from you and your peers what's working and what's not. These are ______ being organized now. If you're interested in attending ______.
So in a nutshell, Pat has five teams ______ ______ divert ______ to program development and implementation, as you can see from the ______ list. Your questions can be assigned to one of several names, financing, ______ contracting, regional coordinators, or even the national energy laboratories.
So, the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is part of team four, which his the program ______ team, and represented these regional and national organizations. ______ this again at the end of the program, a contact so you know where to go for additional information. That is the key to TAP. ______ ______ ______ these first to help you get the job done.
So with that, let's go on with our program. The goal of the day is three-fold. One, general understanding of the purpose of the code and standards in the program. Two, to understand compliance and enforcement requirements, and three, understand energy code relationships with Section 410 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Now, ______ of us know, a building uses quite a bit of energy. In fact, over 40 percent of our nation's energies are consumed through buildings. Changes in human behavior will reduce energy use, a little public awareness and education, which empowers people to make the right decisions as it does incentive, be it financial or otherwise.
And then there's _______. With that ______, our first speaker. As I mentioned earlier, Jim is also - Jim Meyers - is also with the Southwest Energy Use Project. He's an engineer and director of our building efficiency program, where he worked on ______ energy advancements, including the evaluation of new and emerging technologies for buildings, promotion the adoption of the ______ code.
He has over 20 years of experience in the energy field, including the third rating, green building, and home performance industry, and avidly participates in international code ______committees and ______ _______ services network. Jim?
Jim Meyer: Thank you, Curtis, for the nice introduction. I want to start my discussion today with what's an energy. Generally speaking, a code is something which must be adhered to. A code usually implies something legally binding, where the standard is a ______ or a target, something to be aimed at.
And so we'll be talking about codes and standards today, and compliance and enforcement of those. With the code, the addressed integration of components with systems, so the building or the house is a system. And it addresses the desired construction practices. And if you think about it, these codes and standards address the ______ - walls, windows, ______, ceilings, and so forth.
It also addresses heating and cooling equipment. And then it also addresses sizing of equipment. And if you think of sizing, we wouldn't wanna put a V8 engine in a little smart car. Well, that's the same thing. We don't wanna oversize or put too large equipment in a building. And these codes and standards address that.
It also addresses things such as building and mechanical system leakage. So it looks at the air infiltration and the ______ infiltration, and ______ and duct systems. And in some cases, it does address materials.
On this slide, I wanted to give you an idea of what the energy code universe is like. ______ ______ ______ the building code assistance project. And these are a representation of all the industries that participate in codes and standards development. In this lower right of this diagram, that's where the local government participates.
That's where code officials of the local government and the local governments themselves participate through the adoption of codes and standards, the implementation, and the compliance, and the enforcement of the codes.
And the outer left side, where there's the code development bodies, you see ______, which I'll describe shortly, that is where code officials and government officials act as members. And they actively participate in that outer ring, the development of the code and standards.
Today we're discussing the international energy conservation code, developed by the ICC, International Code Council. We're discussing the 2009 version, and then we're discussing the ASHRAY, which is the Industrial Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, standard 90.1.
And we're talking about standard 90.1-2007. So that's the year it was released. Each of these code bodies and standard bodies releases their codes and standards on a three-year cycle. ASHRAY is releasing their newest 90.1, which is the 2010 code, late this year. It should be released prior to October 25.
So why do jurisdictions adopt energy codes when there's no mandate? There are many codes - many states out there that are home rule. They do not have a statewide code. So there's no mandate. And the simple answer is obsolescence. The codes become obsolete.
As an example, I have a picture of the 2000 IECC. The code can still be purchased, but it's no longer supported through code training, certifications, and so forth by the ICC themselves. The same thing happens with ASHRAY standards. And then the ComCheck and ResCheck, those are compliance tools developed by the building energy codes program through the Pacific Northwest National Labs.
