Industry News

Updated International Energy Conservation Code Offers More Flexibility

January 21_2015 ICEE ImageThe International Code Council (ICC) dictates the codes and standards used in the design, build and compliance processes to construct safe and efficient structures. The code is updated every three years and the recently released 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) includes notable revisions to previous energy-saving guidelines.

The largest change from the 2012 to the 2015 IECC is the added flexibility in the residential code via the new Energy Rating Index (ERI) compliance path. The voluntary ERI compliance path allows builders to comply with the code by meeting a target ERI score. The current Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index Score is compatible, meaning builders can use a HERS rating to comply with the 2015 IECC.

The ERI provision offers three key advantages over the 2012 IECC:

  • Lowered construction costs. Builders can factor equipment and the building envelope into their ERI score.
  • Increased marketability. Home buyers will be able to use the ERI score to directly compare houses. Builder Online estimates that houses compliant with the 2015 IECC will save homeowners $300 more each year in utilities than houses compliant with the 2012 IECC.
  • Increased communication. Builders already building to ENERGY STAR® or HERS will benefit from the ease of demonstrating compliance.

Other differences between the 2012 to the 2015 IECC include changes to duct insulation requirements, how the code applies to historic buildings, and revisions to the duct leakage testing requirements, among others. The language throughout was also reworked to help builders better understand and comply with the code.

Click here to learn more about the 2015 IECC and here to purchase a copy from the ICC.