Strong energy codes could save homeowners, building owners, and tenants over $100 billion on energy bills over the next 25 years, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Recognizing this massive potential, the International Code Council (ICC) and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) have announced the 2016 winners for the Standard Bearers Awards for Excellence in Energy Code Compliance.
The awards honor states, cities, towns, and individuals who go above and beyond to raise compliance with building energy codes—and by doing so, help unlock billions in savings and improve the efficiency of America’s new and existing buildings and homes using cost-effective, practical, and innovative strategies.
“Strong building energy codes are on the most effective and affordable tools to guarantee that building and homes save owners money on energy and water bills and provide safe, healthy, and comfortable environments,” said IMT Executive Director Cliff Majersik. “This year, code development, adoption, and implementation are especially important as stakeholders prepare to vote on proposed changes to the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Making our codes progressively smarter and stronger, working to have these codes widely adopted, and increasing compliance in the field is one of the best ways to cut building energy use and tap into the many associated rewards. We applaud this year’s Standard Bearers Award winners for their hard work in this important realm.”
“ICC is proud to recognize our members who are actively working to improve the design and construction of buildings through better energy code compliance,” said ICC CEO Dominic Sims, CBO. “These leaders recognize the importance of our codes and standards in ensuring a safe and more sustainable built environment and we are pleased to partner with IMT to applaud their leadership.”
The 2016 Standard Bearers Award winners are:
- State Jurisdiction Winner: Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, Energy Division. Under the management of Energy Codes Program Manager Heather Goggin and the Energy and Residential Codes Board, the ADECA adopted its first two statewide residential energy codes, trained more than 1,400 construction industry professionals on code compliance, conducted an extensive energy code field study (executed by IMT under funding by the U.S. Department of Energy), and dedicated state energy program funding for continued energy code education.
- Local Jurisdiction Winner: Chula Vista, California. Recognizing that a well-trained building department increases code compliance with California’s Title 24 energy code, the city of Chula Vista, employs a variety of outreach strategies to educate local stakeholders. In addition to conducting workshops, the city offers a “code coach” program where an expert is available one to two days a week to guide permit applicants and help ensure that they are properly complying with the state’s stringent energy code requirements. This hands-on approach has led to increases in compliance and cultivates well-informed building departments that are able to act faster and facilitate an overall more-efficient and effective code compliance process. The program also has generated education resources and tools for public use.
- Energy Code Leader: Darren Meyers of Tinley Park, Illinois. A professional engineer who holds 16 licenses and certifications, Meyers has been instrumental in developing the national model energy codes and working to improve energy code compliance in Illinois. He is a founding partner of BuildRIGHT Illinois and current president of International Energy Conservation Consultants, LLC, an energy codes and simulation services group in Tinley Park. He is an active lecturer on building energy systems and innovative code, construction technology, and sustainability for ICC, the Chicago Department of Buildings, and the Illinois, Kentucky, and Nebraska State Energy Offices. As a consulting engineer for the Illinois Office of Energy & Recycling Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, Meyers focuses on energy code compliance, field implementation, training and education, technical interpretations, and performing load calculations and analysis of HERS compliance programs.
While the recent DOE analysis examined changes over the coming 25 years, IMT research asserts that savings could begin much sooner: Bringing a year’s worth of new residential and commercial construction up to code in the U.S. could save $189 million in one year—equal to a lifetime savings of up to $37.1 billion for just five years’ worth of new buildings.
This year’s Standard Bearers Awards winners were chosen by a panel of past award winners and code and energy efficiency experts, including representatives of the Building Codes Assistance Project; the City of Des Moines, IA; ICC; and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.