They are no longer supporting older versions of the energy code. So that's one of the reasons. The other reason is ______ material and practices do change over time, and those are incorporated into the newer codes and standards, and so that is one of the other reasons to do that certification for code officials, that's also important, where they become certified to newer codes and standards, not the older codes.
In the next slide, this is a summary of section 410 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. ARRA. There's a section in there that talks about building energy codes. It specifically talks about the building energy codes for residential that need to meet or exceed the recently published IECC.
They didn't list the version. But the 2009 IECC was just released prior to this law being signed. And then they specially do list ASHRAY's 90.1 2007 standard. But within that, if you look at bullet 3, it talks about a requirement to achieve 90 percent compliance with the above energy code and standard within eight years.
And that's where my panelists will be discussing. So I'm going to talk about assessing your current practices. You want to assess where you community is today. So you can think of a baseline study or other terminology, GAP analysis, to assess where you are today. Understand where you are today.
If you answer these four simple questions, what is your current energy code, if you have a code or don't, are there plans to adopt a newer energy code, why do you want to adopt an energy code - and that's an interesting question - and what are the most significant barriers to code adoption and compliance in your locality?
And if we move to the next slide, these address those four questions. So as an example, what's your population? That would be a good question to start with. A larger population requires more outreach. Identify your strengths and weaknesses across your building industry.
In a home rule state, where an energy code is not required, you may be in a community where you don't have an energy code. So you look to your neighboring community. Do they have the energy code?
So that would be a strength. So then the building industry has familiarity with the energy code. They're building to energy codes in your neighboring community, and that will be a strength. You also look at your weaknesses.
Weaknesses may be internal where does your building department have knowledge of the energy code? But then again a strength could be the building department - your building department could interface and talk to your neighboring community's building department.
Additional resources - what's available in your state or region. Are there ICC chapters or ASHRAY chapters? They offer many resources to the city and to the building department. And then taking a look at what type of mix of single family and commercial building and how many permits and starts and so forth. And then lastly, look at the volunteer program, voluntary programs.
These Energy Star new homes operating in the community ______. US Green Building Council. Are there certified buildings there? And the HERS RES NET Industry, Home Energy Ratings Systems industry, operating in your community?
Now these questions, what is your current compliance and enforcement process? The other two panelists, my other panelists, will address these in more detail. But this is some area that you want to address too in your assessment. What does your current permitting look like? What do you do for permitting, of building plans through residential and commercial?
And then the plan review process. What is currently occurring today and recognizing that there will be an additional requirement to plan review for the energy code? Same with field inspection. How do you perform field inspection today, and then how do add in or capture the energy code provisions at the time that you're already doing other field inspections?
Staff certification requirements, those are your building department staff, maintaining certifications with ICC. And then third-party infrastructure. I briefly touched on that in the previous slide. But it's the same thing as energy star. New homes operating in your area, if they are, then there's a HERS infrastructure that could be used for energy code compliance.
USGBC operating. Then there's an infrastructure to support commercial compliance and enforcement. And then is also the Energy Star commercial program up. So that's something to assess what's in your area.
On my last slide, we'll look at - you wanna look at your jurisdictional needs to support compliance and enforcement. So for your education and training, assess what is currently being offered or being used by your building departments, by the building trade and other building industries.
If there is training, is it classroom, full day, half day? Or is there online training opportunities ever being used in your community? Are there staff, current staff, who have the commercial or residential energy plans and their certifications through ICC? That would be something to assess.
And then where's the building industry with the knowledge on the energy code? I'd say overall the building industry is up to speed on the energy code because the manufacturers, the trade associations, participate. As you remember, the codes universe, they're participating in that process, and as they participate in the new codes and standards come out, information flows down from the trade associations to the manufacturers to the contractors.
And then lastly, suppliers. As an example, windows. Suppliers of windows, the energy policy tax credit that passed a number of years ago provided a tax credit for windows. And with that, the window industry made a shift. And they are now manufacturing more efficient windows than the energy code requires.
