Monday, August 3, 2015

Get Ready for the 2015 IECC!

by Ryan VanArsdale

Modern building codes are usually adopted by local government legislative bodies, but often not all at the same time. The IECC is a good example. Currently, the IECC is in use or adopted in 47 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, New York City and Puerto Rico, but the versions vary from location to location, with some states still using IECC 2006, some the 2009, and still others have moved up to the 2012 version. However, the 2015 version of the International Energy Conservation Code is soon to be upon you.

On January 1, 2015, the State of Maryland adopted the 2015 IECC with local adoption and enforcement required by July 1, 2015. While technically, Vermont is the first state where the 2015 IECC was adopted (Vermont finalized the update to its Residential and Commercial Building Energy Standards on December 5, 2014), Maryland is the first state where it will be enforced.

The following map shows a snapshot of which states are using which versions of the IECC:

In February, we shared some of the important changes you needed to be aware of on our blog, Words to Build On (you can read that blog here). Now that some of the states are adopting the 2015 IECC, it’s important to see if you need to update your product and policies to be in compliance.

 The latest version of the IECC implements many small changes to the Building Envelope Provisions, however, it now has a new section, R406, which defines the requirements for an ERI (Energy Rating Index) of between 51 and 55, depending on the climate zone. The following table shows what ERI each climate zone must achieve.

Climate Zone

Also, the following provisions should be noted in Chapter 4 - Energy Efficiency:
  • Testing for building envelope air leakage requires that all testing be performed under ASTM E779 or ASTM E1827.
  • Building envelope stringency levels must be at least equal to the 2009 IECC levels.
  • Verification of compliance must be completed by an approved third – party agency.

NTA has updated all of our test procedures and forms to include the new requirements. This means that any Blower Door/Duct Blaster testing performed by NTA will not only be able to help you meet the latest standards, but exceed all of the previous versions still in use for the most up-to-date code compliance possible.

If you have any questions about the 2015 IECC requirements, HERS Ratings, Blower Door or Duct Testing, please contact the NTA test lab.  Our experienced, certified HERS Raters and technicians are here to help you prepare for when your area adopts the newest version of the IECC, or any other building code requirements!

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