Energy Code Upheaval
Don't get derailed by constantly changing energy codes.
Are your projects being delayed due to energy code requirements? If so, you know that it’s become more difficult because most of the jurisdictions east of I-25 in Northern Colorado are updating to the newest energy codes.
So, what do you do? There are a few important things you should know before you transition to new building codes in order to control cycle time, quality, and the impact on your bottom line.
This post will help guide you through what you need to know to meet code requirements with as little pain as possible.
Before the 2012 IECC
Meeting the energy code requirements before the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) was simple in comparison to the path ahead of us.
Buildings were supposed to have adequate air barriers, air sealing, and insulation to keep the outdoor elements out and the people inside comfortable. Builders installed building materials and building inspectors visually verified the results. Drywall went up and the question of how well things were actually working was a mystery. If the homeowner did not complain, everything was fine. But as the saying goes, “If you don’t test it, how do you know?”
Out with the Old, in with the New
Starting with the 2012 IECC, builders need to test their homes to ensure everything is installed correctly. These tests and inspections (and we’re talking thorough, physical inspections and boy, would it be nice to lean on Superman’s x-ray vision to get the job done) require well-trained and thoughtful people.
For example, blower door testing has become a mandatory requirement of the newest energy codes. The reality is that most visually inspected houses most often miss the details that truly keep the outside out! Because most of the jurisdictions east of I-25 in Northern Colorado already have (or are in the process of) updating mandatory energy code to the 2012, 2015, or 2018 IECC, building to keep the outside out, is more important than ever.
Adjustments to Consider
The reality of code advancement means that builders need to make adjustments, as “the way we’ve always done it” might leave you in a bind when final inspections and testing take place. Here are a set of important questions to consider when facing new code requirements:
- Do you understand the new code requirements?
- Will you have to make some changes to how you build?
- New testing requirements – are you ready for them?
- Will there be added costs to building code inspections?
- Will you incur additional cycle-time?
- Are your trades ready to deliver on new requirements?
- Do you have a trusted partner that understands the code and has solutions for dealing with what it means for you?
Navigating the Essentials
If you’re looking for ways to make this transition easier, the best method is to ensure you consult with seasoned energy and code professionals who aim to meet you where you are and help you navigate the code with as few headaches as possible. Knowledgeable consultants will work with you on the following five points:
- Incorporate energy code compliance through best practices
- Be flexible and consider a variety of options
- Help trade partners work together to pass testing and inspections and avoid lost time and money from delays, corrections, and re-inspections.
- Use increased energy efficiency to demonstrate greater value to your homebuyers
- Explore all eligible builder rebate opportunities
EnergyLogic is an applied building science company that partners with building professionals to create homes that are efficient, healthy, and resilient.
We believe in working as an integral part of your professional team. Whether it is code compliance, HERS® Rating, ENERGY STAR®, Indoor airPLUS™, LEED® for Homes, or net-zero projects, the experience we've gained performing these services in over 40,000 homes in Colorado has given us the platform for work across the nation and internationally.
Please contact us so we can help you and your team build better homes more efficiently.
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Director of Business Development