And lastly, so with this assessment and you assess where you are today and where you want to go, it will ease your process through the energy code compliance and enforcement process.
Curtis Framel: And now on to compliance. Our next speaker, Eric Makela, of Pacific Northwest Laboratory, serves in a cost-cutting role with the US Department of Energy building energy codes program. The focus on existing regional groups, states, and stakeholders in adopting and implementing energy code.
He has over 20 years of experience in working both residential and commercial building energy efficiency, particularly in the area of building energy code. As a partner in the Makela Group, he served on the International Code Council and International Energy Code Conservation Development Committee for four cycles, which was responsible for developing a 2006 and 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, IECC.
Since 1986, he has trained or presented in over 22 states, with sessions focused on residential and commercial building energy code. The majority of these have been directed at the enforcement and teach the industry local building department personnel how to plan, check, inspect to ensure compliance. Eric?
Eric Makela: Thanks a lot, Curtis. What we're focused on in the building energy codes program is helping states develop a process for evaluating whether or not they hit the 90 percent compliance mark for the recovery act language.
And we've been working over the last almost two years now on trying to develop processes and tools and things like that that states can use. These are not required tools and not required processes, but are certainly tools that they can go ahead and use in order to assess 90 percent compliance.
The state is always allowed to come up with their own processes to do this. As part of this, we've developed the measuring state energy code compliance guide, which is available online. And the Web site is at the bottom of the slide. And it kind of walks down through the process of code adoption, of equivalency, what we mean by 2009 IECC, what we mean by 90.1 2007. Does the 2009 IECC chapter five for commercial, for example, meet the equivalency for 90.1 2007?
We're looking at the annual measurement to make sure that states continue to get 90 percent compliance after they've evaluated it. A process for actually planning for compliance evaluation, for the formal 90 percent compliance evaluation, what steps should be in place or what steps should you go through in order to make that happen?
And then once the guidance on how to actually do the evaluation, including how do you approach the jurisdictions, if you're working with them, how do you select your samples, kind of a nuts to bolts thing for the evaluating team itself to be able to go out on site and collect the information. And then last but not least, how do you evaluate compliance? How do you actually evaluate the checklist?
So again, this document is available online if you're interested in going out and taking a look at it.
As far as the codes we're looking at and we're supporting here, it's been part of this process, we've stayed pretty close to - actually - we tried to stay identical to the RI requirements, which are evaluation of 90.1 2007 for commercial - the 2009 IEC ______ residential, and we're also looking at the 2009 IUCC for commercial for chapter 5, which a lot of states use and a lot of designers comply with.
We have developed checklists to support all these, evaluation checklists. We also - we can develop alternative checklists for other codes upon request. Right now, we're actually working on a pilot program study to see how all those tools work, and we've tweaked and modified a little bit based on the feedback from that.
We also have evaluator training available right now on how to use the checklist themselves that we'll get into a little bit later.
As far as the residential checklists go, we developed the checklist based on climate zones because the IUCC has different requirements for different climate zones. The hotter climates have a little bit less insulation required, but they require a solar heat gain coefficient on the glazing, whereas the colder climates require a more efficient insulation, more efficient glazing, and they don't worry about solar heat coefficient, because we want solar gain in some of the colder climates.
So we developed eight sets of prescriptive checklists for zones one through eight in the country. We've also developed a set of instructions on the checklist so you know exactly what you - the input into the different boxes we've provided on the checklists.
The checklists themselves are divided up into the normal enforcement process is starting to plan review and then going into footing foundation, a rough-in installation, and then final. And it's set up so that a person can go out on site and through each inspection determine what energy features should be out there.
The commercial checklist was designed similarly, except we have one checklist for all climate zones, and we have a 90.1 version and a 2009 IECC chapter five version. We have set this up fairly closely, how we did residential in that we have it broken up into typical ______.
So putting foundation all the way up and through final, and the different rough-in inspections for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. We do have an expectation that the folks that are using this checklist, evaluators in the field, actually have a knowledge of the code. We feel that's critical in order to do a proper evaluation.
