New Energy Code Will Result in Increased Energy Efficiency for Residential and Commercial Buildings

Article excerpt

The 2012 International Energy Conservation Code adopted last week .at the Final Action Hearings of the International Code Council (ICC) will result in historic gains in the energy efficiency of building energy codes.

Local governments from across the nation sent delegations to Charlotte, N.C., to vote on this historic proposal, which will likely achieve a 30 percent energy efficiency and conservation savings over the 2006 IECC.

Increased energy efficiency in buildings is particularly important as over one third of all global greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere annually come from this sector. In the United States, buildings account for 39 percent of the nation's energy use and 72 percent of electricity use.

For residential buildings, the 2012 IECC will ensure that new homes are better sealed to reduce heating and cooling losses; improve the efficiency of windows and skylights; increase insulation in ceilings, walls, and foundations; reduce wasted energy from leaky heating and cooling ducts; improve hot-water distribution systems to reduce wasted energy and water in piping; and boost lighting efficiency.

Along with many of the envelope, duct and air sealing features cited above, the 2012 IECC package for commercial buildings includes continuous air barriers; daylighting controls; increasing the number of climate zones where economizers are required; and a choice of three paths for designers and developers to increase efficiency: using renewable energy, installing more efficient HVAC equipment or lighting systems. …