A proposed code change could make it possible for buildings to use an optional outcome-based path to achieve energy-efficiency requirements, instead of using existing prescriptive or performance pathways.
Governmental members at a recent International Code Council (ICC) Public Comment Hearings considered the “Outcome-Based Compliance” proposed code change (CE37-16) to the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The proposed code change, submitted by the National Institute of Building Sciences, would implement an optional outcome-based path for buildings to achieve energy-efficiency requirements instead of using existing prescriptive or performance pathways.
The voting members in attendance considered several options for final incorporation of the proposal into the 2018 IECC. The proposal still must undergo one more vote from the ICC membership to become part of the 2018 IECC. Governmental members are requested to vote in favor of the proposal “As Submitted.”
If approved, this would be the culmination of a multi-year, industry-wide effort to include an outcome-based pathway for energy compliance that began with the 2015 International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Working with a diverse group of industry stakeholders, the Institute proposed the change in recognition of the fact that many jurisdictions do not have the personnel or fiscal resources to adequately ensure compliance with energy and sustainability requirements. By focusing on real outcomes, code officials and communities can be assured that requirements are being met while not incurring additional enforcement burdens. The outcome-based compliance pathway sets targets for the actual energy use of a building and determines compliance through the building’s achievement of that target once in operation.
Now that the proposal has been approved by the ICC voting membership at the Public Comment Hearings, the full ICC voting membership, which consists of code officials and government representatives from the United States and other countries, has the opportunity to vote on the proposal through cdpACCESS™. This cloud-based system for the code development process (cdp) allows all ICC governmental member voting representatives and honorary members, even those who did not attend the hearings, to cast their votes.
“The outcome-based pathway has received strong support from across the industry. However, it still needs one more vote to become part of the 2018 IECC,” said Ryan Colker, National Institute of Building Sciences Presidential Advisor, who presented comments during the hearing. “If you’re an ICC governmental member, we urge you to vote in support of this code change. If you’re not a voting member, we encourage you to reach out to your colleagues who do vote to let them know why you support this measure.”
The IECC, which is updated every three years, is in use or adopted in 47 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
A number of industry representatives, including the National Institute of Building Sciences, New Buildings Institute (NBI), Target Corporation, and the Alliance to Save Energy, spoke in favor of the proposal at the hearings. Additional supporters of the measure include the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) and the National Insulation Association (NIA).
Voting will close at midnight, Pacific Time, on November 22, 2016. To vote on CE37-16, log in to cdpACCESS.