So with the residential and commercial, these are developed assuming that the person using the tool actually understands the code and can actually evaluate whether or not something needs code out in the field.
As far as determining the sample size, we have come up with the statistically ______ sample size of 44, and that's plus or minus based on the number of construction starts within the state. But the ______ will get us to - this will meet the kind of ______ and give the state a good idea of where they are from a compliance standpoint.
The state will have to assess both on the residential and the commercial side, in addition to new construction, the RO language also talks about renovations. So we're looking at 44 new residential, 44 new commercial buildings, and then 44 residential and 44 commercial renovation.
And a renovation would be an addition, alteration, any kind of a - a full gut renovation would be included in this. And so it really covers essentially anything where you're required to have a building permit. This is key on this one.
We have - if you're developing the sample sizes in each state, we have developed a sample generator that we'll take a look at on the next slide. But that I wanted to explain a little bit more about the plus or minus for the 44. In some states, there's some very large buildings that are being erected.
And so we've actually included it within the sample an extra-large or extra-extra large potentially for some of the states to actually go look at. So the extra large will be 250,000 square feet to 400,000 square feet, and the extra-extra large buildings will be 400,000 square feet or more.
So we feel it's important to actually have these included in the actual samples as we are going through and determining whether or not you're gonna get 90 percent compliance. The state sample generator is based on Dodge data that we have collected over the last three years, that we're actually able to determine - you can actually punch in your state and determine how many samples should be selected from each county.
And so we have a good cross-representation from each county and then each climate zone. So for example, this is the state of Wyoming. And you can see that there'll be 44 samples required on here. Several in climate zone six, several in climate - only a few in climate zone seven. Wyoming also has climate zone five, but there wasn't a statistically valid enough buildings being constructed in climate zone five in order to actually pull a sample from climate zone five.
So for commercial buildings, we'll have small, medium, and large represented in Wyoming. And you can see the numbers for each county, the number of buildings for each county. There should be ______ hold in order to get them and ______ samples. Make sure you have a good cross representation from the state as far as construction goes. We also have this for residential too.
From a training standpoint, we have developed training materials. We're actually doing training right now for evaluators for a pilot program running in each region. The training is specifically geared on how to use the evaluation checklist in the field, so that would be the commercial checklist and the residential checklist.
We want to make sure that the evaluators understand how to use the forms, what the different code provisions mean as far as do they comply or don't they comply or isn't that applicable. We're really focused heavily right now for the pilot program for the folks that are actually going to be doing the evaluation work in the field. So third-party contractors, building officials that can potentially do the evaluations, state of energy office staff, and anyone else that is interested in the evaluation, in evaluating whether or not the state complies.
Our next training will be in Salt Lake City on November 16 and 17, and we just about filled that up right now, and we also have training in Iowa that's not scheduled but should be scheduled over the next couple of weeks. So stay tuned on our building energy codes program Web site for that information.
As far as analyzing the data, we are actually planning on analyzing a lot of the data for the statewide evaluations, but we also have a tool that we'll talk about in a minute, what a state evaluates their own data. The way that we are defining 90 percent compliance is for new construction and new buildings will be assessed on the compliance rates.
So a building can be 80 percent compliant or 70 percent compliant or 95 percent compliant. But we're looking at the on average the 44 buildings that you select will be 90 percent compliant. So some could be under-compliant, some could be over-compliant, but on average, you will have 90 percent compliance for either commercial, residential or a commercial and residential alteration.
As far as renovations are concerned, we're actually looking at all - because renovations vary as far as what has to comply within each renovation, we're looking at scoring renovations at a state level only. So we're gonna look at the total number of possible code compliance items that you would need to take a look at for renovations.
Then we're gonna look at the total number of items that you actually complied with, and you'll be dividing the total number of renovations items you complied with over how many were actually available to comply with to come up with your 90 percent compliance rate for renovation.
