Delaware Updates Building Energy Efficiency Codes (Ind. Report)
Delaware Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy
In Dover, the Delaware Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy (DNREC) is reporting building code updates that include energy efficiency improvements, increased residential air sealing requirements, hot water pipe insulation, and energy efficient windows and lighting options, as well as more efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system operation resulting from these improvements.
Delaware first established a minimum statewide code for energy conservation in 1979. The code, which is based on standards set by the International Code Council (ICC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHREA) was last updated in 2009.
The update includes a six-month transition period, during which the Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy will provide targeted training and technical assistance to the construction industry and code enforcement officials. Topics covered by the training will include an overview of the changes, practical compliance strategies, particularly for the building envelope requirements in the new energy codes, construction and design strategies for air sealing smaller homes, and hot water pipe insulation and HVAC duct design.
(Source: DNREC, Cape Gazette, June, 2020) Contact: DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy, www.dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/climate-coastal-energy
More Low-Carbon Energy News Energy Efficiency, Building Energy, Energy Consumption, ASHRAE,
NAHB Releases Latest Green Building Standard (Ind. Report Attached)
National Association of Homebuilders
The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) reports release of its 2020 ICC-700 National Green Building Standard (NGBS) approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and available for public download and use.
Introduced in 2008, the standard is a collaborative effort between NAHB and the International Code Council (ICC) to provide architects, builders and developers with parameters for designing and constructing homes and remodeling projects to exceed code requirements in areas pertaining to sustainability via third-party certification.
In its fourth edition, the standard offers an alternative to the existing points-based system, allowing for certification via a new, mandatory checklist of "green" building practices.
Download copy of the full standards HERE. (Source: National Association of Homebuilders, May, 2020) Contact: National Association of Homebuilders, www.nahb.org
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State ‘net energy’ proposal raises static among developers
A proposal that would require new commercial construction projects in Massachusetts to use only renewable energy has opponents and proponents drawing a line in the sand.
Supporters say the net zero net energy proposal is needed to address global warming more quickly. Opponents argue that there is not sufficient technology and capacity to increase electrification to meet the demand.
Opponents also say the proposal would greatly diminish housing development during the state’s housing crisis and that electricity bills for tenants would skyrocket.
“As housing costs continue to skyrocket, we need more housing. To add an additional cost to housing production is essentially a barrier ... We’ll see a slowdown in housing production,” said Tamara Small, CEO of Needham-based NAIOP, the state’s commercial real estate development association. NAIOP has about 1,700 members in Massachusetts.
The proposal basically requires new commercial construction and significant commercial renovations to generate as much renewable energy as needed on-site. What can’t be generated on-site can be purchased off-site.
Only energy from solar, wind and hydro would be allowed. The use of all fossil fuels, including natural gas, propane, oil, coal and wood pellets, would be banned. While the proposal is primarily for commercial construction, it would affect some housing as well. The exemptions are single-family houses, multifamily homes of three stories or less, and mobile and modular homes.
The proposal was written by the American Institute of Architects and submitted to the International Code Council to be considered for codes being compiled for 2021. All 50 states adopt some version of ICC’s residential, commercial and other codes.
The AIA’s Massachusetts Chapter in November also submitted the proposal to the Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards for consideration for inclusion in the 10th edition of the state’s building code.
Massachusetts in 2009 became the first state to adopt a “stretch code,” an enhancement to its base building energy code that provides for more energy-efficient construction. To be designated as a Green Community, municipalities have to comply with the stretch code. While the stretch code initially resulted in a 10% jump in energy efficiency, that has decreased after two subsequent editions of the code, in part because the base energy code has gotten more efficient.
“Now about 80% of the 351 cities and towns have become designated as Green Communities. A good majority are saying we need to take the next step, which is net zero,” Nunnari said. This would be another tool in their quest toward mandating a higher level of energy efficiency, he added.
The hope, he said, is if ICC agrees to include the proposal in its 2021 documents, all 50 states would have the opportunity to adopt the net zero regulation or amend it to their liking. California, he noted, has already imposed a net zero energy requirement for new residential and commercial buildings by 2030. Similar regulations are being considered by several other states and regions, he said.
The proposal has the backing of several hundred organizations.
(Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette, 28 Dec., 2019)
2018 International Green Construction Code Released (Ind. Report)
International Green Construction Code
The 2018 International Green Construction Code (2018-IgCC) was released today by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), International Code Council, ASHRAE and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). The IgCC is a model code that has wide applicability for incorporating resilient, high-performance green building strategies into building codes.
The 2018-IgCC update will help governments streamline code development and adoption, and improve building industry standardization by
combining the technical requirements developed by the ASHRAE Standard 189.1 with the model code administrative provisions by the Code Council. As a result, the 2018-IgCC is now a unified code that emphasizes adoption, ease of use and enforcement for building projects.
The IgCC is a part of the Code Council's suite of comprehensive, coordinated and contemporary model codes -- including the International Building Code, International Existing Building Code, International Energy Conservation Code, International Mechanical Code, International Plumbing Code and International Fire Code -- and is suitable for use in building codes world wide. (Source: USGBC, ICC, PR, Nov., 2018) Contact: ICC, Dominic Sims, CEO, www.iccsafe.org;
USGBC, Mahesh Ramanujam, Pres., CEO, (202) 552-1500, www.usgbc.org; ASHRAE, www.ashrae.org
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Minnesota Residential Energy Code Update on Hold (Reg & Leg)
Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry
In St. Paul, the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry have delayed a decision by several months on building code standards related to energy use for newly constructed homes. The agency indicated that it would wait for the results of a federal performance study of the new, model 2018 residential energy code developed by the International Code Council.
Minnesota law requires updating building standards every six years. A delay could mean pushing residential energy code updates to 2024. Advocates argue the update would reduce carbon emissions and save homebuyers money, while homebuilders contend it would yield few benefits for the added cost.
A DOE study that looked at impact of continuously upgrading residential energy codes found the cumulative energy cost savings in Minnesota would be $2.3 billion from 2010 to 2040 and avoid 14.3 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
Minnesota's present 2015 residential energy code is based on the International Code Council's 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). (Source: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, Energy News Network, June, 2018) Contact: Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, www.doli.state.mn.us
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PNNL Lauded for Energy Conservation Code Work (Ind. Report)
PNNL,International Code Council , Institute for Market Transformation and Institute for Market Transformation
The US DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Sequim, Washington, reports it has been lauded by the International Code Council and Institute for Market Transformation for Leadership in Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Award 2017 for bringing national attention to energy conservation and sustainability for buildings.
The award recognizes PNNL's work in developing and implementing better building energy codes which, according to PNNL analysis, has could save the United States enough energy between 2010 and 2040 to power 340 million U.S. homes.
PNNL supports DOE's Building Energy Codes Program by participating in industry-led processes to develop building energy codes, analyzing the impacts of potential building code updates, and providing technical assistance and software tools to states that adopt and comply with the codes.
(Source: PNNL, Tri-City Herald, July, 2017)Contact: PNNL, Bing Liu, Energy Codes Manager, (509) 371-6989, www.pnnl.gov, www.energycodes.gov; International Code Council, www.iccsafe.org; Institute for Market Transformation, (202) 525-2883, www.imt.org
More Low-Carbon Energy News PNNL, Energy Conservation, Energy Efficiency,
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