As far as the checklist items go, we've also cleared these on the commercial. We have tier one through three. Tier one being the most important, and that's actually assigned those points. In this case, it would be assigned three points. Each year each item would be assigned one point. Now we felt this was important because some energy items are more important in buildings than other energy items.
So they should be given a little bit different weight. The tiers one through two for residential is the same way. Some again, are more important than the other items, so they will be given heavier weight within the checklist itself.
The store and score tool, which is on the next slide, will provide you with the online ability to be able to score your own results within the state. This will be only available to those who are actually running the evaluations. So the states themselves that are running the evaluation. It will be password protected, just to make sure that no one can hack into the system and pull the data off of there.
But this would actually give the state the ability to go ahead and store their own compliance forms if they'd like to do that versus sending them to the building energy codes program to have them scored.
So what's this data going to be getting us? There's gonna be lots and lots of good information coming out of this. I believe that this is probably the largest baseline study ever tried in the United States with 44 commercial for state multiplied by 50 states. We're gonna be looking at lots and lots of data.
But one thing we'll be trying to figure out what your compliance rate is. So this is kind of the bottom - yeah, this is meeting the requirements of our - looking at the building systems is ______ lowest compliance rates that can actually be fed into code development later on down the line because we know what will work and what is working in the field.
We'll know what type of buildings have the highest rate of compliance, which energy code requirements most always comply. Maybe they shouldn't be in the code because these are - we have 100 percent compliance on these. And what percentage of building compliance is demonstrated under each of the compliances versus prescriptive trade off and performance.
We're gonna be collecting all of this data, which will help for future planning. It will help state's future planning on training and things like that. So it should provide lots of useful data for years to follow.
Last but not least, I wanna talk a little about our step by step compliance guide. This is actually out on the Building Energy Codes, the EECBG's solutions and help center at www.energycodes.gov. THz is kind of a shortened version of the larger compliance guide that we also have out there.
So if you wanna get a good snapshot of exactly what we're expecting for 90 percent compliance, feel free to download this PDF and go ahead and read it. So with that, I will turn it back over to you, Curtis.
Curtis Framel: Great. Thank you, Eric. I wanna introduce our next speaker, Bruce Dimmig. We're gonna focus on enforcement here, now. So Bruce is a project resource origins. He has over 30 years in the architectural instruction in the efficiency and governmental vectors, where he was the senior plant examiner for a large jurisdiction in the Phoenix metro area.
He's a registered architect, a certified building plans examiner, and a lead green associate. He is a current member of the AIA, ICC, and the Arizona Building Official ______, where he is the chair of the code review and development committee and has been on of their representatives at the ICC code hearings for over five years. Bruce?
Bruce Dimmig: Thank you very much, Curtis. Where does enforcement begin? It begins with knowledge. And the knowledge begins with training and education. And that's generally referring to the training and education of the jurisdictional staff. And this is done through code institutes that are put on by the local building official groups that can be put on by other third-party organizations, attendance, and knowledge of the ICC, which is the International Code Council hearings, continuing education.
And continuing education can be both in-house and out of house. And it's generally done through trades and manufacturers that come in or have them at their location. Webinars such as this one, and one of the most important ones that has been alluded to by previous speaker is certification of the staff, such as certification for the plan reviewers, the inspectors, and the code official.
One of the other important aspects is books and publication. A lot of people don't realizes that it's not just one set of codebooks. There's numerous sets that are gonna be needed for both the building staff, the clerk's office, the attorney's office, and it just doesn't include the I Codes. It's also gonna include ASHRAY standards as was mentioned earlier, UL listings, ASTM, and NFPA and various other sundry standards that are listed.
And some of the other additional resources that are important to gaining the knowledge for enforcement is Internet access so that staff can go online and look at the evaluation service reports from the ICC so they can attend webinars if the jurisdiction doesn't have the budget to go out, they can attend the webinars online and to do research into current products and be able to keep up with ultimate needs and methods, especially with energy efficiency things are changing daily.
Another important aspect is support staff. The permit techs need to be adequately trained and know what all this is going on. And something that's generally overlooked is proper software. Have the proper permitting software so that as Eric was talking about, so the things can be tracked and the information that they're looking for can be pulled out of the information that's submitted during permitting.
It can be done easier and quicker. And it also needs to be integrated with the GIS system for the jurisdiction. And if we go to our next slide, what can the jurisdiction do to help the jurisdictional staff with adoption? The first item is the actual adoption of the code.
Now, codes are interdependent. One code will reference another one, or a code will reference a standard. So when these are adopted, they need to be adopted without ______ out, so they stand together. And in order to do this, the next item has to be thought of, which is budgeting.
Proper funding needs to be provided so that all this training and education and ______ can be provided to the staff so they can perform their duties adequately. And then another additional item would be there needs to be cooperation among the departments, the jurisdictions, the staff with planning and zoning, engineering, public works, building safety. They all work together. They all have a piece of this, the energy efficiency puzzle.
And they need to work together, and they need to be allowed to work together. And as was referenced by previous leaders also the third-party enforcement. Now, this comes to play in a couple of ways. One, smaller jurisdictions that don't have the staff to do enforcement or jurisdictions that have had to cut back and now have had to lay off people and have smaller staff.
This is also important on the residential side where as Jim alluded to with the HERS, the Home Energy Rating System, where some of those compliance paths that are used by the HERS raters are accepted and used by the building department. And how is this important? For example, the city of Denver gives permit fee reductions when these compliance paths are used.
And when we go to the next slide, the prior permitting, and this was talked about previously too with plan review, the plan reviews are done to see the conformance to the codes and the standards, the drawings are done correctly. This is where ultimate ______ and methods are evaluated and either approved or denied.
You can - the jurisdiction can require additional documentation. The codes generally have some gray areas in them which allow the building officials to form their own interpretation, thus allowing them to request certain documents, such as the Comcheck that the plan's rent check or other checklists and criteria from other energy programs confirming the submittal compliance with the evaluation service reports any special inspections and any material or manufacturer's material that are submitted.
And then we go to the next slide for during the actual permitting process. Generally, for commercial projects, there's a pre-construction conference that's held that has the staff, the owner, the general contractor and the sub. It kind of lays out the groundwork for how this project is gonna be done and how it's gonna be built so that there's a comfort level with the fact that both on the design ______ built out in the field, which again, helps with the compliance.
Now, on the residential side, this can be done when a subdivision is started or you can again go back to the checklists that are taken care of with the other energy programs. And another speaker alluded to the inspection. Well, this is where the building department staff is going to mark down what inspections need to be done for the project.
It's a very critical step, and even if their software doesn't permit them to have an exact match with an energy efficient criteria, as was alluded to earlier, this can be done at certain stages to make sure that you cover the energy efficiency aspects, such as a foundation rough in framing and so forth.
Make sure that all the approvals, state, agency, county, engineering, planning, and building, anything that can be made to move the process out is gonna do best in the long run.
And one thing that is critical to the whole process is there needs to be a procedure in place for the inevitable changes and so forth that occur during construction. This is not only between architect, owner, and contractor, but between them and the jurisdictional staff and amongst the jurisdictional staff themselves.
And at times, this is also another step where third-party documentation such as things for LEAD or the IGCC, which will be coming online hopefully soon, will be evaluated. When we go to post permitting or construction, on our next slide, and again after the precon, one of the things is the structure is being constructed, there's another chance for major systems conferences again to make sure that the compliance is there and do it through the enforcement of what the design.
As was alluded to earlier, not only is identifying the inspections important, but actually performing the inspection. And the staff has to be trained enough to be able to identify these aspects and have the adequate time to do them. Not such a critical thing right now with the way the economy is, but when it takes off, it will be an important aspect again.
And actually, let's go to the next slide for post-permitting or occupancy. For commercial, there's commissioning. And basically, what that entails is a tweaking or a setup of the major systems, such as HEAC electrical and energy management. Again, this is important to make sure that what was designed was built and actually works the way it was designed.
This is a part of the lead version three, and it is currently being brought into the ICode, albeit slowly, but it is making its way into the code. As far as residential, there's no really commissioning process there, but for ______ instructors, weatherization can perform some of the same function. And as was referenced earlier, with these other energy programs, environments for living, Energy Star, Builder's Challenge, if those criteria are met, you can pretty much be sure that the energy efficiency client is there and that it was enforced.
And just a final thought is as Eric was alluding to with the data collecting is why is this important? Because benchmarking and creating a baseline is important to know what's working and what isn't and how much is actually being saved. And a building's lifetime can go anywhere from 20 to 50 years or more.
And this information is very critical. And I thank you for your time.
Curtis Famel: Thank you, Bruce. Jim, can you tell us about some related resources?
Jim Meyers: Yeah. One of the - this is Jim. One of the areas for related resources are learning from reach other. It's a networking. So we mentioned ICC chapters, ______ chapters, building trade associations, manufacturers, and so forth are able to provide additional information.
And going out and searching for training, energy codes, the EECP Web site that Eric talked about, they're adding additional video training and online training opportunities. So as they're developing their tools, they'll be filming a lot of the presentations or trainings, and that information will make its way onto their Web site and so will really help jurisdictions that Bruce was talking about, those that may not have the travel funds at this time, assist them with that training, that education, that knowledge base that they need.
And then there's Cope College Network that's been available for a number of years. It's building media; it's a for-profit organization. But they've been working with states to put different states onto their network and those are short little snippets to help the building trade and the building departments on how products need to be installed correctly and inspected correctly too.
Curtis Famel: Great. Thanks, Jim, Eric, and Bruce. Before we go to questions, I'd like to again highlight the Technical Assistance Program, TAP, and how to seek further information. Here's your first step. And to register for this webinar today, you went to the Solution Center. To the right is the TAP login page. You log in to the webinar and you find resources there on the Solution Center Web site that are very broad and cost cutting for information.
Then you access the questions for the PAC here. Here are the organizations that Team Four that we represent and the service territories of Team Four members. All of these organizations have staff with expertise on building codes. These are the points of contact. They coincide with the respective organizational service territory. And these folks can help you maneuver through the solution centers and tax ______ and they can even submit the questions for you if you'd like.
We try to keep this as simple as possible. So with that, let's take the remaining several minutes and go to questions. Again, it's the orange arrow to the upper right of your screen. First question, any ideas for electronic plans to review software similar to ComCheck and ReCheck but hands off?
Jim Meyers: I can answer some of that if you want me to.
Curtis Famel: Okay.
Jim Meyers: There is a move to electronic plan review. There are some jurisdictions that already do that. There is one thing that was being worked on, which was called SmartCode, to the ICC, which you would submit - it's basically for building information modeling sets. And you would submit your model to this software, and it would run it through and tell you areas that were inefficient or didn't work.
And they were working on expanding that platform to include other code areas. So that's kinda where things area now. There are jurisdictions that do do electronic plan review.
Curtis Famel: Thank you. Next question, ACEEE is also attempting a baseline data study, which may be in parallel to P&L's efforts. Any thought to co-laboring in this jurisdiction, of willingness to participate in studies? It's a scarce resource.
Eric Makela: This is Eric. I know that we have been in contact with ACEEE. So I know - I'm not sure if it's necessarily parallel work. I think we're digging a little bit deeper as far as really getting out in the field and looking at compliance rates out there. But I know that there have - we have been in contact with HEEE through this process. And actually, I think we just collaborated with a paper on ACEEE on one of the conferences that's going to be coming up next year on 90 percent compliance.
Curtis Famel: Thank you. Next question's from Evan. Will there be any financial support to conduct the 90 percent evaluations? Excuse me. Yeah. That's the question.
Eric Makela: I can kind of answer that question. This is Eric again. Through the original R grants that went out last year, when states had to certify that they were going to adopt codes and then demonstrate 90 percent compliance, I believe that the intent was that some of the funding that went to the states could actually be used to evaluate ______ the 90 percent.
I can kind of answer that question. This is Eric again. Through the original R grants that went out last year, when states had to certify that they were going to adopt codes and then demonstrate 90 percent compliance, I believe that the intent was that some of the funding that went to the states could actually be used to evaluate ______ the 90 percent.
I believe that I was not involved in that solicitation as far as giving out to the state and the by waiting and things like that. But I believe that evaluation was an element of that to demonstrate compliance. So there has been funding that has been going out to the states over the last couple of years.
Curtis Famel: Thank you. Next question. For anyone. Could you speak more about the requirements for states to meet the 90 percent compliance? What are the repercussions if a state doesn't comply? Why would jurisdictions without energy codes currently enforce these or adopt codes? Two questions there.
Eric Makela: As for as the first question goes, I will need to direct the person that asked the question to the Department of Energy for an answer. They're the ones that are setting policy on this. So I don't feel comfortable addressing that.
Curtis Famel: All right.
Eric Makela: As far as the - what was the second part of the question, Curtis?
Curtis Famel: The second part, why would jurisdictions without energy codes currently enforce these or adopt codes?
Jim Meyers: This is Jim. It's one of those items I may not have touched on. But there's an obsolescence part of the energy code or codes themselves as the codes become older with every three-year cycle, ICC and ASHRAY stops supporting. And they print those. And you may be able to purchase them, but training and education, compliance tools and so forth tend to be pulled.
And so there's that obsolescence that comes into play. There's also the ability to network with your neighboring communities, counties, and cities and so forth who may be moving further ahead. And so there's that gap of education and knowledge that Bruce talked about, the importance of that.
So not staying up with the building codes, including the energy codes and standards, will cause that challenge down the road, where then you have to make that larger leap for education and training to get the community up to a new code.
Curtis Famel: Thanks, Jim. Next question. If the state gave assurances that they would update the code, you know, meet this 90 percent compliance, and has yet to update codes, does that make compliance more difficult to implement?
Jim Meyers: Eric, do you wanna take this? Or both of us?
Eric Makela: Why don't you start? I'm thinking about this one
Jim Meyers:Okay. (Laughter) Well, one of the things within that RA, it talks about eight years. So there's that eight-year timeframe. So we're talking about 2017. And so there is that timeframe that is recognized that communities need to come up to speed. Individuals need to come up to the knowledge to be able to move forward as the building industry does too.
So there's that eight-year timeframe. So there wasn't the expectation that the adoption would occur immediately. State and localities are moving forward today. Some have plans and are saying, "I'm going to adopt in two years. I'm going to adopt the next version in a home rule state."
And many states are moving forward with the adoption at this time. But it does take time at the local level. In many cases, it's a three-year cycle to go through that process to adopt the next energy code.
Eric Makela: Yeah. And I think the barrier that happens is that the 27-chain cutoff for demonstrating compliance with 90 percent compliance with the code, so a state that adopts late in the game will have a much shorter period of time to get everyone up to speed on the code.
And actually do the training and then getting compliance with the code. I mean, you need to start earlier versus later because there's a possibility that you can adopt in 2016 and may not have any buildings built for the 2009 code. So it makes evaluation almost impossible.
So I would think that starting sooner and getting everyone up to speed and getting the code in the state earlier in the program is definitely to a state's benefit.
Curtis Famel: Great. Thank you. We've run out of time. If you have additional questions for the presenters, as you can see, their e-mails are here in the page. And so with that, and in conclusion, I'd like to thank both our presenters and you, our audience, for today's webinar. And I wanna draw your attention to other webinars that are being planned here in the next couple of weeks.
And finally, to remind you as participants you'll be asked to respond to a few feedback questions on the quality, content, and impact expected from the webinar. Thank you for participating today. And thank you to the speakers. Have a good day.